Why organisations must transform their workforce strategies to attract and retain in-demand tech talent

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Written by Martin Ewings, Brand Leader & Operations Director, Experis UK

How can businesses ensure they have the right talent to meet the needs of today, as well as the challenges of tomorrow? 

Digitisation is rapidly changing the old work order. We are seeing how every business must now adopt digitisation and equip themselves with digital skills to sustain competitive advantage and fuel organisational growth. But with acute skills shortages in the market – including cloud, cyber security, system and software engineering, software development, data analysis and many more – the challenge of knowing what skills are needed, and how to access them, is becoming increasingly difficult to address. 

To investigate and help answer these pressing questions, Experis recently launched ‘Stack It Up: Tech Skills in Demand’, a report that reveals how UK organisations are embracing the digital revolution, along with global insights into the most in-demand tech roles today and key emerging skills. 

To help guide your own digitisation journey, let’s look at several core considerations when it comes to accessing in-demand tech skills. 


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

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing tech employers increasingly experiencing huge tensions in their talent management activity. 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 at the highest rate that are leading job creation. 

But with the rapid development of technological advancements, the skills gap is widening, and employers are having difficulty finding 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 – 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, we need to move the focus to hiring people who can grow and meet the changing demands of an organisation. 


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. 

We also need to develop the people already working for our businesses. This can be done effectively by introducing 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. 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.


Build, Buy, Borrow and Bridge: the strategy to ensure you have the specialist IT talent your organisation needs

Organisations can’t meet these challenges by relying on one talent strategy method alone – instead you need to build balanced and blended talent models that align with your 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.

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