It's not surprising that Deloitte Consulting's global operation advocates equity-based profit sharing. It had to. After losing 200 of its top employees to dot-com companies in one month alone, the consultant realised something had to give. So, it did.
Following Deloitte's local arm investing 20 per cent in an Australian e-content provider, the company offered partners and staff a 10 per cent interest as an incentive to stay put.
The move illustrates the lengths some organisations are taking to protect themselves against the growing quandary of demand exceeding supply that's hitting the IT skills circuit, particularly on the e-commerce front.
As Sue Bushell quotes Cambridge Technology Partners on page 18, "if companies don't invest in recruiting and rewarding the bright sparks who will fuel the innovation engine that inflates margins, competitors will . . . and if you don't connect all that intelligence, you're wasting it."
Forrester Research also warns that business must "match this new orientation and create the right recruitment and retention infrastructure to reap its benefits".
This week's cover story highlights several tactics consultancies are implementing to attract and retain staff in preparation for what is expected to be a worldwide onslaught of e-commerce projects.
Peter Williams, head of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu's e-business division, told Computerworld that "the biggest challenge for e-business is that given the amount of Internet-related work there is at the moment, there won't be enough people on the planet to be able to effectively implement it all".
So what would it take for IT professionals to impress consultancies on the hunt for e-comm recruits? A fleshed-out resume with some key e-comm related terms would certainly be a start. According to recruitment experts, if you're after a prized job in the field of e-commerce, a basic understanding in areas such as HTML, Web development,databases, Java or C++ would help you stand out from the pack.
Add to that an edge in business skills, and your chance of receiving equity-based profit sharing is starting to look good.
Crash and burn
Whoever thinks the IT industry has no pulse should stick around for the latest courtroom saga, this time involving Electronic Data Systems. According to Akai Musical Instruments and Pioneer New Media Technologies, EDS lured them into developing electronics equipment for a "secret" $US80 billion to $US120 billion NATO project. It turned out to be a scam and three years later everyone's burned.
EDS' defence is now claiming that it too was a victim of circumstance, as it was approached by a US Air Force official to perform the secret project. You'd think a project of such magnitude would demand, in fact outright necessitate, further investigation wouldn't you? Surely they'd check this air force officer out for legitimacy, right? Perhaps he told them it was "classified" and if he was to disclose the full details of the "secret project" he'd have to kill them. Nothing would surprise me.