Discussions about the talent gap in the tech sphere are nothing new. Each year, as new technologies continue to be introduced and integrated, it's hard for the aging workforce to keep up.
The 2017 Digital Talent Gap report from LinkedIn and Capgemini revealed that 54 percent of organizations thought that the digital talent gap was holding back their digital programs from advancing. And, they believed they have lost competitive advantages because they didn't have enough digital talent.
The following strategies may allow you to start addressing the tech talent gap and keep moving forward.
Recognize which skills are needed
Continuous research of the market is key to understanding what skills talent will need. The same digital talent gap report showed that 59 percent of employers said they didn't have workers with "soft" digital skills, versus the 51 percent that said they didn't have enough talent with "hard" digital skills. The two most in-demand soft skills were customer-centricity and passion for learning, and the two hard digital skills were cybersecurity and cloud computing.
So, just by being aware of what's missing in most organizations, and starting there, will set you apart competitively. Focus on customer-centric skills and ensure that you're investing in cybersecurity trainings.
Female IT leadership
The most recent KPMG CIO survey showed an alarming statistic: only 1 in 5 technology team members within a given organization is a woman. While the number of women taking over IT leadership roles is slowly increasing – up 2 percentage points from last year – there's still a long way to go.
Encouraging female talent to educate themselves on both hard and soft skills will further set your organization apart, and will allow you to diversify perspectives within the tech realm. Just by offering professional development opportunities and continuing to promote and hire female tech employees, others will likely be encouraged to choose this career path that's long been dominated by males.
Adequate training opportunities
As mentioned above, one of the most important ways to address the talent gap is to educate. The American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor survey showed that 69 percent of adults in the U.S. think that organizations' failure to provide training to employees is the reason for the skills gap.
Focus trainings around the soft and hard skills mentioned above that are currently in demand. Workers who have been with the company for a long time won't suddenly know how to integrate new processes, so they need time and space to learn.
Investing in education opportunities and professional development programs is a must to stay competitive. For instance, companies like Microsoft have introduced professional degree programs that aim to develop top talent in areas such as data science, AI and cybersecurity. So, these programs aren't hard to find.
The tech talent gap will continue to be a problem for companies unless they find ways to further educate employees and create competitive advantage.
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