The Great Resignation: How to Avoid the Impact of Losing Internal IT Staff

The Great Resignation is a good news/bad news story. For businesses with internal IT departments, the bad news is it’s likely one of your critical internal IT staff will leave for another job this year. The good news is there’s a way to keep your IT team fully staffed at all times, even now.

Let’s start with the bad news. 

Your business will probably be disrupted

Gartner reported that 31% of IT workers actively sought out a new job toward the end of last year and McKinsey found that 40% of employees overall plan to leave in the next 3-6 months. IT security experts are leaving at even greater rates, and it’s harder for companies to hold on to them. New IT hires have even abandoned new positions before completing onboarding, if they get a better offer.

Losing even a single IT team member can significantly disrupt business continuity for a company with a small internal IT department. IT infrastructure and app management, digital innovations, cybersecurity, end-user support, and other IT operations are all crucial for running and growing your business. Due to remote working, many of these IT areas have become more complicated to manage since the pandemic.  

You can expect your company to feel the impact of an IT team member’s resignation during the 32-42 days it takes to fill the position in addition to the following 12 weeks it takes for an employee to become fully productive. Is your IT team already stretched thin? In that case, the need for your team to fill the temporary gap takes them away from their usual responsibilities, which creates even greater business disruption.

The leader responsible for IT at your company can do everything possible to try to keep good in-house IT staff around, but it’s clear the odds are someone in your internal IT department will leave shortly. That’s the mood of the country. 

As is the desire to earn more money.

You need to pay your internal IT team more

Since last year, CIO salaries jumped 21% as tech’s value to the bottom line has crystallized. Web developers got the same pay increases, and other tech salaries saw double-digit growth. What’s more, the tech talent shortage was an ongoing phenomenon before COVID hit. It’s been an issue in the U.S. off and on for more than two decades and will probably continue to be, Great Resignation or not.

Hiring new in-house staff costs more than the salaries, of course. On average, expect to pay 40% of an employee’s base salary to onboard a new employee. And since companies with small internal IT departments don’t hire new IT staff very often, it’s not part of their usual processes and can be especially challenging if the person doing the hiring isn’t an IT expert. The IT recruitment and onboarding experience tends to be stressful and time-consuming.

Now comes the good news.

You don’t have to hire new IT staff — there’s another way

You can avoid the business risk and hassle of replacing IT staff by not having more internal IT employees than you really need. By co-managing your IT with a managed services provider (MSP) that already has a deep bench of IT professionals, you sidestep the process of filling positions that aren’t directly related to boosting your bottom line — typically, managed IT functions. You get IT stability and consistency regardless of the job market because your co-managed services partner already has the team you need. Your partner’s team becomes your team. 

For the IT responsibilities you offload, your managed services IT partner:

  • Does the recruiting and training and takes the financial hit when its employees leave
  • Knows how to find the best candidates, set appropriate salary levels, and conduct IT interviews — their HR department continually hires new IT talent and larger MSPs often onboard in monthly “classes” with multiple new hires
  • Offers more upward mobility and the chance to work for multiple clients at once, which many tech workers prefer

Regardless of when or why your IT partner’s employees leave — they get headhunted, move to another city, choose remote work, follow a different career trajectory or passion, or another reason — it’s not your concern or responsibility. 

You have a contract with your managed services provider, and your contract includes a service level agreement. So, you are covered. Your primary responsibility is finding a partner you can count on.

Co-managed IT is a win

It’s important to understand that working with a managed service provider doesn’t mean you need to let your existing IT team go. Just the opposite — you want to hang on to internal team members that know your business inside out and are your go-to team for IT responsibilities that drive revenue.

When sharing IT responsibilities in the co-managed IT model, the best approach is for your internal IT team to focus on innovative activities unique to your organization and for your outsourced IT team to focus on IT activities that can be standardized across multiple companies. 

This approach not only improves your overall IT operations and enables you to have fewer employees, it supports your business success. It covers all the IT bases, enables each member of your internal team to flourish in their respective roles, and better positions your company to take on whatever new opportunity or initiative you choose to tackle.

Another perk is if one of your in-house team resigns, your managed IT partner will likely be able to absorb at least some of that employee’s responsibilities while you search for a replacement. They may also be able to help with your search, interview process, and onboarding. 

Stay fully staffed to stay fully productive

The only way to avoid the disruption of most IT resignations, whether they’re part of the current Great Resignation or not, is to find a way to stay fully staffed all the time.

For companies with internal IT teams of under 10, teaming up with a co-managed services provider that has multiple employees for each IT specialty is your best bet. You maintain greater business continuity, save the time and resources it takes to replace internal IT staff, and can stay focused on your core business strategy. Improved IT operations are a bonus.

That is all very good news.