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How to Attract Digital Talent

We are in the midst of a global digital skills gap. In the future, nine out of every ten jobs will require digital skills. Right now, 44% of Europeans do not even possess basic digital skills. This is a nightmare for businesses, Human Resource departments, and IT managers. With new technologies coming to the fore every day, 40% of employers find it challenging to hire digitally-skilled staff. This results in businesses not reaching their full potential and can lead to loss of revenue. So, how does one attract digital talent to a business?

Attracting Digital Talent

There is a false economy of experienced software developers around the world, with companies poaching developers with three or more years’ experience from each other on a regular basis. The fact is, there are not enough developers with that much experience. It’s time to consider worthy alternatives and attract fresh digital talent.

In Code Institute’s recent white paper, “The Digital Skills Crisis – Time to Act”, various methods are recommended for attracting new digital talent. No silver bullet will immediately solve the digital skills crisis. However, some things can be done at an organisational level to assist Human Resource departments.

A new Recruitment Approach

Right now, every company is looking for software developers with three or more year’s experience. It is a sweet spot. However, this is unachievable. Universities are not turning around enough software developers at a fast enough pace. HR departments need to broaden their minds and focus on developers who understand what’s in demand in software development.

HR managers need to focus on potential employees with fewer years on paper, but who possess more up-to-date languages and industry skills. Other simple ways of diversifying the recruitment process would include, for example, hosting hackathons or coding competitions to help identify talented software developers.

Align with Specialist Recruiters

Specialist recruiters have their finger on the pulse of digital talent. They know who and where the digital talent is. By aligning with these recruiters, you can use their insights and trust their judgement when it comes to acquiring new digital talent – even if that same talent does not necessarily have the length of service that you are ideally seeking.

Vocational Training

Aligning your HR department with recognised education providers can result in a steady stream of fresh, industry-ready, career-focused, software developers for your company. As a result, nurturing new staff will enable organisations to harness a flexible mix of digital talent.

Fresh Digital Talent - 4 new coders

In December 2016, IBM’s Chair, President and CEO Ginni Rometty said in a USA Today column that because of disruptive changes in technology, employers need to look at “new collar” staff – the staff that are hugely in demand but where jobs are largely unfilled. Rometty discusses the tech industry in the USA and explains how IBM will spend $1 billion between 2017 and 2020 on training and developing new staff. Ms Rometty also spoke about the recruitment process within IBM, one of the largest technology companies in the world, and said;

“New collar jobs may not require a traditional college degree. In fact, at a number of IBM’s locations spread across the United States, as many as one-third of employees don’t have a four-year degree. What matters most is that these employees – with jobs such as cloud computing technicians and services delivery specialists – have relevant skills, often obtained through vocational training.”

Digital Talent Strategy

It’s very easy to say that “it’s difficult to find the right digital talent”, but before it comes to that, you must realise exactly where the gap is in your digital staffing infrastructure. Therefore, employers need to audit current staff. Existing talents and capabilities must be managed once identified. Once all of this has been taken into account, it’s time to create a digital talent strategy.

Person holding tablet reading a digital talent strategy

Workplace leaders need to play their part in creating and integrating new digital talent within their businesses. They also need to be part of the planning on how to retain digital talent. Consequently, if leadership is aligned with a digital talent strategy, they can assist in making your business a better place to work. Their involvement also allows greater awareness of the weaknesses and strengths of current employees; this, in turn, can aid in digitally upskilling or reskilling current employees.

Time to Act

Most companies now realise that there is a global digital skills crisis. Without relevant actions from Human Resources, hiring managers, and other relevant departments, this talent shortage will only get worse. Now is the time to act.

Contact our partner team today and see how Code Institute can help fill your company’s digital skills gap.