In the last decade, the IT sector has seen phenomenal growth – but is it now growing fast enough to keep up with digitisation?
We are living in a world where the life span of technology is shrinking, demand for IT talent outstrips supply, adaptive skills are highly prized, and companies need to be bolder and more deliberate in their workforce strategies.
According to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) for Q3 2022 1-in-5 organisations, globally, is having trouble finding skilled tech talent, with IT/data skills being the most difficult to find for nearly 3-in-10 organisations.
In the post pandemic era, IT talent leaders are facing new challenges about how to transform their approach to talent:
How to recruit and retain specialist IT staff with the skills required to implement radical change?
How to increase utilisation of machines to guide decision making?
How to bring technology, people and process, closer together?
To answer these critical questions, Experis, ManpowerGroup’s IT professional resourcing and managed services company, surveyed 40,000 hiring decision makers in 40 countries and conducted in-depth interviews with eight global talent and technology leaders, spanning numerous industries and functions, revealing four ways in which to transform tech-talent strategy and to lead with confidence.
“Everyone is looking in the same places, so these are the perfect circumstances to look at talent in a different way.”
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chief Innovation Officer and Leader of the Assessment Centre of Excellence, ManpowerGroup
1. Opening up the Middle:
The demand for tech talent intensifies as, increasingly, technology updates faster than people. Our research suggested that talent leaders, rather than struggling to recruit from a diminishing pool of talent, can leverage their workforce potential and reskill their employees to fill gaps and meet the demands of the new workplace.
The need to ‘open up the middle’, is not driven only by the shortage of skills, but also the obsolescence of existing skills. Organisations are trying to embed a systematic approach to reskilling, but this is not straightforward. Employers can’t build skills development programs quickly enough to meet business needs, and employees are worried about their prospects and learning fatigue. The good news is that new technologies provide opportunities for new styles of learning: self-guided, experience-based training that gives their workforces a greater sense of ownership and control. Experis Academy is one such source. It seeks to help organisations bridge their talent gaps through practical, comprehensive training in a range of technologies. Using the expertise of specialist trainers and industry experts, employees learn through a combination of theory and application.
2. Find the Hidden Talent:
With so many organisations competing to recruit IT workers from the same talent pool, there is a golden opportunity for talent leaders to look further afield. They need to rethink the way they recruit – as traditional approaches, focused on filtering candidates according to qualifications and experience, may not identify those recruits who have the raw qualities that organisations require. Talent Leaders need to think about diversity holistically and focus on how to attract diverse talent and ensure a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, to retain them. They also need to revamp and tailor the candidate experience based on candidate expertise, not their expectations – so they can recruit on potential and not the past – to find hidden talent and retain it.
3. Trust the Data Strategy:
Data is the new currency; a single source of truth and has no bias. Our research shows that 76% of organisations with more than 100 employees, now rely on assessment tools, such as aptitude and personality tests for external hiring. That is not enough as more data becomes available, the organisation can secure greater insight to execute their recruitment and retention strategy. Data management and machine learning can analyse large talent pools to identify candidates with the right skills, experience, and mindset, whereas sentiment analysis can track the employee engagement. Better workforce data will enable prediction of potential performance, matching individuals to opportunities. Nearly 1-in-3 organisations (29%) globally, plans to invest the same in AI technology, including machine learning, over the next year, but a third intend to invest more. Experis Academy, for example, enables employers to match candidates to a set of minimum-level criteria, and builds a bespoke training pathway for individuals to develop the required competencies. Experis Career Accelerator tool helps employees set up personalised professional development programs by mapping their current skills, assessing these against what employers are looking for, and building a tailor-made menu of continuous learning.
4. Lead with Confidence:
“People are our organisation’s most valuable asset”, is something we hear from leaders all the time and they increasingly expect employees to reinvent themselves. Now, it’s time for leaders to take responsibility to reinvent and act like they mean it. Leaders have an opportunity to harness digital technologies to support their teams in a wide range of value-added activities. They can be more empathetic, compassionate, inclusive, and great at creating and maintaining networks. These organisational cultures can span and thrive across the digital and physical working environment. They need to be aware of employees’ need to feel seen and safe, to be connected at their best, contribute and innovate continuously – to show how culture, values and technology can drive their tech talent strategy.
Leaders must seize the initiative and explore innovation, as they use the new ways of thinking and doing things for their tech-workforce development strategies. They can use the new ways to transform their approach to attract and retain tech talent by preskilling, reskilling, & upskilling potential – identifying new sources of talent, using data to get better results – and adapting to a new workplace reality to lead with confidence.