It’s time to transform your workforce strategies to attract and retain in-demand tech talent

Stack It Up 1920
28 July 2021 by Experis

Digitisation is rapidly changing the old work order. Every business must now adopt digitisation and equip themselves with digital skills to sustain competitive advantage and fuel organisational growth. As technological advancements continue at pace, workplaces become more hybrid and digitisation of the consumer experience accelerates, the right blend of tech and talent is critical to business success.

But with acute skills shortages in the market – including cloud, cyber security, system and software engineering, software development, data analysis and many more – how can businesses ensure they have the right talent to meet the needs of today, as well as the challenges of tomorrow?

As part of the Experis Insights Series, the Stack It Up: Tech Skills in Demand report reveals how organisations are embracing the digital revolution, along with the most in-demand tech roles today and key emerging skills.

Below, we break down some key findings of the report and the workforce strategies employers must adopt to close the skills gap, address their unique challenges and become employers of choice in a competitive market.​

Growing tensions for employers: digitisation, talent shortages and employee needs

Tech employers continue to experience huge tensions in their talent management activity, which have been put under even more strain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 38% of organisations have accelerated their digitisation programmes because of the pandemic, and of those, 86% plan to increase or maintain their hiring levels – so it’s the companies who are adopting new technology the most that are leading job creation.

But with the rapid development of technological advancements, the skills gap is widening and employers are struggling to find the talent they need; in fact 64% of organisations are struggling to find the skills needed to implement their digital transformation strategy. Not only that, but workers’ expectations are evolving in The Skills Revolution – they want more flexibility to move within and outside of organisations and geographies, and they want to continually learn and upskill, so that they remain valuable in the marketplace.

All of this means that we need to change the way we assess and build talent strategies. With the pace of technological advancement set to continue, the focus must move to hiring people who can grow and meet the changing demands of your organisation.

Meeting the challenges of The Skills Revolution: focus on longevity by recruiting for soft skills and invest in continual development

The traditional method of recruiting for hard skills and learnt experience will only satisfy the jobs being filled today. Instead, employers should put capabilities at the heart of their talent strategy. Focusing on attracting candidates with soft skills will give employees much more longevity, enabling them to draw on these skills now, and use them to tackle future challenges in the business.

By focusing on soft skills, there’s potential to tap into talent pools that haven’t yet been considered, including from outside the tech industry. In turn, this will create the opportunity to increase diversity within businesses and better reflect the communities companies are serving, close the skills gap and equip organisations with the people they need for today and tomorrow.

Building on this talent approach, organisations should also introduce an always-on development plan, to upskill employees and teach them the hard skills they may be missing that meet the specific demands of the business. Understanding the gap between the skills those people have now and what skills will be needed to meet future demands is essential, then that data can inform the movement of your workers away from declining areas and towards in-demand ones. This always-on development approach will have the added benefit of establishing your organisation as an employer of choice, by meeting the learning and upskilling needs of workers, and helping you retain the talent you already have, as well as attract new talent.

Employers must develop sophisticated, competitive workforce strategies that Build, Buy, Borrow and Bridge, to ensure they have the specialist IT talent that their organisation needs

Organisations can’t meet these challenges by relying on one talent strategy method alone – instead they need to build balanced and blended talent models that align with their tech strategy. With that in mind, implementing our robust 4 B’s model will enable you to develop an effective talent strategy that addresses the talent shortage, equips your organisation with the right skills and enables employees to fulfil their learning needs.

  1. Build: create the talent you need by developing your current workforce.

  2. Buy: dip into the external market and recruit permanent employees that meet your needs for today and the skills gaps for the future.

  3. Borrow: complement existing skills by cultivating communities of talent within freelance, temporary, part-time and contract pools.

  4. Bridge: help people internally move on and up to new roles, either inside or outside the organisation.

To learn more about how organisations are adopting new technologies, the most in-demand tech roles and skills, and how Experis are helping businesses to become employers of choice, download the Stack It Up: Tech Skills In Demand report here.