Sidestep a 'Perfect Storm' Brewing in the Talent Market with a More Strategic Approach to Staffing
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Every company in today's business environment is looking to transform digitally as they seek to better engage with customers, fans, patients, enable employees and automate operations. To do that, organizations need sharp technologists capable of driving innovation, collaboration and execution.
But the rapid pace of change in today's technology landscape — paired with increased competition for highly skilled talent and a reshuffling of talent brought about by hybrid work environments — is making it incredibly difficult to find those resources, let alone hire and retain them. Attrition is at an all time high especially for technical resources.
In fact, most customers we engage with say finding and hiring deep technical talent and digital advisors stands as their biggest challenge. Plainly stated: There just aren't enough skilled professionals to meet the demand which is inflating in-house recruiting costs and blocking businesses from advancing key digital and IT initiatives.
And as the barrage of technology continues to accelerate, the challenge of finding critical talent will only intensify — nearly 150 million new IT jobs are expected to be created over the next few years as organizations modernize IT infrastructure, shift the division of labor between humans and machines, and adopt a more automated, data-driven way of doing business.
Think of the investments you've made — or plan to make — in automation, digital transformation, cloud, edge computing, artificial intelligence, data science or cybersecurity. Do you have the required human capital to implement those solutions at scale? Do you have the people power to tackle ambitious digital initiatives moving forward?
For many, the answer is no. And considering top talent rarely stays on the market for longer than 10 days (even as the average IT/design job takes more than 50 days to fill), hiring managers are being forced to move faster than ever
Traditional staffing agencies can fill chairs but are often limited in their ability to truly drive business outcomes. And high-profile consultants come with a hefty price tag for resources that may be disconnected from your business and culture.
Business leaders need a smarter approach to supporting their unique tech environment with resources that can enable the business and drive innovation to move forward.
Talent strategy is not simply a numbers game. It's about finding the right talent — at the right time — and inserting them into the right scenarios based on demand to meet your fluid short- and long-term business objectives.
Scalability — both up and down — will be important in cost-effectively managing your bottom line while embracing the pace of change in this fast moving digital economy.
For example, you may have a need for a cyber or chief digital strategist along with several top technical architects to lead the design and implementation of a comprehensive global program. You may need these high-end resources for maybe six or twelve months, not six to eight years. Once the high-end resource is finished with the job, a more junior-level resource or team of resources should be brought in to operate and maintain. This approach can be very cost effective and scalable while driving real business outcomes.
McKinsey analysis found nearly 90 percent of business leaders are not prepared to address the skill gap in seven key areas:
- Platforms and products
- Customer experience
- Cybersecurity and privacy
- Data management
That's on par with what we're hearing from our clients, but it's also dramatically oversimplifying the situation.
Organizations rarely ask for just a cyber or digital resource. Given the complexity of today's technical industry, organizations need specialized, high-end skillsets. Moreover, those professionals need to be well-versed in how their expertise interoperates with other technologies to enable the required business objectives.
Every company that embarks on digital transformation and IT modernization is exposed to a variety of headwinds, not least of which being talent acquisition, retention and development.
With over 30 years' experience helping the world's largest, most innovative companies tackle their most complex business and technology challenges, we've established a unique understanding of how IT deep technical expertise blended with business strategist and advisors can drive digital transformation.
We've extended that expertise to many of our customers, helping them connect with the right IT talent and management resources at the right time across an array of domains — from infrastructure, networking and data center to cloud, cyber and application development.
Our technologists and consultants have experience across vertical markets and customer bases, giving them tremendous perspective into how unique, market leading solutions from one industry might apply and work to deliver differentiated digital business outcomes in another segment.
Many organizations will look to reskill their employees, but the window of opportunity to reskill or upskill your workforce, according to a World Economic Forum report, is shrinking relative to the speed at which your business needs to move.
We've developed a unique capacity to help them bridge their most pressing talent gaps by leveraging the best of what our Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Platform has to offer — from our lab capabilities and subject matter expertise to our strategic partnerships and world class culture.
Over the years, the ATC Platform has morphed into a tool organizations lean on to make smart technology decisions fast and accelerate digital transformation. There is no other platform in the world that features:
- Insight and intellectual capital that reaches into every sector of the economy.
- Industry-leading partnerships with the world's largest OEMs and emerging technology companies and innovators.
- Independent and informed guidance with a customer-centric approach.
What does this mean for our clients utilizing our strategic resourcing capabilities?
- Expertise that helps unlock productivity and innovation trapped in overburdened and short-handed project teams.
- Mentorship that can help guide and upskill employees to optimize technology investments made in critical and emerging technologies.
- Accountability in defining and driving towards desired business outcomes that cover all teams and roles.
- Execution and delivery to help drive mission-critical projects across the finish line with completely sourced project teams or a single resource who can act as the missing link.
- Flexibility to scale up and down your IT team on the fly without having to add full-time headcount.
- Confidence the resources deployed are able to help drive business objectives from day one thanks to our 24/7/365 reach back support that helps our experts globally with troubleshooting, questions/guidance, cutover and go-live support.
Attrition is going to be a challenge for organizations moving forward for reasons already mentioned. Culture will play a pivotal role in mitigating that trend from both a recruitment and retention standpoint.
The health and vibrancy of your culture and engagement of your employees have direct impacts on your organization's ability to innovate and adapt. Culture is not separate from the business; it is, quite literally, the business, and should therefore play a critical role when evaluating and adding talent.
Despite the need for urgency, business leaders should remain careful not to move so swiftly that they put their culture at risk by lowering your standards in regards to values and behaviors, which may end up being destructive and actually exacerbate the challenge by turning others off.
Our ability to find, hire and retain great people is directly related to our culture and leadership philosophies, collectively known as our Integrated Management and Leadership (IML) program. And we apply the same level of rigor and discipline we use in finding our own talent to ensure we're finding the right people for our clients.
We're not in the business of simply delivering people for the sake of filling seats. Our emphasis on culture delivers resources capable of developing and scaling a culture that amplifies creative, innovative thinking and real business outcomes
Perhaps counterintuitively, many experts say human talent becomes more valuable as technology evolves. Humans — not robots or artificial intelligence software or some other technology — will always be needed to brainstorm new ideas, inspire others and drive organizations to succeed.
In a previous article, I've written that organizations must align business with technology, seamlessly connecting physical and digital experiences with the ultimate goal of delivering differentiated business outcomes.
But without a deep pool of talent, business leaders will be hard pressed to implement those digital experiences at scale.