From the United States to the U.K. to Japan, there’s a significant IT skills shortage. The gap isn’t new, but it’s become more of a challenge as demand for technology outpaces the market’s ability to provide it.
Innovation continues to churn at a rapid pace, with next-generation solutions becoming a part of every aspect of a business. Employers—and educational institutions—can’t keep with the demand. Colleges churn out thousands of tech-savvy graduates every year—and we become more tech-savvy as citizens as well—but it’s still not enough.
It’s an issue many solution providers know all too well. Whether you operate in a small town or a thriving metropolis, finding knowledgeable technical staff to work for you—and stay with you—is a challenge. But it’s not impossible. Here are three ways we’ve identified to help you work through any skills gap issues to ensure that you’re able to provide your customers with the technical support they need:
Don’t Train, Retrain
Most companies invest in training their employees, but many go about it the wrong way. Are you spending your education budget in way that’s helping your business? For example, are you only certifying your employees on the products you already sell, or are you also teaching them about the latest technologies, things you may not even sell but would gain a first-mover advantage on if you did so. Employees want to learn about the latest and greatest—IoT, cybersecurity, mobility. Retraining your employees in high-growth, high-demand technologies keeps them more engaged—and helps distinguish you from your competition.
Go Back to School
Finding good, experienced talent is hard. Sometimes you have to make your own. Establishing relationships with local trade schools and colleges not only gives you great insight into new talent entering the workforce, it also gives you a great feel for what the next generation of employees wants to do and where a potential skills gap for your business may occur. It’s projected that 1.8 million information security jobs will be unfilled by 2022. Millennials will be counted upon to fill those jobs. Employers proactively talking with them now will have a leg up.
Phone a FriendWhile the first two ideas require some investments, and are more long-term strategies, there’s also a way to get the help you need more immediately. Develop a relationship with a trusted partner that has existing skills in areas where you don’t but wish you had. This allows you to more quickly service customers while ramping up your own resources, or allows your existing resources to focus on their core competencies. Either way, you’re making money and customers are happy.
The bottom line is you can’t stand by and watch. There’s only so much available talent and a lot of people fighting for it. Especially around innovative technologies that customers can use to run their business better. The companies that proactively taking steps to overcome this shortage of talent are more likely to not only survive, but thrive.
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