The digital transformation of companies around the world is leading to a growing demand for skilled personnel. Companies are therefore faced with the challenge of not only finding technology talent, but also retaining it.
As highlighted in an IT Talent report, the number of recruitments for technology profiles increased by 55% in 2022 in comparison with the previous year. This indicates that companies are increasingly aware of the importance of being able to rely on a team specialising in information and communications technology (ICT) to increase their competitiveness and productivity.
In 2019 more than 40% of IT professionals were recruited by companies that didn’t form part of the technology sector, according to the Harvard Business Review. These profiles are no longer required exclusively by technology companies.
The imbalance between supply and demand for technological professionals
The technological transformation of all kinds of companies and organisations is outpacing the generation of digital talent, given that there aren’t enough professionals to fill so many vacancies. As indicated in the 2022 Digital Talent Overview, a report that compiles data on the lack of technological professionals in 2021, the demand for digital talent had increased by 43%. However, over the last year, the supply of professionals available on the market has risen by only 11%.
Given this state of affairs, according to the National Institute of Statistics, 47% of companies had problems filling ICT positions in 2021. Another study conducted by DigitalES, the Spanish Association for Digitisation, estimated the existence of around 120,000 unfilled positions in the technology sector in the initial months of 2022.
Why is there such a shortage of technological talent?
There are several reasons why companies are unable to find technological talent, and a chief one is the shortage of it. This affects not only technology companies, but also firms in other sectors that are attempting to implement the digital transformation in their production systems.
The problem lies in the traditional education system, which isn’t always prepared to keep pace with the technological advances and digital skills required by organisations. The 2020 World Economic Forum advanced some theories in this respect, such as the one indicating that 50% of all employees will need to be re-skilled by 2025.
Moreover, the large multinationals are monopolising much of the world’s digital talent. Amazon has become the second-largest employer in the United States, publishing more than 40,000 job offers for corporate and technological positions in 2021 alone, as well as 10,000 in other countries, while, at the end of the same year, Meta announced that it intended to create around 10,000 vacancies in the European Union over five years.
In addition to excess demand, another reason why companies aren’t retaining digital talent in Spain is the existence of salary increases in other European countries such as Germany, France, England and Ireland.
How to compete for technological talent
Improving working conditions, establishing employee benefit programmes, investing in updated training plans and addressing levers of attraction are some recommendations for finding, attracting and retaining the attention of digital talent.
A strong and attractive corporate culture. Having a strong corporate culture is a major advantage in such a competitive environment. Corporate culture encompasses the implicit values of how a company operates, influencing the working environment, crisis management, leadership and internal communication.
Companies should focus on developing a strong and positive corporate culture and then build a dynamic reputation with attractive values. Most technological candidates look for real corporate values from the very first stage of accepting a job offer onwards.
Develop recruitment strategies. Companies must devote resources to identifying the best methods for finding digital talent. In this regard, social media have become essential tools for recruiters of technological professionals, including LinkedIn, which has become the social network of choice for this profile. Organisations have to make sure that they nurture their brand image on this platform, use the advanced search fields to filter by studies, experience, languages, etc. and handle specific functions to contact and monitor the selection process.
Offer social benefit programmes for employees. According to the data in the latest Global Benefits Attitudes Survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson among employees in 23 countries, remuneration, job security and flexibility are the most highly-valued social benefits for IT profiles within a company.
Moreover, implementing social benefit programmes helps to cover their needs and interests by increasing the “emotional” bond of workers, preventing them from “fleeing” to other companies, reducing absenteeism, improving productivity and attracting the attention of new profiles.
Invest in updated training plans. If there’s one thing technological professionals excel at, it’s being constantly up-to-date. Therefore, putting training plans in place is an excellent strategy for attracting and retaining this talent.
The workers thus acquire new knowledge and skills to improve their professional profiles. As a result, organisations can rely on up-to-date, competitive and prepared teams when it comes to facing any new technological challenges that arise.