Creating Tech Talent and Coping with the Skills Shortage

Naveed Malik, Regional Director, EMEA Channel Partnerships at monday.com, reckons it’s all up-skill from here and offers ideas on diverse teams, training and more.

The technology industry has undergone significant changes over the last few years. The rising demand for skilled talent has spread widely across Europe and the rest of the world as more non-tech companies invest in their technology infrastructure. 

As digital transformation continues to accelerate, so does the demand for tech skills. A recent BCS State of the Nation report highlighted this struggle, revealing that there were more than 64,000 unfilled positions in UK tech jobs in the third quarter of last year – up by 191% in the same period during 2020.

Since companies are struggling to find the talent they are looking for, it is high time that businesses step into not just looking for talent, but creating it too. Here are some tips I believe the industry needs to take in order to cope with the talent shortage.

Widening Our Lens in Tech Recruitment 

The phrase “tech skills shortage” is somewhat of a misnomer in that, beyond the fight for new technically skilled candidates in areas like coding and software development, the future of the high-tech industry also relies on an entirely different list of professions. This means everyone from salespeople, business development and consultants to marketing professionals and employee recruiters. Failing to create a foundation of these roles is like building a sports car without a steering wheel.

But what do these roles look like today? With the transition to online and digital, what it means to be a salesperson, for example, looks completely different from just two years ago. In the past two years, companies and their customers have become increasingly distributed – thus changing the nature of how companies connect with potential customers. It’s less about in-person meetings and experiences, and instead about learning how to create that same trust in a hybrid environment. This requires a new set of skills.

Locating the right people for these roles is more easily said than done though. For instance, despite every tech company needing an account executive with proven experience, the process of gaining experience in a field that doesn’t have dedicated training makes recruiting even harder. Additionally, if those candidates do have experience, companies find themselves fighting tooth and nail for just one candidate.

Fostering a Growth Mindset to Create Diverse Teams

In order to approach the recruitment of roles in and around tech holistically, companies need to ensure they are facilitating a diverse pool of talent to pick from. This means fostering a culture and mindset that encourages diversity, growth and individuality.

For years recruiters have focused on finding ready-made talent, but in doing this, they have missed out on benefiting from talent with all the potential and no technical background. Companies need to address how they recruit and foster new and existing talent so that they can widen the group of people that make up their teams and give opportunities to those without tech experience a viable pathway to a career in tech.

This focus on a growth mindset is a key part of creating a thriving future for the tech industry and if companies start to work together for the industry as a whole – it is a goal we can achieve much quicker, ensuring that potential turns into top performance.

Collaboration and Creating Talent 

Once you have the people with the right mindset, you need to train them. Lots of these people are even working for you. Some tech companies are already coming up with their own solutions to reskill and train new and old talent. In addition to efforts to address the skills gap by the UK government and its universities, many organisations are already contributing to the creation of tech talent both for their business and the industry as a whole. This alternative model for training employees has resulted in businesses investing their money to create their own coding boot camps, training academies and apprenticeships.

The advantage of these programmes is that they give employees and potential applicants access to real-life business insights from people that are solving some of the biggest challenges in the industry.

For companies, these kinds of training models also give them the opportunity to immediately employ candidates after the program has finished – significantly speeding up the recruitment and training processes. This in turn, also translates to saved time and resources.

Businesses have a big role to play in providing new and existing employees with the space to develop well-needed tech skills. As the industry continues to grow, it is an opportunity for companies to collaborate in creating greater opportunities for more people in the tech industry and beyond.

By Naveed Malik, Regional Director, EMEA Channel Partnerships, monday.com.

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