How Technology Talent Scarcity May Be Harming Your Business and What to Do About It

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A recent study shows that by 2030, there could be a global talent shortage of more than $8.5 trillion. Most of this talent scarcity is in technology. Many businesses are already beginning to feel the pain from the technology talent shortfall.

A recent study shows that by 2030, there could be a global talent shortage of more than $8.5 trillion. Most of this talent scarcity is in technology. Many businesses are already beginning to feel the pain from the technology talent shortfall. Innovation is slowing, systems are often left unsecured, and revenues are growing much more slowly than they could be with a fully staffed organization.

The technology talent sacristy isn’t just a potential crisis facing tomorrow’s businesses. It’s already a serious issue.

Fortunately, there are ways companies can protect themselves and gain a competitive advantage.

What CIOs are Saying About the Tech Talent Gap

CIOs know that hiring challenges are a major problem. An eye-opening 65%of CIOs in a recent survey expressed that hiring challenges are already causing direct harm to the technology industry.

The hiring challenge CIOs are most worried about is the lack of available talent to fill critical technology positions. Large, established companies, startups, and organizations at all stages of the business cycle are reporting having difficulty filling technical positions. There aren’t enough competent workers to fill these critical jobs.

It’s also not just technology companies that are seeing the effects of the technology talent scarcity. Industries from retail to healthcare need talented developers, cyber security experts, and other technology experts.City, state, and federal government agencies are also trying to increase their technology staffs. There isn’t enough talent to go around.

Many CIOs report that a lack of IT talent is keeping their firms from implementing new ideas and developing new projects. The consensus is that the technology talent shortfall is only going to get worse as more and more companies compete for the best talent.

Some companies are so concerned about talent scarcity that they are taking matters into their own hands. Microsoft has launched a professional degree program to help train more IT experts.

How Technology Talent Scarcity is Hurting Businesses

Technology talent scarcity directly hurts an organization’s competitiveness is three ways.

First, if a company doesn’t have the right personnel, they cannot fully implement management’s vision. Projects at understaffed firms are frozen, take longer to complete, or are completed at a significantly higher cost. This leaves firms with fewer resources to innovate in the future.Companies that are fully staffed with technology talent will leapfrog over competitors struggling to fill positions.

Second, companies that lack technology talent in certain key positions are more vulnerable to exploitation from cyber attacks. Some of the hardest types of positions to fill are in cyber security. The lack of cyber security experts is leaving businesses in every industry open to data breaches and theft of proprietary information. Data is increasingly seen as a company’s most valuable resources, but many firms don’t have the personnel to adequately protect their data.

Third, companies that have open technology positions aren’t able to innovate. If your IT department is understaffed, you don’t have enough internal resources to formulate creative solutions or to experiment with new solutions to complex problems. Instead, your existing staff has their hands full trying to keep up with existing demands on their time. Companies that don’t innovate will eventually fail.

What Critics are Missing

Not everyone believes there is a tech talent gap. Many critics point to the increasing numbers of engineering students and graduates in colleges in the United States and around the world. They also point to slow wage growth in some technical fields as proof that talent scarcity is a myth.

Who’s right the CIOs or the critics?

The problem with the skepticism of the reality of technology talent scarcity is that they aren’t looking at the same data as CIOs.

Not all technology talent is equal. There are some technology fields where there is a surplus. But, ask any CIO, HR manager, or recruiter trying to fill positions in cyber security or data science and you will discover just how real the talent gap is.

Critics also often lump all developers into the same basket, referring to them as coders. But, not every developer has the right technical skills or knowledge base for every project. Specialized developers are in high demand, with many jobs going unfilled for months.

Recent wage and hour data shows that wages are rising in many technology fields, especially ones with a talent shortage.

The technology talent gap isn’t a myth, and many companies are already paying the price.

Causes and Solutions of the Tech Talent Gap

What has caused the tech talent gap? There are many causes.One issue is that technological innovation is unpredictable. AI and machine learning have grown faster than anyone could have predicted.

Many colleges and universities are opening or expanding their AI programs, but it will take years for those graduates to reach the job market and even more years before they have enough professional experience to lead teams.

A second issue is that technology can no longer be cordoned off into its own industry. Technology talent is needed in government, education, and every industry where a computer is used—which is every industry. The internet has exploded the need for technology workers, and the market place hasn’t been able to keep pace.

But, there are solutions to the talent gap. Governments and huge companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon can find degree and technical programs to encourage more people to go into technology. They are also able to set the agenda for what disciplines will be the most in demand in the future.

However, these are all long-term systemic solutions that do little to help firms facing a technology talent shortage right now.

Firms who need cyber security, IT, data science, and other technological skills need to be creative to fill their positions. They need to look beyond their traditional recruitment and hiring practices.

Understanding Recruitment and Hiring as a Skilled Discipline

One way firms can get the technology talent they need now is to recognize that the recruitment and hiring of technology talent is a specialized, highly skilled discipline. Instead of depending on internal processes or general recruiters, they need to work with firms that have a successful track record attracting technology talent.

If companies want experts in technology, they need to bring in experts in finding, vetting, recruiting, and hiring technology talent specifically.

The technology talent your organization needs is out there. But, you have to work hard to find it and work even harder to attract the best people to your company. The right technology recruiter can save you time and money by using their proven networks and techniques.

You need technology talent to stay competitive. In order to get that talent, you first need to bring in the people whose talent is finding technology talent.

About Empower Recruiting Services

Founded in 2018, Empower Recruiting Services provides project-based, contract-to-hire, and full-time talent resources to organizations that require on-demand expertise. At Empower, our mission is to bring traditional talent acquisition and staffing services into the digital, on-demand, data-driven, geo-flexible world that drives businesses today; empowering people and enabling performance. To learn more, visit 

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Empower Recruiting Services provides project-based, contract-to-hire and full-time talent resources to organizations that require on-demand expertise.

About the author

Steven Robinson

Steven Robinson

Steven has 15 years of success producing, leading, and scaling recruiting and sales operations in the contract, direct hire, and executive search business. As a producer, his specialization has always been, and continues to be, focused on the Information Technology space. He has a profound passion for technology and how it can be leveraged to help solve both simple and complex business challenges. As a leader in the business, Steven has experience across many functionalities; providing leadership that empowers people and giving tactical guidance that enables performance.

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