#CIO100EA: Three things of getting and retaining the right IT Talent

Lanre Onasanya, CEO, H.C. Bonum Limited.

The fight for the best and brightest talent in the world and especially in the IT industry is heating up with an increasingly demanding workforce that has more choice and opportunities than ever before, says Lanre Onasanya, CEO, H.C. Bonum Limited.

Whether one wants to pivot their business or expand their product portfolio and services, hiring talents based on the company’s culture and future direction can be a more powerful success strategy than hiring based only on skills stressed Onasanya during the just concluded CIO 100 Symposium and Awards, hosted in Naivasha, Kenya.

However, one thing that remains quite a challenge to many IT Leaders is getting and retaining the right talent even as companies fight tooth and nail to beat the competition.

“Talent retention is deliberate and it requires time, patience and heart. It has to be complemented with leadership that entails balancing the three elements that ride on investing on an individual’s capacity, teamwork and discipline,” said Onasanya.

He elaborated to the attentive delegates as follows:-


Invest in the Individual

The work that a leader needs to carry out is to support team members in managing their individual needs, pressures and ideas as well as understanding individual team member’s personality, skills, strengths, needs, aims and fears.

CIOs have to provide assistance and support to individual plans, address challenges as well as identify and agree on appropriate individual responsibilities and objectives. The CIO should in addition recognize and compliment individuals – acknowledge effort and good work.

Facilitate Teamwork and Collaboration

As a leader, you will be required to foster a positive team climate which includes cohesion, cooperation and a shared purpose. Leaders should also enable effective group communications, giving and receiving feedback.

Provide a sense of purpose and meaning

There is need to hire people who are passionate and see the bigger picture and can contribute to that vision through carefully constructed cultural practices  intended to add value to the organization. The work that the team leader needs to carry out to ensure that the task gets done satisfactorily are:

  • Setting Objectives/ Clarifying the “WHAT”: Aims, Vision, Purpose and direction
  • Creating Plans/Describing the “HOW”: Deliverables, measures, timescales, strategy and tactics
  • Identifying Resources: People, processes, systems and tools (including financials, communications and IT)
  • Establishing Roles/Determining the “WHO”: Responsibilities, accountabilities and measures
  • Monitoring Progress: Standards, targets, controls, progress reports, reviews and course-corrections


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