A Skills Based Approach

According to the World Economic Forum, there are approximately 11 million job vacancies in the United States alone. While these vacancies exist across many industries, the ongoing talent shortage has hit the information technology sector particularly hard.

This shortfall of professionals has impacted more than just software and other IT-centric businesses. Virtually all companies that employ in-house IT professionals or rely on outsourced services are reeling from the lack of talent.

Unfortunately, nobody expects the tech talent shortage to end anytime soon. Some experts predict that things will get worse in the coming year. However, your business can contend with the IT talent shortage, despite the lack of qualified candidates, by taking a skills-based hiring and employee training approach.

Understanding the Scope of the IT Talent Shortage

Before we explore the advantages of a skills-based approach to hiring and training, it is important to understand the scope of the information technology talent shortage. As noted above, some experts predict that further departures will exacerbate the tech talent shortage in 2022. A variety of factors drive these predictions.

Perhaps the biggest trend straining the already thin IT talent pool is the commitment to the “digital transformation.” This broad movement refers to deploying digital assets to improve existing business processes or create new, more efficient ones.

The challenges of the last few years have encouraged IT leaders to invest in emerging technologies for business continuity. To implement and manage these new technological resources, organizations will need to hire more IT professionals.

At first glance, all these investments in the IT sector seem like a positive development. It is, for IT professionals at least. However, talent-starved businesses will face even fiercer competition as they strive to recruit top candidates from an ever-shrinking application pool.

In a recent survey, Gartner discovered that approximately 64% of IT leaders expect the talent shortage to interfere with their technology implementation efforts.

What Is a Skills-Based Approach to Talent Management?

As you can see, you cannot take the tech talent shortage lightly. It poses a serious threat to business continuity, especially if your organization is in the middle of major digital transformation efforts. However, you can mitigate the impacts of the IT talent shortage by adopting a skills-based approach to hiring and employee development.

A skills-based approach gauges candidates’ measurable talents, aptitudes, and abilities. This strategy looks beyond the resume to determine which candidate possesses real-world knowledge of the position you need to fill.

Adopting a skills-based approach is not only useful during the hiring process. It should also guide employee training initiatives and help select candidates for promotional opportunities.

Implementing skill measurement tools allows you to accurately identify training needs to upskill your existing staff and increase their value to the organization. Tools such as skills tests also allow you to determine which promotional candidates have the propensity to become effective leaders.

How This Strategy Can Combat the Tech Talent Shortage

When using traditional hiring strategies, your HR personnel likely focus on candidates with the best work pedigrees and four-year degrees from prestigious universities. While loads of work experience and a degree can make candidates more appealing, they do not guarantee that an applicant will be a good fit for your company.

Sure, they may have several years of “relevant” work experience and a strong educational background, but do they possess the IT skills you need? The answer is not always so clear.

That’s where a skills-based approach comes into play. By measuring skills instead of simply reviewing resumes and conducting interviews, you can determine which applicants are the best fit for your organization. Skills-based tactics also minimize the chances of bad hires, leading to reduced turnover and reducing the total cost of hiring.

By applying skills-based strategies to your employee development program, you can further offset the impacts of the tech talent shortage. If the available talent pool does not have the skills you need, why not upskill your existing staff?

You can use skills tests to determine which abilities your staff lacks and use this information to develop effective training programs and improve your current team’s capabilities. This approach will nurture loyalty towards your organization while also allowing you to circumvent the tech talent shortage.

Keys to Implementing a Skills-Based Talent Management Strategy

If you would like to implement a skills-based approach to the tech talent shortage, you should start by identifying which skills and aptitudes you are seeking. You can then actively seek out candidates with those abilities by listing them on your job postings.

Additionally, you must implement skills tests to accurately determine which candidates possess the IT skills your organization needs. Some skills tests relevant to the information technology sector include IT Service Desk, General IT Infrastructure Skills, and Microsoft Azure.

Search our massive skills test library to see the range of IT skills tests, as well as skills tests for nearly every kind of position available.

Want to learn how adopting a skills-based talent management strategy can help you overcome the tech talent shortage? Request a demo of our skills testing platform.

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