With demand for top IT talents outpacing supply, firms are scrambling for any edge. But all successful hiring strategies are driven by a clear understanding of truths associated with the talent gap.
To separate the skills gap fact from fear, uncertainty, and doubt – resolving the hiring challenges remain the top priority of all IT leaders. It is important to reconsider the below facts and figures associated with IT hiring:
Specialized roles always take time to fill
Hiring managers complain about the time it takes to find qualified candidates in a number of roles. In particular, cybersecurity, AI, and data science are frequently mentioned as few sectors where the talent pool remains shallow.
The hardest positions to fill are cloud architects, administrators, engineers, and security engineers. These positions require a mixed skillset pertaining to the cloud and security — with the high demand for both far outpacing the supply.
Technology is changing so quickly that candidates aren’t able to keep up. Employers spent approximately 2.5 months trying to fill positions related to cyber and information security roles.
With remote working coming in, firms need to prioritize security – so there’s a high demand but very limited resources for information and cybersecurity roles.
Competition widens the skill gap
The main problem experienced by enterprises is that the best software engineers have multiple options today, and they need to have an impressive pitch to convince how unique and exciting the workplace is.
Hiring managers are struggling to retain top talent because of the attractive opportunities offered by other organizations.
Soft skills are in higher demand
Since technology evolves constantly, one of the top in-demand skills is the ability to deal with change – especially in the current virus-induced crisis situation.
In fact, recruiters cite adaptability as the soft skill most valued in candidates. As different occupations and technologies gain momentum and become more prevalent in the market, employees need to perform their job with the drive needed to overcome all setbacks they might face. Soft skills are often considered as secondary compared to technical experience and skills, but these qualities are what will help employees progress in their work life.
Skills gap affects the legacy systems
While fixing the skills gap in today’s emerging technology landscape turn to be a frequent focus – a lesser-recognized need for the skilled IT workers, who are well-versed with the legacy systems, is usually missed.
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There is a demand for the mainframe workforce. But the use of cloud has grown exponentially over the last couple of years, attracting the majority of budding talent and leaving Baby Boomers as the only generations trained to operate in the mainframe. This has turned out to be a huge hiring issue.
Now, as those employees start retiring, and employers need to fill mainframe roles with millennials. The issue is that they are more interested in careers in cloud computing and other latest technologies. So the skill gap remains.
Investing in existing employees is crucial to close the skills gap
Developing an in-house inventory of available skills as a first step towards creating “digital business universities” coupled with mentoring in operations and infrastructure to close the gap.
Increasingly, employers are now investing in upskilling programs. Training programs having a clear-cut objective with deliverables is important to give employees ownership over their own work. And, further, they also advocate outreach to help grow nearby talent before employees even enter the workforce.
Finding new hires is a very challenging task, but maintaining and upskilling the existing ones is much easier and recommended. To attain strong IT candidates, businesses need to commit and develop a succession plan to create an internship program while recruiting new hires.
This eases out the recruitment efforts, as it relaxes skills requirements and reaches a much broader and diverse talent pool that can be trained in the right skills once they are hired.
Hiring managers should aim to explicitly assess the well-roundness of a candidate — looking at the soft skills they possess and what hard skills they could learn on the job.