As fourth quarter rolls out, the rate of unemployment continues to decline in the Delaware Valley, increasing the steady pressure on talent acquisition. Year over year, the unemployment rate has dropped from 4.8% in 2017 to 4.1%, as reported last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The year-end countdown has begun with the waning sunlight, leaving companies in a time crunch to find highly skilled technical candidates to fill open positions or risk losing the budgeted allocation.
“It’s hard when you’re trying to resolve the immediate short-term talent shortage to think about the long game, but it is critical to staving off future skill gaps,” says Kay Durkin, founder of Phoenix Partners.
Durkin is not referring to the current skill gap, which reportedly hampers digital transformation at 54% of companies, but of predictions that by 2020, technology industries may be short more than 1.1 million skilled workers globally. Management consulting firm Korn Ferry predicts that number will quadruple by 2030 in its latest in-depth study of the global talent crunch.
“The United States is so far failing to equip the next generation with the new skills that are needed to fill large numbers of high-tech roles,” says Werner Penk, president, Global Technology Market, Korn Ferry. “As with many economies, the onus falls on companies to train workers, and also to encourage governments to rethink education programs to generate the talent pipelines the industry will require.”
The predicted talent shortages would cost the technology industries $449.7 billion in unrealized revenue, according to the Korn Ferry study.
As the demand for highly skilled technology workers skyrockets, Durkin advises her clients to take a hard look at recent research into attracting and retaining technical talent. Getting the competitive edge requires a renewed vision around training and development.
Focus on Training Today to Avoid Shortages Tomorrow
In the Korn Ferry report, the authors emphasize the need for constant learning—driven by both workers and organizations—far beyond the traditional definition of learning and development.
In another study conducted by Capgemini at the Digital Transformation Institute, over half of the technically talented respondents (55%) said they were willing to move to another organization if they feel their digital skills are stagnating at their current employer. Many of today’s employees are worried that their skills are either already redundant or soon will become so. Overall, 29% of employees believe their skill set is redundant now or will be in the next 1–2 years. At the same time, the study revealed that employees feel organizations’ training programs are not hugely effective and those who want to excel are looking beyond their organizations’ learning and development.
Nearly 60% of technical employees said they were willing to invest their own time and money to keep their skills relevant.
“This all adds up to a two-fold benefit in placing a greater emphasis on company-sponsored skill development. Highly skilled technical candidates view opportunities for enhanced skill development as a major perk. Skill development programs also increase retention, and most importantly, help bridge the future technical skill gaps,” Durkin said.
Focusing on the following four areas will help future-proof your talent acquisition efforts:
- Align leadership on a talent strategy and the unique needs of technical talent
- Create an environment that prioritizes and rewards learning
- Chart a clear career development path to retain technical talent
- Give technical talent the power to implement change
Do you need help filling open positions that require highly-skilled technical candidates? Talk to Phoenix Partners today.