CIOs need to develop effective recruitment and retention strategies to capture the much-needed talent for their digital transformation projects. More than two-thirds (67%) of digital leaders worldwide cannot keep pace with change due to a lack of technical talent. As a result, companies with IT skills gaps will find it very difficult to achieve their digital transformation goals.
With 60% of companies aiming to increase technology investments over the next 12 months, the constant push for digitization means skilled tech workers will be highly prized.
While the need for continued investment in technology is good news for CIOs, it also creates significant pressures, especially regarding resources. New projects require skilled workers – and it will be harder to attract and maintain them.
In terms of energy gaps, cybersecurity is a highly sought-after technical skill, which has risen by almost a quarter over the past 12 months, followed by big data/analysts and architects. The shortage of developers, on the other hand, is rising faster than in different technical fields.
CIOs who want to continue to innovate on behalf of their businesses must first tackle the growing skills crisis. Here are a few tips for digital leaders who want to hire and retain hard-to-find talents:
Develop internal skills – Industry estimates suggest that about 10% of all technical skills become obsolete each year. As those old skills collapse, CIOs should focus on developing new skills among their people, so they have the latest skills in-house and also motivate resources for loyalty to the organisation.
Cross-train the staff – Employees have the opportunity to develop new skills as they work and leaders can train people inside and outside the technical teams with fresh digital and data skills, such as analytics and popular programming languages. More than half (51%) of digital leaders plan to train people in other parts of their organization during the coming year.
Cast the net wider – Labour markets have expanded. Companies that used to recruit across a 12-mile radius are now hiring skilled people across the globe because of cloud technology and cooperation. More than a third of digital leaders have expanded their local network to discover new talent.
Attract younger talent – Work with schools, colleges, and universities to encourage more young people to take STEM courses as part of their education. CIOs need to find new ways to show young people that IT work can be fun and rewarding.
Broaden the reach – Firms should be willing to hire inexperienced people and teach them the skills they need for their deliverables. This is cost effective as well, and more than a third of digital leaders say they will be providing their teams additional training next year. What is important is that this skills upgrade should not only be for fresher or junior staff but also motivated experienced and mid-level resources, so they can become more valuable to the company.
Create a consistent offer – There are many job vacancies, so skilled IT professionals will look for roles that reflect career development opportunities. Companies can send out a strong message to attract resources and keep their promise once they join. If the work done is not the same as the real offering, the young people will leave immediately. Failure to do so will drive new joinees to dissatisfaction, and lead them to other opportunities.
Consider alternative sources – With premium skills coming at a higher cost, it sometimes makes sense to hire contracted resources, instead of permanent employees. This gives the company a better skill set at a lower cost while providing flexibility of project based employment to the skilled employee.
Organizations that work to hone their strategies are likely to have an advantage when it comes to hiring and retaining talent. To date, only a third of companies (32%) have redefined their employee promise to attract employees to a new mixed-work world. The task of digital leaders now is to find a strategy that works – and quickly.