Councillors have questioned what the SIC can do to fill vacant positions within the planning department.
Five full-time posts are vacant in the department, with a backlog of applications causing delays and disruption in the planning process.
Development director Neil Grant said the problem was “definitely a national issue”, but said Shetland’s location “just exacerbates that”.
But planning manager Iain McDiarmid said Orkney Islands Council had recently had 40 applicants for a vacant planning post.
That led to councillor Robbie McGregor asking if the SIC could ask their counterparts in Orkney what they were doing differently.
Mr McDiarmid said he believed planners thought that “nothing much exciting happens” in Shetland.
“It’s a problem that’s been ongoing for years,” he said.
He argued that the isles were a “good place for people learn their trade”, however.
Mr McGregor implored the council to “explore every possible angle” with regards to filling the vacant posts.