Long before the pandemic, technological innovations had begun to outpace educational institutions’ ability to teach the technical skills needed to enter the workforce.
The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic widened this gap even further.
Almost overnight, the tech skills that were in demand pre-pandemic became crucial to survival for many businesses who suddenly needed to improve their websites, create apps, plan a digital marketing strategy, and manage remote teams. Now, many workers entering the workforce are discovering they don’t possess the technical skills they need to make them employable, and employed workers are struggling to keep up with their company’s escalating digital transformation.
How are employers handling this skills gap?
Many employers are solving this problem by reskilling and upskilling current employees. They keep their businesses functioning by teaching their workers how to effectively interact and collaborate with their colleagues and customers on digital platforms. But that strategy doesn’t work when skilled labor is needed, especially when so many job functions require an advanced technical acumen.
The pandemic has provided opportunities for both technology companies and tech teams to rethink how they hire and build a more inclusive future. They have a unique opportunity to combat the skills gap in three ways:
Make new tech accessible to all.
Technology is often expensive, and not everyone can afford to use it. Consider developing free tools to aid businesses that can’t afford the paid version. You’ll introduce potential customers to your products and create a more inclusive marketplace.
Help companies train their workers to use your products while they undergo their digital transformation. It makes good business sense to offer product support.
Help colleges and universities teach the skills desired in today’s workforce before students graduate. After all, it’s only fair. Technology companies are driving the need for new technical skills!
Hiring top tech employees in today’s job market is challenging but not impossible. If you find yourself struggling to hire great candidates, consider these tips:
1. Recruit on potential.
Look for a candidate who possesses many of the necessary technical skills but still has room to grow, and then provide the “last-mile” training to get them where you need them to be. This strategy has a bonus: employees tend to stay longer at companies that provide this training opportunity.
2. Cast a wider net.
80% of respondents to a global survey report difficulty hiring critical talent (including IT talent). Yet most workers in tech roles are white males. Creating a more inclusive hiring strategy is an effective way to source new talent and increase profit.
3. Work with a staffing agency.
Consider outsourcing your tech talent search to a professional recruiter. Working with a staffing agency can save you time and resources, especially if you need top talent—fast.