Confronting IT Talent Shortages

By Lisa Goodall Ashkinos ● 02/16/2022

Confronting IT Talent Shortages

By Lisa Goodall Ashkinos ● 02/16/2022

The tech industry continues to adjust to changes in the workplace, and the growing need for IT talent, labor shortages, and rising wages continues to create harsh competition in the industry. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, IT salaries in the United States increased 3.6% to reach over $97,000 by 2020. As a result of these conditions, businesses are struggling to adopt emerging technologies and stay on top of industry trends. Businesses need to look for new ways to source talent, while showing prospective employees how they can thrive within the company.

Ways to Attract IT Talent

Widen the Search Pool

In January 2022, nearly 340,000 IT job openings across industries remained unfulfilled. Altering job requirements or criteria and widening the search pool outside of traditional candidates with bachelor’s degrees will help to attract more diverse IT talent. Meeting the talent where they are, for example, covers more geographic areas, increases diversity, and enhances complexities for the business. Similarly, catering to remote workers by offering flexible working conditions amplifies desirability.

Most notably, identifying alternative and non-traditional talent can work to alleviate some pressure due to talent shortages. STAR (Skilled Through Alternative Routes) and NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) candidates, for example, can give the business a competitive advantage. As opposed to solely relying on traditional college graduates, this approach provides the business with access to greater opportunities, as most of these candidates already possess much of the soft and hard skills required.

Provide Training Opportunities

Presenting candidates with opportunities for training enhances employee growth alongside the continuous innovation seen in the tech industry. Training opportunities, like coding bootcamps, work to upskill talent, broaden skill sets, and cultivate new talent. These programs can be catered toward company needs as well, guaranteeing that prospective employees are well-equipped for particular positions within the tech industry. Training opportunities are especially beneficial for STAR and NEET talent, as they are both faster and less expensive than returning to school.

Along with training opportunities, investing in partnerships is an effective way to expand skills and capabilities within the company. Collaborating with outside organizations, such as with coding bootcamps, presents businesses with curated and data-driven results. These partnerships can include sponsoring talent inside or outside the company through coding bootcamp courses, with the potential to hire talent after “graduation”. Another way to partner with a tech training resource like a coding bootcamp is to arrange for their trainers to conduct internal professional development training for current team members. Internal training improves team capabilities to take on new projects, and has proven to increase retention among staff eager to take on more challenging roles.

Looking Ahead

The increasing need for talent, in the face of growing labor shortages and rising wages, creates intense competition in the tech industry. In order to combat these challenges, businesses must expand the search pool and look outside of traditional candidates, and also partner with organizations to provide training opportunities to help current and prospective candidates develop in-demand, job-specific skills. Alternative recruiting methods are here to stay, along with an emphasis on internal mobility, and intentional collaboration with outside organizations can help build resilient workforces and upskill talent in the tech industry.

To learn how Momentum can help you with your IT Talent Shortages, contact our team today.

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