You need to hire highly skilled, top of their game, experienced information technology professionals for your business. It sounds simple enough, but in practise this is proving very difficult for companies up and down the country. So, why is this and what can you do about it?
Identifying skills gaps
What is the tech skills gap? Simply put, the pace at which we as a society, our schools and universities, develop the skills in the areas of computer science and create the IT employees of the future, isn’t keeping up with the fast paced demand being seen in businesses. This is creating a gap between what companies need and what potential employees have to offer. Identifying where your skills gaps are is the easy bit, what to do about it may prove more elusive.
Upskilling and reskilling
So, what can you do about this problem? As the demand for these roles is only set to increase you can’t afford to wait around for more young people to arrive out of university ready to fill your needs. You already have a workforce so why not look to them to solve this problem? If you can upskill and reskill your existing employees you fill the role you need to be filled, you provide training to staff who already want to upskill, and you use loyal experienced employees who are already a part of your team and won’t be so easily lured away.
You are still going to need to recruit from outside of your company for some roles, and in some cases this is a better option. You may not have the time or the funds for training existing staff, and to allow them to learn on the job can be risky and could slow everyone else down. But with so many openings across the tech industries and so many companies who are not traditionally involved in tech, you’ll have to attract the right talent to your business, and then keep them there.
The overwhelming demand for qualified tech employees may make it difficult to keep those staff members once you’ve found them. As the race for hiring talented IT professionals who can fill the skills gap heats up, companies will try to lure away your hard won employees. To make a success of filling your skills gaps you need a two-pronged approach. Yes, you do need to keep hiring, but many companies are finding this is a never ending revolving door, so you also need to reskill and upskill at the same time. By providing training in software systems and programs to your existing staff you create a back up for if and when your IT professionals are lured away to another company with a tech skills gap. You can fill those gaps without having to go through the time and expense of hiring all over again. As filling your skills gaps get harder, and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, training is the key to retaining a professional and skilful workforce.