Mind the gap: The digital talent deficit

The surge of rapid digital transformation has created a shortage of key skills in the labour market, with the battle for technology talent becoming a digital war. Every business is becoming a tech business, and in this candidate-driven market, organisations need to differentiate themselves to appeal to talent.

According to KPMG’s CIO Survey, 65% of CIOs feel that the technology skills shortage is the greatest it’s been in a decade, and the lack of specific digital skills in areas deemed critical to future growth is acute.

In larger enterprises, technology talent acquisition and retention are imperative to becoming IT-centric. Digital transformation is no longer a merely competitive factor, but a matter of survival. The specialised talent gap affects businesses in various ways; from operational implications that affect hiring budgets and timelines, to innovation being halted – ultimately affecting the growth of businesses.

Consulting firm Korn Ferry predicts a global shortage of 85 million skilled workers by the year 2030, representing an $8 trillion loss of revenue opportunities worldwide. There is no disputing the labour gap entirely, but some organisations still aren’t addressing the problem the right way.

 

 

With the era of employee choice being ever present, businesses need to better cater to employee needs. This includes adapting and embracing remote working opportunities, more flexible working environments, and other support employees will need.

The shortage of tech skills poses a great challenge for companies, especially smaller companies seeking to hire applicants with the right skill set. As the demand for engineers with the right skill set continues to skyrocket, companies with a bigger budget and prestige have an edge in attracting these applicants. Therefore, the tech giants have a greater chance of attracting applicants with the right skill set than smaller companies.

Businesses will need to craft their talent strategies with the same degree of care and attention as their business strategies. A foundational step is to look at the workforce more strategically. By identifying the roles and skills that will be needed in the future, companies can find the most effective and creative ways to acquire and nurture the right talent.

This demand for digital skills won’t slow down and likely won’t reverse for at least the next 10 years. Every business will be required to compete in the digital talent war, and should actively be thinking about ways to draw in, retain and grow their technology talent.

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