Four Strategies to Combat the Talent Shortage

Hiring fatigue is a real thing. In April the US had 9 million open jobs.*

That’s a record.

And according to CompTIA, employer job postings for open IT positions surpassed 365,000 in May, the highest monthly total since September 2019. Software and application developers, IT support specialists, systems engineers and architects and project managers are among the positions in highest demand.

The shortage of tech talent is not new, but the dynamics have changed.

Businesses were forced to cram a decade’s worth of tech adoption and digital transformation into a single whirlwind year.

During the pandemic, the demand for skills grew as most companies turned to the cloud to uphold operations and stay connected to their customers. As Larry English outlined in Forbes earlier this month, businesses were forced to cram a decade’s worth of tech adoption and digital transformation into a single whirlwind year.

According to Indeed’s 2021 job data, the demand to hire cloud experts has reached an unprecedented rate, causing many organizations like Securian Financial to focus on retraining and upskilling existing employees to support their migration to the cloud.

In A Cloud Guru’s State of Cloud Learning report, 8 in 10 cloud leaders say lack of internal skills hinders successful cloud deployments.

But even tier 1 & 2 IT positions are becoming hard to fill.

Why? Because responsibilities are shifting and organizations have been forced to evolve more quickly than planned. Seth Robinson, senior director for technology analysis at CompTIA stated, “the need for high quality, high availability technical support is heightened as the importance of technology in daily operations and long-term strategic planning is elevated.”

What Must Organizations Do?

Evolve. If your organization’s hiring practices haven’t evolved at the same pace (or greater) than other areas of the business, you’re likely going to lose out on talent. As an IT leader, it’s time to start speaking up and collaborating with your HR leaders to rewrite old-school philosophies and practices around hiring.

Here are four strategies that could help:

1. Consider upskilling and/or certifying existing employees with the aptitude and desire to grow.

2. Work with your staffing partner(s) to find qualified talent. If you’re working with a good partner, you should only have to review a few resumes and sit in a few interviews before you’re ready to make an offer. Your partner should be making your hiring processes easier and more efficient – if they aren’t, consider if it’s time to re-evaluate.  

3. Consider your requirements. Is a four-year degree really needed for that role? Don’t disqualify an excellent candidate just because they don’t check all the boxes.  Ask your staffing partner if they’d help get the individual certified, or consider making it a piece of your comp package. Candidates value the ability to grow and receive new certifications – especially if their employer is willing to pay for it.

4. Consider what’s preventing you from winning talent – is it pay, location, certifications, education? Get creative and be flexible.

Interested in collaborating with Paragon on how to improve your hiring practices? A good partner knows what's preventing you from attracting talent and should be able to help you identify actionable solutions.

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