There is a fight for talent in the United States, but it may be won from inside. While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and The Great Resignation continue to pose challenges for employers, evidence suggests that these seismic disruptions only exacerbated existing trends that predicted widening labor-market skills gaps.
Companies in a variety of industries are increasingly confronting personnel shortages and skills gaps, which are impeding their competitiveness. According to the Wiley book, Closing the Skills Gap 2023: Employer Perspectives on Educating the Post-pandemic Workplace, approximately 70% of organisations report having skill shortages, up from 55% in 2021. According to the Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (JOLTS).
Despite several high-profile layoffs at large major firms recently, many organisations are confronting a severe lack of experienced technology employees. For example, there are now over 750,000 cybersecurity job opportunities in the United States, with 3.4 million cybersecurity employees needed internationally. According to General Assembly’s The State of Tech Talent Acquisition 2023 study, the typical cost of filling a tech post is currently $30,000 per year.
Simply put, there aren’t enough specialists in the IT pipeline to fill the voids. These ubiquitous market difficulties, along with economic insecurity and the quick speed of digital transformation, are actively working against employers’ labour objectives and necessitate a course correction.
That transformation begins with addressing the underlying causes of the talent war rather than just treating its symptoms. Companies may begin by identifying and developing talent within their workforces, as well as strategically developing a talent pipeline of competent people.
Solutions for Sourcing and Skill Acquisition
Train and deploy
First, employers must leverage the market’s existing power by implementing new sourcing and recruitment strategies such as hire-train-deploy (HTD). The HTD approach recruits and trains college graduates in high-demand technological skill sets before placing them in real-world work opportunities.
HTD is particularly useful right now since it alleviates the strain of competing for talent while also providing a degree of control and predictability that traditional recruiting programmes cannot often deliver. It also diversifies tech teams by giving graduates from historically underrepresented groups equal opportunity to thrive in high-paying tech jobs, regardless of academic background.
Companies may supplement HTD by tapping the potential of their existing workforces through upskilling and reskilling programmes. These low-cost techniques address a company’s unique talent and skill shortages while increasing employee retention rates since employees now have access to new internal mobility paths.
Expanding these paths is especially crucial for the IT industry, which has been working for years (although in a piecemeal manner) to improve diversity in its ranks. Indeed, white workers account for 62% of the high-tech workforce, with Hispanic and Latinx workers accounting for 8% and Black employees accounting for 7%. The gender gap in tech is also a present concern, with only 28% of women working in computers and mathematics.
Transitional roles and role development
Upskilling and reskilling employees for tech positions may help your company not only fulfil talent demands, but also encourage a sustainable workforce. There are two types of learning interventions: role development and role transition. Role development, as the name suggests, upskills and equips existing tech teams with the specialised skills and competencies they lack, such as in Java, Python, AWS, and Linux.
Employees who are currently working in non-technical positions can be reskilled in order to move into technical roles. Employees that are reskilled are prepared to take on jobs that are outside of their existing position and skill set. A customer service employee, for example, may be trained to work on the IT helpdesk.
Upskilling and reskilling programmes not only provide opportunity for individuals to grow in their careers, but they also help organisations save money on onboarding while meeting short- and long-term business objectives.
The Way Ahead
Connecting learning content with workers’ professions is another road to success. Unfortunately, what workers learn in college and on the job, particularly in technology, is frequently a step behind what they require in the real world. We must create and offer training that matches the changing market demands of a globalised economy.
While there are many self-paced learning platforms with extensive content libraries that can help learners upskill and reskill, employers can also collaborate with universities and higher education institutions to provide reskilling and upskilling opportunities, such as employer-sponsored continuing education courses and apprenticeships.
Aligning skill development with company need may help futureproof workforces in times of turmoil, allowing for long-term success.
There are numerous fronts in the battle for talent, but the most successful approach may be for businesses to make better use of the resources they already have until the supply lines are restored.
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