Overcoming IT skills shortages

Recent high profile security breaches have made the world of IT firm front page news. As a result, the race to acquire and retain scarce IT skills has never been so intense.

Yet, as organisations grapple to find solutions, they face a widening talent shortage that further complicates an already difficult situation. So much so, that our 11th annual Talent Shortage Survey revealed that 40% of employers globally are having difficulty filling job vacancies. This is the highest talent shortage since 2007.

A critical issue in the tech world is demand for key IT talent outpacing worldwide growth in the talent pool. As a result, a comprehensive training and development programme for existing employees is more critical than ever.

Employers understand this. In fact, we’ve seen a marked rise in the number of businesses who are focusing on internal training and development in order to fill IT skills gaps. Our 2015 survey found that just one in five employers were prioritising training and development to fill skills gaps. This year, that number has more than doubled to over half.

The silver bullet for IT skills shortages?

Nonetheless, when it comes to upskilling, there’s no silver bullet. After all, IT employees at different levels want – and need – vastly different kinds of training. As a result, organisations need to review each element of their talent shortages separately, and then craft a training strategy that aligns.

At Experis, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing for one of our clients, a leading telecommunications provider. We’re helping them to bridge their skills gaps, by building job-specific training programme and opening up a brand new talent pool for them.

Nurturing the teachable fit

The participants on this training and development scheme have what we call a ‘teachable fit’. Their skills aren’t quite where they need to be from a technical perspective. However, these knowledge gaps can be easily filled with training and ongoing support.

Our first cohort of participants included IT graduates. We’ve employed them as employed consultants, and trained them up in Python and some additional relevant testing skills. They’re now taking part in a two-year fixed term contract with our client; while we provide all the support they need – through classroom-based training, online resources, and ongoing coaching to develop them into the perfect match for the role.

This is a flexible model, which completely aligns with the unique needs of each role within a clients’ organisation. It’s ideal for organisations that are unable to run a technical programme of this kind themselves. And, most importantly, by considering individuals who have a ‘teachable fit’ the organisation has a brand new talent pool to tap.

If you’d like to find out more about this new way of working, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Experis here.