Photo: Missouri CIO Dan Ross, co-chair of NASCIO's State IT Workforce Working Group, showing his state's IT workforce recruiting on the Second Life Web site.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) today announced the release of its new issue brief "The Workforce Evolution: Recruiting and Retaining State IT Employees.

NASCIO's 2007 national survey, "State IT Workforce: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?" was the first survey to gauge the likelihood and impact of a potential future IT worker shortage from the view of the state CIO. This brief, which focuses on recruitment and retention tactics for state CIOs, serves as a follow-up to the survey in which over 80 percent of respondents indicated that they were experiencing difficulty filling vacant IT positions.

"A looming shortage of state IT employees appears to be a nationwide trend," said Missouri CIO Dan Ross, co-chair of NASCIO's State IT Workforce Working Group. "State CIOs who begin to explore innovative recruitment and retention strategies, and work to change policies that may hinder certain efforts, will have a distinct advantage if their state happens to be hit with an IT worker shortage."

This brief features a number of state best practices for recruitment and retention initiatives in a variety of areas. It examines both traditional recruitment tactics for state CIOs for enticing new state employees, such as internship and co-op programs, and also innovative recruitment strategies such as utilizing web 2.0 and social networking online Web sites. An emphasis on work-life balance and the benefits package are among the incentives mentioned for state IT employment.

"The next generation of workers will likely have different expectations from the workplace," said Kansas CIO Denise Moore, co-chair of NASCIO's State IT Workforce Working Group. "In reaching out to these young workers, as well as to seasoned veterans from other sectors, it is important that state CIOs consider alternative incentives and drivers, as well as promoting existing ones, in order to attract and retain top IT talent."