It is pretty well-known that there is a significant talent gap in the IT sector. However, this gap does not solely affect the IT departments of companies, but there is a large shortage of digital talent in general across departments and across industries. In today´s digital economy, this lack of the right talent becomes a bigger and bigger problem for many companies. Being a CIO or digital leader you can have great ideas but if you don´t have the right talent to execute them, they won´t add much value. Tech job seekers are not only highly sought for in the tech industry but in every industry, and security, cloud-computing and data analytics are just a few examples of areas that are facing extreme scarcity. These are just examples because the talent gap is spreading way beyond the “typical” IT roles, almost any role in an organization needs certain digital skills and for example project managers and business analysts with the right digital skills are also highly sought for.
With this scarcity in mind, what can you do as a business to face this challenge and to attract more digitally skilled employees?
First of all, you need to figure out the mix of digital skills that your company needs. It is easy to throw in some buzzwords on cloud computing, data analytics and cybersecurity, but are these really the profiles that will make the most difference for your business? Probably you will need some of these, but what about the rest of the departments? Do you have profiles there that are digital enough? Insights on your current and desired talent pool are key to set-up your recruitment strategy and you can also use insights on your recruitment efforts to analyze whether what you are currently doing is successful and how it could be improved.
Second, try to think in terms of potential and how you could possibly develop specific talent into the digital profiles you are looking for. Due to the high scarcity of digital profiles, it might be a challenge to directly hire the best talent you need. Therefore, look at your current employees and see what training solutions you can offer them to develop into the digital profiles that you need. Upskill your high performers and make them digital profiles by placing them in critical roles for this digital transformation. And when hiring, try to look for this potential as well. The potential to become a digital talent instead of only the current skills and the possible lack of those exact digital skills that you are looking for. The potential to learn new skills, the affinity and interest in new technologies and the willingness to really develop themselves in these fields. By shifting your mindset, you might be able the generate your own digital talent pool without facing too many challenges from the digital talent gap in the recruitment market!
Finally, employees are also aware of this talent gap and many are taking matters into their own hands by upskilling their digital capabilities. Although many are willing to set-up their own learning plan and invest in their digital development, as an employer this is something important to take into account for your retention strategy. Since digital skills are so important these days, a lot of employees are willing to change jobs if the opportunities to develop their digital skills are significantly better elsewhere. Therefore, for the sake of not creating an even bigger talent gap for your company, make sure to also offer your existing employees the right digital training possibilities with courses that teach those digital skills that are on the rise.
How do you think businesses should face this challenge and recruit more digital profiles? We would love to read about it in the comments section!