We live in a digital-driven era, where we witness advancements in technology almost daily. With the rapid changes around the globe, enterprises are experiencing a skill gap among employees. A report published by McKinsey & Company states that approximately 375 million people changed their field of work to meet the expectations of their employers. Another recent study found that a whopping 93% of businesses indicate the presence of an IT skills gap.
These statistics depict the difference between the workforce’s demands and the companies’ requirements. Organizations are facing challenges in finding IT professionals with the modern skills required by businesses. Therefore, it is crucial to address the cause and effect of the IT skill gaps and bridge it with appropriate strategies.
An Overview of IT Skills Gap
According to Forbes, the skills gap is the difference between the requirements of an organization or wants its employees to do and what the employees can do. You can apply skills to any area of business, such as hard skills, including sales, business, IT and finance and soft skills, including time management and interpersonal communication.
IT has become the backbone of businesses in the present century. The IT skills include a broad set of skills. It includes general operations and systems knowledge and communication required to run a help desk, programming in various languages, and maintaining IT personnel and IT philosophies, such as DevOps and Agile. When we talk about the IT skills gap, the skills required by companies vary with their specific jobs.
IT skills are the most significant issue in aligning IT with business services. Many CIOs report that the IT skills gap applies to employees and candidates with a higher degree in their IT teams. The IT skills gap continues in 2019 with rising demand and inadequate supply. Despite technological advancements, organizations rely on the human workforce for creative problem-solving.
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Reason Why Your Organization Has IT Skills Gap
Enlisted are the reasons why most organizations around the globe are experiencing an IT skills gap.
Learning IT skills is changing
Today, more students opt for short-term IT courses that leave them short of degrees. The lack of formal degrees forces the organization to miss the talent pool. Further, the short-term degrees and the boot camps focus primarily on programming skills and less time on business know-how, affecting the candidates’ soft skills for a position.
Increase in the need for IT
Earlier, only the traditional businesses levied on technology. However, today, the scenario is different, and industries beyond business, such as healthcare and education, require vast IT. Cloud computing and artificial intelligence solutions are the primary drivers for the trend. Your organization might not require developing and deploying an in-house technology solution. Instead, you can opt for the available SaaS services as an affordable OPEX.
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Specialization within IT is double-edged
The students enrolling in IT courses specialize in a couple of areas. However, companies requiring a few specialized areas overlook candidates with broader commercial and technological backgrounds. Besides, the technology landscape is also constantly evolving; therefore, people with limited skills must learn new trends to sustain themselves in the market.
Strategies to Implement to Bridge the IT Skills Gap
Enlisted are the five ways you can address your organization’s IT skills gap.
Looking beyond the right skills
While your employee must possess organizational skills and experience, the drive to learn something new is a more significant quality. Determine the abilities they gained beyond their academic courses and how they upgrade themselves. Remember, you can never bridge the gap by hiring people reluctant to learn new skills. When recruiting employees, your hiring manager must go through every resume and select candidates with an aptitude for specific-related technologies and the potential to learn new skills.
As a manager, you must hire candidates with an appetite for learning, as it helps bridge the skills gap in your organization. Besides, you must encourage and offer your employees learning resources to help them learn modern skills. Support your employees to take online classes and set up programs to fund their education.
Bringing new skills to your team
Are you facing trouble in finding employees possessing modern skills? You can always approach the other way. Yes, we are talking about bringing modern skills to your current team. Remember, your employees know your business, which helps you eliminate the onboarding time and expense of bringing in new talent. However, proper education is the only way to accomplish the goal. For instance, web application development requires skills in web security, cloud architecture, responsive design, API integration and others. Instead of hiring various developers with different skill sets, you can opt for developing platforms that would bring modern developments to your employees.
Changing attitude toward acquiring and retaining talent
For most organizations, HR departments are responsible for finding and hiring new talents, and when there is a skills gap, it is the HR department’s problem. In reality, talent acquisition must be a high-level effort. Although most companies consider recruiting for an HR job, recruiting extraordinary talent requires excellent leadership. With effective strategies and growth plans, recruitment is a priority management function. While HR might implement it, management must lead it.
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Flexibility with location and hours
Bridging the skills gap is a two-step process. The first step is to attract excellent talent and then retain the talent. However, many companies fail to fulfill the second part. How can you retain your best employees? Offering flexibility is an excellent start.
Businesses across all industries and locations are fast-faced than you think. Even with an IT skills gap in your organization, your competitors will overtake you in the market. However, you must identify the exact problems and develop an effective strategy to bridge the gap. Experts believe that the root of the gap lies in the educational system, which hasn’t evolved to meet the demands of modern employers. We hope the tips mentioned above will help bridge the IT skills gap in your organization.