Devising new lures
- By Doug Simpson
- Aug 07, 2000
As the shortage of information technology workers continues to grow, governments
are straying further and further from traditional employment policies.
Often, governments that adopt private-sector-style policies — higher
salaries, telecommuting, casual dress, flexible hours — are the ones that
succeed in finding and keeping technical workers.
Here are some state governments' solutions for making public-sector
IT work more appealing.
Nevada is considering a generous incentive plan. Qualified IT job candidates
would be eligible for a $3,000 bonus if they work for the state. State employees
who recommend IT workers would receive a recruitment bonus of up to $500.
IT employees who acquire new skills and use those skills on the job are
eligible for a bonus of 10 percent of their yearly salary.
Oregon has one of the lowest IT turnover rates — less than 5 percent. Officials
say they lose few technical workers partly because many of them were trained
by the state's high-tech training and recruiting cooperative, in which nine
agencies pool resources and expertise to identify and implement retention
strategies. The cooperative began by training state workers to handle Year
2000 problems. Now the cooperative conducts training in systems analysis,
database management and project management. To improve recruiting efforts,
the cooperative hired a full-time high-tech recruiter.
Missouri recently started a student-loan forgiveness program for Missouri
college graduates whose degrees are in specified high-technology areas if
they remain in the state to work. The program does not require the graduates
to work for the state, but officials believe that at least some of those
in the program ultimately will.