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When 1E, a company specialising in IT efficiency software, wanted to recruit a new head of IT it wasn't all plain sailing. "We found it difficult to find someone with the requisite technical and managerial experience who had worked in a similar sized organisation and had the right cultural fit," says Mark Blackburn, CIO at 1E.

"We had many candidates that were over qualified managerially, but had the wrong technical skillset, or had the right technical knowledge but not enough managerial experience, or were fine on paper, but didn't shine when met them in person. It took a while, but we eventually found the needle in the haystack."

In tackling the skills shortage, Blackburn says they are casting their net increasingly wider and are using business social media services such as LinkedIn to find talent rather than just relying on agencies.

As for looking at outsourcing to solve the skills shortage, Blackburn counsels against it.

"I have never found an outsourcing customer who has been happy with their supplier over the long term and more often than not the cost of changing to an outsource model is doubled when the services are brought back in house again a few years down the line," he says.

"Obtaining, training and retaining the required skills may take longer, but will provide a better return on investment over the long haul."

[Next - CIOs and skills shortages]