There is an ongoing skills challenge in IT. Digital transformation, the cloud, and the increased danger presented by cybercriminals have all contributed to a significant increase in the number of ICT roles. Unfortunately, there are now far more vacancies than there are people who have the requisite skills to fill them.
What skills are most in demand?
The most sought-after skills at the moment are cyber security, data management and insight, software development, and business intelligence.
Impact of Brexit
The technology skills shortage in the UK is only expected to get worse when we officially leave the European Union in March 2019, due to the anticipated complexity of recruiting staff from abroad.
With this in mind, a new emphasis must be put on developing the UK’s own talent pipeline. One way to do this is to increase the incentives for graduates who are studying relevant subjects/taking feeder courses so that they are more likely to opt for a career in the tech industry. To attract people from other industries, more attractive remuneration packages are needed, and more emphasis should be placed on transferable skills such as project management, prioritisation, interpersonal skills, and communication.
Technology/skills priorities for businesses
IT security is seen as a top priority by most businesses. The lack of available experts means that organisations need to be encouraging their existing employees to learn these additional skills. Perhaps this can be achieved by paying for training courses with the added incentive of an increase in pay once the skills have been obtained.
Mobile is still booming and expertise in this area is also something that many businesses are lacking. Again, the answer may lie with existing employees who may be keen to learn more for both personal and business use.
Data storage and network management skills are still in-demand despite the hype around ‘the cloud’ as many businesses still operate their own server rooms and data centres. There is, however, no doubt that cloud skills will be useful going forward as it becomes more utilised.
Training and certification
The innovative nature of IT and the speed at which new technologies become mainstream means there is a need to keep training staff and recruiting the top talent to ensure changing demands can be met. Staff should be trained in some form of IT at least twice a year, with instructor-led training believed to be most effective for lasting results.
Training should ideally be backed by assessment and certification – this benefits both the organisation and the employee. Industry-led certification provides a benchmark and means the training is aligned with the relevant skills that are in demand. These benchmarks mean businesses can easily evaluate the capability of their teams or the benefits/quality of prospective candidates.
The pace of innovation and change faced by recruitment and management teams may be unparalleled, but so are the opportunities. Why not get in touch with our expert team here at Clifford Associates today to see how we can help your organisation attract the senior digital professionals you need?
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