Do IT Unicorns Exist? Challenges With Hiring IT In-House

Businesses today have a continually increasing list of IT requirements, allowing them to keep up with the latest trends and stay ahead of the competition. In some cases, IT is becoming increasingly difficult for these companies to handle on their own, increasing the challenges of hiring IT in-house. Even small companies and startups today need enterprise-level security, the capability to safely back their data, as well as ongoing support to ensure that everything will run smoothly.

That said, many would like to address these challenges internally. Nevertheless, an in-house IT department can be costly. What's more, finding and maintaining these IT unicorns can be a challenge in and of itself. Below, we'll be addressing some of the challenges associated with hiring IT in-house.

The Challenges of an In-House IT Department

Having an internal IT department isn't all negative. First of all, you will have direct control over your employees or employee working in IT. They will be the go-to person for any technical or network issues that may arise. Nevertheless, it can become somewhat tricky for companies to draw a definite line between their revenue and a substantial investment in internal IT resources. In other words, it's always wise to invest in comprehensive IT resources and personnel, but it's not always advisable or sustainable to have everything in-house.

Salaries, Benefits, Holidays, and Sick Leave

One issue to take into account when deciding to hire in-house are the costs associated with wages and benefits. According to, the average salary of an IT Manager is around $82,000 per year, while an IT Technician's salary is close to $74,000. That's quite a cost for a single person, and the chances are that one person won't be able to handle all of your IT requirements. What's more, these costs don't take into account benefits, certifications, turnover and onboarding rates, sick days, or vacation time, among others.

And while on the topic of vacations and sick days, if you have a limited number of IT staff members, it can make things quite difficult when one or more are not at work. This is even more problematic when there's only one member in the IT department. What happens if your systems go down? Who will address any issues that may arise when they're not there? Trying to fix the problem while they're gone can make it even worse.

Training and Turnover

Another thing that you will need to take into account after hiring a new IT person is training. Who will do the training and set aside the required time? It can take months before they will be fully acquainted with your systems, during which time your operations will not be at full capacity.

Also, you should take into consideration the risk of turnover. If your IT employee decides to leave your company, you will have invested countless hours into their development only to restart the process over again. This will create a significant burden on your company, its productivity, and its resources.

The Almost Inevitable Skill Gap

As businesses become more and more technology-driven, the IT skills gap will only continue to grow. It will become harder and harder to find an IT unicorn capable of handling everything an organization needs, even if it's just a startup. As such, more and more businesses are beginning to outsource part of their IT needs because most IT employees' skills will not be able to cover the entire spectrum of the business’s needs.

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