Organizations everywhere dread having to fill multiple openings, but in the IT industry the trepidation is compounded. There is a disconnect in IT, with the growing demand for newer skills separating from the smaller pool of available niche talent. In fact, only 20% of workers have the skills required for 60% of jobs opening in the next 5-10 years. Despite this grim outlook, there is no need for worry as long as proactive measures are enacted.
Here are several solutions to the IT skills gap that can keep your company competitive and thriving for years to come.
Invest in Internal Professional Development
Looking internally at regular training procedures is often the first step in battling the IT skills gap, and that means scrutinizing and overhauling professional development measures. Ideally you’re already looking to the future of the workplace and know what skills you need immediately with a strong idea of ones you will need in the near future. With this knowledge, a detailed and regular professional development process can be enacted.
Are some members of your team already experts in a certain area? Have them lead hands-on training sessions with employees that need the knowledge. Do you lack a certain skill completely on your team? Reach out to an industry professional or consultant to come in on a monthly basis and to help create a plan of action to build employees’ expertise in that skill. Regardless of the exact implementation, the act of holding regular productive teaching sessions with your employees in specific, well-defined skill sets will close the gap over time.
Encourage Outside Learning
It is necessary to foster a culture of continuous learning to close the IT skills gap. Looking not only inside, but outside the organization will help to quicken the pace and best round out employees. Despite many job-seekers believing themselves to be overqualified, 73% of managers report trouble finding experienced workers to fill roles. Investing in education can help avoid this situation in your organization. Consider contributing to a portion of formal education for employees, even if it is partial reimbursement.
Approving and paying for certain certifications are an excellent alternative to longer formal education programs or degrees. Certifications are a faster and cheaper way of injecting new skills into your business while providing professional growth to the employee. Additionally, it is important to think outside of the box when it comes to learning. There are various IT skills competitions and challenges that can push an employee to learn new skills, as well as tech conferences such as TechServe Alliance that can do a good job of filling in knowledge gaps.
Taking a look at the internal internship program of your organization is a natural consideration when thinking about learning and closing the IT skills gap. Don’t have a formal internship program, or is it currently a bit unorganized in nature? It can do wonders to build relationships with career advisors at local colleges and universities. Not only will this provide you with a fresh pool of talent, but a solid internship program will help transition college students and graduates into a full-time permanent position with the skills they need to succeed.
Turn to a Staffing Firm
While there are measures an organization can take internally and in their community in looking for a solution to the IT skills gap, it may ultimately be best to partner with an experienced staffing firm that can locate experts for any skill that is needed. Reports indicate that , and a staffing firm can rapidly pinpoint workers to fulfill these tasks.
Not only can a staffing firm save an organization a drastic amount of time, but it can also provide a large cost savings as well. It takes a great financial effort to put together training sessions that constantly follow industry trends and new skills. Having someone that can simply hand you the perfect talent will avoid a costly overhaul process that is not guaranteed to produce results. Staffing firms are also able to provide temporary workforces, as contingent workforces are an excellent way to obtain specialized talent when needed.
A Solution to the IT Skills Gap
In spite of the challenge facing the industry today, there is a solution to the IT skills gap. Begin with an eye at improving the entire timeline of an employee from revamping the hiring process, to professional development and investing in outside learning. As this process improves over time, there is the comfort of knowing that a knowledgeable staffing firm is standing by to quickly provide you with the expert talent required.
Need assistance in locating the specialized talent necessary to fill your IT roles? Contact EdgeLink today.