It’s no secret to employers that a skill gap is noticeably increasing across the globe. But US employers are experiencing the greatest shortages of technically skilled talent. ManPower’s latest survey found that 69% of American employers are struggling to fill technical positions, and its impacting their ability to meet strategic business goals.
According to the survey, IT roles, which include cybersecurity, technical support, and network administrators, ranked #2 on the list of most in-demand roles in the US. Growing artificial intelligence and smart technology adoption is also pushing the need for data specialists, AI architects, and software and web developers.
This talent shortage isn’t just affecting tech companies. Technology and internet related positions are in hot demand across all industries, because customers expect every brand to deliver the same consumer-quality digital experiences that they get from Amazon, Netflix, and Apple.
The million-dollar question is: What can your company do to attract top tech talent to your company when demand dramatically exceeds supply?
It won’t be easy, but there are a number of paths businesses can take to attract candidates for hard-to-fill posts that will become reliable, loyal employees.
- Build your employer brand. For those looking to recruit in-demand tech talent, your company has to stand out. This means creating a clear employer brand, and showcasing that brand in all of your recruiting content, from job descriptions to employee recruitment videos to social media posts. Younger talent wants to work for companies that welcome and engage them through the work and their colleagues. Showcasing your culture will help them see what it is you’re all about.
- Diversify. We’ve said it before and we will say it again – companies must embrace diversity and inclusion if they want to attract new talent. That means having a workforce that includes women and people of color at all levels, and creating a welcoming workplace environment that prioritizes individuality among employees. If you aren’t sure if your company is perceived that way, read your Glassdoor reviews. Since the BLM marches began in May, employee reviews on Glassdoor discussing diversity, racial justice, and inclusion spiked 63% -- and 71 percent of these reviews expressed concern or dissatisfaction with companies’ responses. Chances are you could be doing better, so use those reviews as a starting point for change.
- Hire for fundamental traits and abilities, then provide training to fill gaps. While tech skills are important, they often become obsolete every few years, whereas skills like leadership, adaptability and problem-solving will always be fundamental to a business. By using pre-employment assessments as part of your recruiting strategy, your company can consider a broader pool of talent, and use mentors and training programs to close any gaps in their current tech skills.
- Consider talent from unconventional backgrounds. Yes, an Ivy League degree is appealing, but it’s not the only place to find great talent. In today’s talent landscape more and more candidates are replacing expensive four year degrees with self-training, coding bootcamps, two-year degree programs, and non-profit training programs like PTech. These training programs produce high-quality, technical talent that may have ‘unconventional’ backgrounds. These programs may also help close the diversity gap in tech by providing your team with individuals from underrepresented groups.
- Be flexible. Along with a competitive salary, young talent wants choice in how and where they work. Offering flexible working arrangements shows job seekers that you are invested in their work/life balance and that you trust them to get their work done.
- Make education part of the job. Reskilling is an essential part of the future of work, so businesses need to create environments where employees can grow, reach for new opportunities and further develop their skills. That means encouraging them to take time every week for learning, providing access to a robust training curriculum, covering education costs for outside courses, and teaching managers the importance of coaching and promoting their best people for stretch assignments. This will not only help to engage great talent; it will lead to great skill diversity across the team.
- Never let them go. Once you find great talent, make sure to provide a workplace experience that engages them and helps them imagine building a career with your company. It’s cheaper and easier to keep a great team member than to find another one to fill their place.
A strong tech team is an important component of running a successful business in today’s internet-reliant world. Technology is continually evolving, and in order to compete effectively in your market, your business needs to evolve with it.