In a Market Short on Skills, You Cannot Afford to Stand Still
In today’s digital age, the people you hire into technology jobs has a huge bearing on your bottom line. While many may not be customer-facing, tech staff are the backbone of your organization. They are the ones who design, develop, and maintain crucial technology and systems – without which your organization could not operate.
The Critical Nature of Capability in Technology Jobs
The capability of your tech employees has a direct bearing on your ability to take advantage of emerging technologies, like digitization, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The technology that will improve your organizational agility, speed of change, work processes, and productivity.
In its report ‘Are we long – or short – of talent?’, McKinsey & Company has found that 60% of executives believe that half their workforce will need to be replaced or retrained within five years. If your organization expects to gain competitive advantage via its technical capability, it won’t happen without the people who can deliver your strategy. As McKinsey says in its report:
“What might seem like an irritating talent gap today could prove a fatal competitive liability in the not-too-distant future.”
Marrying Organizational and Individual Capability
Your organization’s capability can be described as the ability to deliver across two distinct functions:
- Technical – your functional competence
- Social – your leadership competence
When your technical and social competencies are combined, you deliver the capability of the individuals within your organization. Without these competencies, your organization’s potential is damaged, and it will cease to benefit from competitive advantage. For example:
- If you have no project management skills, you will not be able to deliver projects successfully
- If the teams in your organization are not well-led, they will not deliver the promise of the sum of their individual members
How Can Your Organization to Improve its Potential?
As highlighted by McKinsey’s research, within five years your existing employees will no longer exhibit the competencies to maintain your competitive advantage. The question, then, is how can you improve your potential?
The answer, of course, is to embrace strategies today that deliver a continuous improvement in the technical and social competences of your individual employees. There are four ways to make this happen:
1. Training and Development of Existing Employees
An important internal strategy, providing training and development opportunities for employees will help to deliver improvements in individual, team, and organizational capabilities. However, this is a time-consuming strategy that takes energy and commitment.
There are also no guarantees that your people will not take advantage of their personal development and seek new opportunities that may become available for their newly acquired skills.
2. Hire the Skillset You Need
The second strategy is to hire the skills that you need. However, as you have probably experienced, the skills shortage makes this increasingly difficult. In its 2019 Emerging Risks Survey, Gartner describes the shortage of tech skills as the number one challenge facing IT leaders today.
To beat the competition to sign highly competent candidates, in a market that is suffering from a shortage of talent and a growth in demand for that talent, you must develop recruitment strategies that attract talent.
3. ‘Borrow’ the Talent You Need
The quickest way to deliver the competencies your organization needs is to ‘borrow’ them. Especially for short- to medium-term needs, contract hiring options can deliver immediate returns on your investment.
4. Rinse and Repeat
Remove poor performers, retain top performers, and hire for new talent. Rinse and repeat. This should be a continual process within organizations, though, of course, one which you should also try to avoid. If you are having to let too many people go because they are performing below expectations, then it is likely that your hiring process needs to be re-engineered.
The Difference That Talent Can Make
By hiring the right people, your organization will boost its competitiveness across many characteristics. These include:
· Speed and Agility
You will improve your capability to recognize new market opportunities and deliver the products and services needed to take advantage of them.
Talented employees are natural self-developers who thrive on taking responsibility and ownership. This accountability drives problem-solving capability, collaboration, and creativity.
Individuals who are forward-looking focus on what could be rather than what has been. They continually seek to improve products and services, delighting internal and external stakeholders.
When your organization employs for leadership qualities, they employ people who think strategically, share knowledge and experience, and who are capable of ideation.
Imparting their knowledge, experience, and expertise, high-quality employees help to improve the competencies of those around them. This leads to improvements in experimentation, the generation of new ideas, and cross-functional collaboration.
· Diversity and Inclusion
Research shows that hiring for diversity and inclusion has many benefits, including improving the workplace culture , developing better relationships with customers, driving financial performance, and improving your reputation as an employer (and consequently your ability to attract the best talent).
So, Who Should You Hire into Technology Jobs?
Many organizations make the mistake of hiring candidates who look like those they already employ. They take the view that the success they have experienced to date will be replicated by people with the same qualities and characteristics as those they currently employ. This is not the case.
Only by hiring diverse candidates who bring something new to the table – different thoughts and ideas, experiences, and expertise, for example – can your organization grow. It is these people who will help you develop the new competitiveness that will drive your success and financial results, through a period during which hiring of talent will become more difficult and increasingly critical.
At Irvine Technology, we introduce our clients to a large pool of talented candidates, from diverse backgrounds and industries. Candidates with the technical and social competencies to enhance your organizational capability. Candidates who will help drive your results to new levels.