The IT industry still faces a talent shortage, but for successful digital transformations, businesses are filling the necessary skills gaps creatively.

The pace of development in IT has accelerated with a wide range of maturing technologies, and the threat of digital disruption. However, the struggle of IT organizations to find enough talent continues.

This talent gap not just puts pressure on IT hiring practices, but also on organizations’ ability to offer competitive salaries in such a tight talent market. According to Robert Half 2019 Salary Guide, based on 2,600 IT hiring decision-makers in North America, organizations are finding creative ways to fill skills gaps.

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Some trends of 2019 hiring are:

Digital transformation shapes hiring

DT pushes businesses to evolve the relationship among all C-Suite officials with CIOs. Since companies are eager to offer new products and services and enhance the customer experience, IT professionals are increasingly becoming co-creators. To achieve success in the new endeavors, companies hire for specific skills and digital transformation efforts can also be quickly thwarted by a talent shortage.

Hiring project-based professionals

Due to the talent shortage, IT departments are turning to ‘project-based consultants and other interim professionals.’ A flexible staffing strategy helps IT departments to stay agile and jump into new projects, implementations, upgrades, and cloud migrations without disturbing daily operations. Hiring consultant-based workers allow IT departments to answer skills gaps until a full-time employee is found for the job.

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Hybrid job skills are in demand

The Robert Half report suggests that the hottest industries for IT in 2019 are manufacturing, financial services, software as a service (SaaS), and healthcare. Since these industries require skills that are more than IT knowledge, managers are looking to hire IT professionals with industry-specific business knowledge to navigate digital transformation. While this reasoning is justified, it only shrinks the talent pool. This makes 46% of technology leaders turn to specialized recruiters to find talent.

Soft skills over hard skills

As IT departments take on important roles in every business, it has become crucial to hire tech professionals who can collaborate and communicate with non-tech departments. This requires employers to be interested in candidates with active critical thinking, listening, and communication skills.

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Compensation is king

Tech professionals are aware of the shortage of talent and have ‘high expectations’ when it comes to compensation, professional development, benefits and company perks. According to the report, 43% of technology leaders are also willing to raise the compensation package while hiring for certain positions. Around 33% of companies have profit-sharing plans, annual or biannual bonuses (44%), spot bonuses (22%), and even and retention bonuses (12%) to keep workers.

Embracing training for qualified candidates

Companies have become open to training candidates instead of holding out for a candidate who checks all the boxes. While this can easily lead to missing a great hire, it is more important to get the role filled quickly.

Experts suggest that if a CIO interviews a candidate who is a good cultural fit and has the right fundamental skills, it is worth the investment.

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