Between the 56 million Baby Boomers retiring in the next few years and the cost of childcare for younger professionals, the labor shortage in this country is a bit alarming. Add to this the skills gap in the IT industry, and you have the perfect storm of potential shortages in the technology world in the coming months and years. Today’s blog is taking a deeper look at the ongoing skills gaps in the IT industry and how your business can prevent the shortage from negatively impacting your business both long and short-term.
What Is the IT Skills Gap?
For a moment, think about the technology your home or business possesses. Most likely, (unless you have avoided innovating,) you’ve noticed that the technology has evolved at a breakneck speed. Even our smartphones are evolving with each new release. So imagine for a moment how the software and hardware at any given business, small or large, is also changing at a phenomenal speed. TechTarget online describes the IT skills gap as, “a mismatch between the knowledge an employer needs to meet business objectives and the capabilities of the organization's employees.” Business leaders and owners need to be aware of this skills gap and take measures to prevent that gap from negatively impacting your organization. Even now, C-level executives struggle to locate and retain skilled and highly qualified tech talent, especially individuals with application development, and network virtualization specialists. Skill gaps also exist for certain IT security professionals, such as mobile device security, risk management and cloud security specialists.
Combating the Gap
There are a few ways that business leaders can attempt to keep the gap from widening including retaining talented professionals, encouraging skilled graduates to join your team, and training or retraining current employees to fill the changing needs in your IT department.
With key IT skills in short supply, it’s a smart strategy to retain your team as much as possible. If an IT specialist is feeling unappreciated, underpaid, or unchallenged, they may set their sights on a more lucrative position. In this post-pandemic world, many skilled IT professionals have gotten used to flexible work hours, hybrid workplaces, and a better home-life balance. Be sure to consider these things when annual reviews come up as well. Being more flexible can mean a world of difference to someone who faces a lengthy commute.
Investing in ongoing paid training for your IT department can pay off well into the future. By allowing current loyal employees to learn on the job or through extended classes you will be securing your foothold on the future of technology. To build a world-class innovative IT team, you may need to spend some money to continually train and encourage your team to continue to learn. The reality is, if they don’t, your business could be outpaced by others.
Recruit Recent Graduates
Computer science and engineering majors often have multiple offers upon graduation from a college or university. Your businesses may have a better chance to recruit these talented individuals by making inroads at some of the higher educational organizations by way of internships throughout the school year. Many colleges offer co-op opportunities that will give your business an opportunity to get to know some of these students before they are scooped up by the top ten companies. Does your organization need ongoing training? Talk to our team about keeping your team well trained to avoid the skills gap that so many professionals are facing.