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IT Recruitment "No Problem" for Community Banks

Contradicting a consensus view that it is hard to find financial technologists, just 12 percent of community bankers rate IT recruitment as a problem, in a new survey by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA, Washington, D.C.).

Moreover, these responses were received before the financial crisis severely worsened in September of this year, softening the bank IT labor market for the first time in years.

This was the first time ICBA asked about recruitment in its now bi-annual Community Bank Technology survey, to which some 1,300 community banks responded in June. When the results came out in October, says Cary Whaley, director of payments and technology policy, the recruitment reply caused a stir. "The technology folks I work with were floored," he says.

He theorizes that while IT professionals generally move around a lot, easily commanding a higher price in each successive post, in the rural localities where some community banks are based there may be few career options. "If you want to stay in the community, you stay in your job," he says, noting that it's not uncommon for people to work for 20 or 30 years in the same bank. Some are also drawn to work for a community bank because it's likely to offer more job security than a big bank, Whaley says.

Respondents were asked if they had a problem "attracting, developing or retaining IT professionals". Whaley says "They cited this as not being a challenge whatsoever."

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