Incentra Insights

Employee Recognition and the Widening Digital Talent Gap

Posted by David Chittock on Feb 9, 2018 11:00:00 AM

findrightpeopleThe Growing Talent Shortage

Well, it looks like we’ve got a serious problem on our hands! There is no question that we are facing a severe talent crisis in our workforce. It’s called the digital talent gap. We addressed this in our last blog post when we cited several ominous statistics.

  • There are currently 6.2 million job openings in America that are unfilled.
  • Companies can't find the right workers with the right skills at the right time.
  • By 2020, 1 to 2.5 million jobs in tech will lie vacant due to a talent shortage.

How will this impact our ability to build a productive and engaged workforce if we’re not able to attract and retain the necessary talent? We decided to take a deeper dive into what’s really happening to the talent pool and how companies will be affected by this crisis. 

Not Just an HR Problem

What we found were some eye opening facts. The talent shortage is much more than a recruiting problem or even an IT related issue. The digital talent gap is an organization-wide phenomenon that affects all areas of business. Digital talent refers to individuals who possess proficiency in at least one of the 24 hard digital skills and in at least four of the eight soft digital skills. So what are we talking about here?

  • Hard digital skills include such areas as advanced analytics, automation, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.
  • Soft digital skills such as customer-centricity, collaboration, communications and passion for learning are also growing in demand by most organizations.

So, how widespread is this problem?

Some Disconcerting Research

Recently, Capgemini and Linked-In conducted a joint study to analyze the demand and supply of digital talent. Here is what they found:

  • The digital talent gap is widening. Over half (54%) of organizations agreed that the digital talent gap is hampering their transformation programs and that their organization has lost competitive advantage because of a shortage of digital talent.
  • Skills redundancy fears could drive attrition. Overall, 29% of employees believe their skill set is redundant now or will be in the next one to two years.
  • The talent gap in soft digital skills is more pronounced than in hard digital skills. People with experience in soft digital skills are an increasingly important characteristic of a well-rounded digital professional.
  • Although 51% of employers identified an absence of hard digital skills in their organization, 59% recognized a lack of soft digital skills amongst employees.
  • Seven out of ten digitally talented employees (72%) prefer to join organizations that have an entrepreneurial, start-up like culture that promotes agility and flexibility.
  • Digital talent is unlikely to thrive in an environment that lacks freedom to experiment and fail. Innovation will also suffer if a culture of experimentation does not exist.

Where Do We Go From Here?

In our next post, we’ll investigate how organizations can strategically address the imbalance of supply and demand for emerging skills. We’ll also look at what steps HR needs to take to create the right employee experience and close the digital gap. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions.

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Categories: Employee Recognition