Mass layoffs. Hiring freezes. Big Tech is preparing for recession but worsening the tech talent shortage at the same time. It’s not just Tech, either – many industries are feeling the talent crunch caused by COVID-19, the Great Resignation, quiet quitting, and changes in the need for technical skills requirements due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
IT leaders are looking for new ways to scale their technical teams and grow their businesses. But how does a leader balance seemingly competing priorities of overcoming digital skills gaps in the workforce while protecting business operations during our current economic uncertainty?
Below we’ve outlined what you can do to successfully scale your business with the right tech talent during economic instability with your long-term objectives in mind.
1. Know your audience — new generation, new expectations
Before IT leaders can focus on filling their digital skills gaps and scaling their businesses, they must first be sure their employee experience meets top talent’s expectations. What’s worked for businesses before probably won’t work now.
As Gen Z replaces Baby Boomers (and even Gen X) in the workforce, employees are prioritizing different aspects of their employee experience. With 82% of Gen Z planning to stay at their current employer for only 5 years or less, this record amount of employee turnover could become the new norm if companies don’t adapt.
As inflation rises, employees have higher salary expectations that aren’t always being met by their employers. Add in the impending recession and this is likely to be an ongoing issue as companies try to retain and source talent. However, this may not be as critical as senior leaders think.
Gen Z values salary less than every other generation, and are often more drawn to diversity, social responsibility, and the opportunity for individual career growth. This means companies should focus on developing a better culture in order to attract and retain top talent.
And it’s not just Gen Z. Workers across generations are changing the way they view work-life balance due to working remotely during the pandemic. 86% of employees prefer working for a company that prioritizes outcomes over output, and 38% plan to leave their job due to work-life balance challenges. These are preferences that businesses can cater to, yet not all of them are.
Understanding what the talent you’re looking for wants in a career with your company is key to growing your technical teams. Once your business creates a desirable employee experience, it’s time to look closer at your specific tech talent needs.
2. Identify current digital skills gaps
Before hiring new employees, first perform a gap assessment. Identify the skills gaps you need to fill and look at your current workforce to see if they already posses the talent you need.
If you already employ individuals with the required skills or capability to acquire them, it is much more efficient and cost effective to reorganize your internal teams than hire new talent. You get to reward knowledgeable employees and build loyalty. Plus, hiring new talent could unnecessarily result in the need to layoff other employees as an attempt to cut costs.
So, how do you conduct a gap assessment?
Using a Skills Management Tool to Identify Skills Gaps
At Tek Experts, we utilize our partner elev8’s software, Talentwize, which gives us a full view of the skills our employees possess, whether it’s a requirement of their current role or not. This enables us to quickly find the existing skills to fill gaps for our clients without losing time and money on searching for and onboarding new talent.
However, there will still be instances where your current talent doesn’t already possess the skills you require. This is when you can upskill your current talent or search for new talent.
3. Grow the talent you already have
Skilling should always be part of your employee experience and having high quality training programs for your employees can allow you great flexibility when it comes to growing your teams.
The tech industry is fast paced and changes every day. As we’ve seen in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, new technologies are constantly emerging and affecting not just the tech industry but those undergoing massive digital transformation, like Healthcare and Finance. These rapid changes make it difficult to keep your current talent knowledgeable on the most recent technologies and you need to be proactive to quickly fill your digital skills gaps.
With ongoing upskilling and reskilling, your current employees can learn the skills that your business needs now and in the future, minimizing the need to hire new talent to fill more technical roles. Not only will they have the technical skills you’re looking for but compared to a new hire you can be more confident in their power skills and client knowledge since they already have experience at your company.
Additionally, it’s important that your employees have mapped out their career journeys. Having employees working towards career goals is not just great for the employee experience and increased retention, it also allows your business to know what talent you will or won’t have in the future.
Career Mapping at Tek Experts
At Tek Experts, we utilize Talentwize to map out career paths in addition to identifying skills gaps. This gives our employees and their managers a clear visual of how they want to grow their career, and what skilling they need in order to reach their goals.
4. Expand your talent pools
While filling your skills gaps with the talent you already have tends to be the most desirable option, unfortunately it’s not always possible. That’s where sourcing comes in – though this is proving to be increasingly difficult due to saturated markets, higher salary expectations, evolving employee experience preferences, and lack of the correct skills, among many other key aspects.
But there are ways to overcome these obstacles and expand your talent pools.
While many tech companies have been sourcing talent globally for years, locations that were once new are now oversaturated, making the search for affordable, qualified talent increasingly difficult. Business leaders need to start looking towards unsaturated locations with solid infrastructure and highly qualified talent that speaks the required languages.
By sourcing from unsaturated locations, you’ll be able to grow both your business and the economies in these new areas you’re sourcing from.
Another way to expand your talent pool is by hiring based on work ethic versus existing technical skills. You can teach an employee technical skills through pre-boarding, onboarding, and ongoing skilling programs, but you cannot teach them how to have the drive to continuously learn and grow.
Expanded Talent Pools at Tek Experts
We source tech talent from 14 hubs around the world and have found our Nigeria and Rwanda sites to be particularly successful due to low market saturation, strong infrastructure, and highly qualified, passionate talent. We hire with an attention to empathetic, driven character, providing high quality skilling programs internally and through our sister company, elev8, when needed.
5. Work smarter, not harder
The first 4 tips sound easy in practice, but they can be quite difficult to implement without the right resources. Having a partner that is experienced in sourcing, skilling, and growing talent through a great employee experience can be extremely beneficial to your business.
Whether a partner supports each aspect of the employee lifecycle, or just one stage, a partner can provide key resources, reduced costs, and more expertise than you may possess in-house.
Partnering with Tek Experts
We have over 12 years of experience with the entire employee lifecycle, from identifying skills gaps to sourcing to retaining world class technical talent for global enterprise companies. We act as a seamless extension of our clients’ teams in order to truly understand their business, provide consistent customer experiences, and increase brand loyalty.
We cater to clients’ individual needs by providing different talent sourcing solutions: Direct Hire, Employer of Record, and Outsourcing. We work closely with our clients to decide which solution works best for them, and we can transition to a different sourcing solution during the partnership if necessary.
In addition to our sourcing solutions, we provide successful, high quality technical and power skilling programs for our employees both internally and through our digital skilling partner, elev8. This can be leveraged during pre-boarding, onboarding, and throughout the partnership if necessary.
Additionally, we provide career mapping for our employees through Talentwize. Providing these career development opportunities is a key contributor to our ability to retain employees for our clients.
Looking to grow your teams and your business?
We can help. Let’s work together to determine the best solution for sourcing the technical talent you need at scale. Contact us today to learn more.