Addressing the Issue
In a previous post, we took a hard look at how the digital talent gap is seriously impacting a company’s ability to stay competitive. We discovered that by 2020, millions of jobs will go unfilled because the right skills will be in short supply. In this post, I want to explore what strategies business leaders can employ to address this talent imbalance and what real steps they can take to counteract this impending crisis.
Tackling the Problem
In 2017, Harvey Nash, the executive search firm, and KPMG joined forces to conduct an in-depth survey of CIOs to identify the key issues driving the digital talent gap and analyze what organizations need to do to tackle the growing imbalance of supply and demand for IT talent. The survey uncovered the following findings:
- Big data, analytics, business analysis and enterprise architecture are the most in-demand or fast-growing skills and also in the shortest supply.
- Organizations need to understand what their future work will consist of in an era of digital labor and automation, and what the business needs will be in order to facilitate that evolution.
- Organizations must deeply understand their people and their competencies in order to attain the agility they need to respond swiftly.
- The number of women in IT leadership remains stagnant and needs to be addressed quickly.
Where to Start?
So, how can an organization put the right structure in place to ramp up an agile workforce and tackle the digital talent gap? The survey identified four critical steps organizations need to take to resolve this looming crisis:
- Develop the right skills for an agile workforce - An agile workforce can redeploy people to those new areas of work or new ways of working in a very fast and appropriately timed manner. Agility is being able to access the right sets of skills, behaviors, and competencies at the right time.
- Create a better employee experience - Organizations must recognize they have to truly value the talent they have and consider that those employees are now in demand and how they can compete for their attention and their contribution to the organization.
- Develop an inclusive organization - Organizations need to look at how to combat bias (e.g., the gender gap) in their organization by creating a sense of inclusion and belonging.
- Facilitate the future workforce - Organizations must continue to tackle the digital talent gap strategically and start to build and nurture the future workforce. They need to understand how to actually respond to the changing needs of the organization.
Employee Recognition: The Cornerstone
There was a line in the survey that really caught my eye, “Employee experience and employer recognition is truly an emerging field.” Despite all the tumultuous changes, this bedrock principle still remains. If an employee has a deeply satisfying workplace experience and feels thoroughly appreciated, he or she won’t be so inclined to go somewhere else. Closing the digital talent gap won’t happen if an organization isn’t wholeheartedly acknowledging and rewarding its employees. Employee recognition may indeed be the key to this entire problem.
Contact us today, and we can help you get started or help you revamp your current program.