The UK doesn’t have enough tech workers and it shows. According to InfoSecurity that Cybersecurity was followed by big data/analysts (36%), technical architects (33%) and developers (32%) as the most sought-after tech skills for UK businesses. This means every year tens of thousands of roles go unfilled as talent remains unavailable and that figure has risen by over a third. Consequently, job seekers who do have these desirable skills face long recruitment processes and overwhelming interest from the marketplace. The skills shortage slowing digital transformation is putting us on the back foot competitively. But there are a few ways companies can ease the pressure.
Companies should champion bringing more BAME, female and non-binary representation into the computing world. By championing educational programmes, organisations can, in some ways, create their own talent pools. Joining forces with global institutions and local colleges alike can improve the access to quality computing education that so many minority groups lack. Follow up training with apprenticeships, graduate internships and the like to further integrate with the new talent pool. In addition, these philanthropic works will improve your organisation's social responsibility and ethical credentials in the longer term. And that means you’ll have the teams to pull off digital transformation programs and the customer goodwill to profit from those initiatives.
While employers looking for this in-demand talent often find themselves offering outrageous salaries and counteroffering against multiple other companies; that’s not how it has to be. In the past two years, the world has seen how life goes on even without large sky-scraper offices full of workers. So, moving to a remote or hybrid working model as standard practice would keep your company ahead of the trend. And perhaps, this will lure recent graduates and entry-level professionals who only know this way of working away from competitors. The desire for remote work is so strong that, according to Apollo Technical that 32% of those surveyed by Owl Labs said they would quit their job if they were not able to continue working remotely.
Tech Monitor states the Digital Leadership Report found that eight in ten digital leaders in the UK find job retention among their staff more difficult as post-pandemic life priorities shift. In addition, four in ten tech executives say they cannot retain key talent if they would like because staff are being offered higher salaries elsewhere. Prioritising engagement programmes, maintaining a dialogue with your teams and adding high-value quality of life enrichments to your benefits package can go a long way to combat this. If you can’t compete with the inflated salaries, consider other incentives like unlimited holidays, project autonomy, self-determined hours, career enrichment training and other motivators.
These are just some of the ways the IT skills shortage is slowing digital transformation and how companies can respond to it. It’s critical businesses begin thinking longer-term about these issues. Instituting quality of life improvements, employee engagement programmes and early career initiatives are a great way to lessen the impact on future business growth.