Should The IT Talent Shortage Be A Concern For Your Business?
If industry reports are anything to go by, the IT talent shortage is a critical concern for CEOs – second only to the supply chain crisis. The recent supply chain crisis knocked the IT skills gap off the top spot.
For businesses to survive and grow, innovation is the key. And in today’s world, IT is at the heart of innovation. Almost 90% of enterprises today rely on software to run their business.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was quoted saying, “All businesses are software businesses.”
The problem many executives are experiencing or facing is the challenge to fill strategic positions in IT departments. And IT is one of the most important components of an organisation’s engine. Without a talented pool of IT professionals to lean on, how will you adapt to new markets and grow your business?
According to a report published by Korn Ferry, this is a discussion that most board members should be having anyway. In the UK, it is estimated that 12 million tech professionals lack the relevant skills.
With the fast-paced evolution of technology, the gap could get wider pretty quickly. And firms that don’t keep up with the technologies that will propel future markets, risk losing out.
The Importance of IT Specialists in Business Settings
Access to IT professionals with relevant skills is imperative in today’s world. From customer service to project management, accounting, supply chains and marketing, businesses of all sizes use some form of software.
And that’s only on the operational side. For businesses to grow, you need to be agile, resilient, analytical and innovative. All these facets require IT, staff, with the skill set to meet the objectives of your business. And tech roles will continue to evolve as technology evolves.
The progress and continuity of practically every modern business rely on digital technologies. Even if it’s only a website to capture your target audience starting out on their online journey, you need access to a tech professional.
A Gartner survey published last year revealed that 84% of executives confirmed they missed out on innovation because they did have access to talent with relevant cloud skills.
Moreover, the threat of bad actors is a real and present danger to the continuity of your business. Thanks to the auspices of data privacy laws, a data breach could put SMEs out of business.
Companies with an existing IT team also have to be careful not to overload staff members and pile on the pressure. Human Resources Online report that 66% of IT employees suffer from burnout ”.
So what can your business do about the IT skills shortage..and should you be concerned?
Upskill Your Existing IT Talent
It is evident that IT professionals are not necessarily “specialists”. However, companies will come to rely on IT specialists more heavily moving forward. As the Jack of all Trades cliche predicts, there are too many challenges along the IT landscape for one person to be a specialist at everything.
Upskilling your existing staff in key areas could resolve the issue for some businesses. Furthermore, employees are more inclined to stay loyal to a company that is willing to invest in their career development. Today’s workforce actively looks for companies that give their job a sense of purpose and map out their future progress.
Providing individuals with on-the-job training and opportunities to expand their skillset motivates your staff and encourage them to remain loyal. You will, therefore, improve employee retention and foster a workforce that is committed, productive and happy.
Holding on to your best talent means they grow with your company. Integrated team members understand what your IT assets are and what you need for growth. When you are ready to innovate, you, therefore, have a project-ready team capable of meeting tight deadlines and adding value to your business before the opportunity dissipates.
Because the IT landscape moves quickly. It’s within your best interests to upskill IT, staff, anyway – or at the very least have access to a talented team of IT specialists that have the knowledge and skillset to leverage the latest technologies.
With a team of experts to hand that understands your business, you are in a better position to innovate, grow and enable your business to be more profitable. It’s with noting that it costs between £25,181 and £30,614 to replace an existing employee according to some estimates.
Diversify Your Talent Pool
Statistics among the UK’s IT workforce may surprise a lot of executive and recruitment teams. Furthermore, the data indicates that companies will have more success by diversifying their talent pool.
It’s fair to say that when it comes to hiring tech talent, males aged between 25 and 55 immediately spring to mind. Recruiters typically lean towards experienced professionals with the right qualifications, training and skillset. The applications of other candidates may receive a cursory glance but end up on the rejected pile.
If you’re tasked with hiring the next tech specialists, you may not want to skirt over every application so quickly. A paper published by Accenture reveals a different story – and the protagonists may be the heroes that could help you to overcome the skills gap challenge.
The research shows that 44% of young women have good digital skills. Only 40% of young men were confident enough to claim the same. However, a fifth of the young women that claim they have relevant tech skills also says they are not confident they could secure a job in IT. Nearly a third of young men said they were confident.
This data reveals that a lot go young people have a credulous amount of tech knowledge and an interest in going into tech. But it also suggests they don’t have the relevant skills – probably because they have never had the opportunity or the inclination to learn them. But the competency is there.
Younger generations recognise the importance of technology in today’s world. Having grown up surrounded by tech, they are also more literate than “experienced” technicians. Young people are probably also more willing to go down a specialist route as described in the previous suggestion.
Diversion and inclusivity are major talking points right now. To tackle the skills gap shortage, companies would be well advised to procure tech talent from all backgrounds and recruit from a range of disciplines.
With UK unemployment rates expected to be exacerbated by the recession, companies prepared to invest in talent with transferable skills that are considering switching careers could find a diamond in the rough. Creative people are excellent innovators.
You could even navigate traditional recruitment channels and look for top talent coming through dedicated initiatives such as Sadiq Kahn’s scheme to help develop underrepresented black men in London.
Take Advantage of E-Learning Platforms
This suggestion is a bit left-field but could generate another income stream and help you to find the top talent you want to add to your IT team. Remote learning has given rise to a booming e-learning industry in which students learn from experienced professionals.
E-learning is forecast to become a $645bn market by 2030. The reason for that is that e-learning courses offered by specialists provide relevant training to students that traditional university courses cannot match.
Think about it. An IT course at a UK university costs somewhere in the region of £36,000-£48,000 over three or four years. IT companies can build a course for a fraction of that price – and students will learn everything they need to know in a fraction of the time.
Companies that take advantage of e-learning platforms or launch their own e-learning database, can choose the individuals on your course that show the most promise. A one-year course versus a three-year course will also mean more talent is made available to the market and help to close the IT shortage gap.
IT is a competitive market and specialists come with a premium salary. If you’re able to identify your own specialists by offering dedicated courses online, you’re in a better position to hire the best performers, develop their skillset and avoid paying excessive salaries moving forward.
In addition, online courses give students the freedom and flexibility to learn in their own time, at their own pace and fit IT schooling around their lifestyle.
The cost, convenience and access to relevant expertise that e-learning offers is a far more attractive proposition to traditional routes of education that are failing to deliver.
Remote learning provides students with an avenue into the tech industry that is accessible to more people – especially young people from less privileged families that cannot afford a university education and people that already have a job but are looking to transition to another sector.
Reduce the Time-to-Hire
HR experts say there is a direct correlation between a candidate’s feelings towards a company and the timescale of the hiring process. “Candidates expect a high-tech, high-touch experience.”
The hiring process is typically a candidate’s first direct experience with your company. This experience can play a crucial role in how motivated they are to work for you – and more importantly, how likely they are to commit their long-term future to your firm.
Technology has enables consumers to access things easily and quickly. Job candidates also expect the same ease and speed when acquiring a job. Examine recruiter websites and they are all talking up the need to streamline the hiring process.
First of all, a long and tedious recruitment process could result in you missing out on top talent. Candidates looking for work in IT typically apply to multiple companies simultaneously.
On the flip side, an expedited hiring process increases your chances of identifying the right person and sustains your excitement for the company and the position. Swift hiring campaigns are also less work for your recruiters and reduce job-search anxiety for candidates.
How MicroPro Can Help Fill the Tech Skills Gap
It’s clear that IT specialists are central to the functioning of a business. We also appreciate that hiring IT professionals in-house is not a financially viable solution for every business. And this is where managed IT support services like MicroPro can step in and help to give you a step up.
Micro Pro has been well aware of the tech shortage for a number of years now. Subsequently, we are committed to the continuous development of our team of IT experts and provide a top-quality service that empowers businesses to overcome the skills gap challenge for a fraction of the cost involved in recruiting on-premise IT professionals.
If managed IT support services are the best option for your company, you want to be assured that you partner with the right provider. Selecting a reliable IT partner is easier if you understand what the provider’s service level agreements (SLA) include.
SLAs will help you to determine the extent of services and support you can expect to receive. We recommend focusing on the KPIs (key performance indicators) the IT company is contractually obligated to fulfil. Deliverable KPIs will help you to decide which IT support service will be your ideal partner.
With more than 20 years of experience serving companies in London and beyond, the IT specialists at Micro Pro provide a comprehensive service including leading IT solutions, consultancy, service and 24/7 support from our award-winning customer service desk.
Call us today to discuss your IT needs. Do you need ongoing services or an IT specialist for a one-off project? Micro Pro may well have the solution that enables you to overcome your next challenge.