There has never been more demand for IT professionals with the proper security credentials and experience. These jobs are going to be the main part of the tech industry market for the next five years at least, but it is becoming only more difficult to find professionals in a market short on candidates. There is a big discrepancy between supply and demand in data security, which is only fuelling the creation of more IT data security jobs.
Sudeep Dharan, the chief technology officer for Acendre, believes that the problem boils down to two things. First, there needs to be long-term workforce planning that can anticipate what is needed and find the staff for the job. Second comes engaging and developing talents that are already working for you. You never know; you might have had a diamond in the rough this whole time without realising it.
There is some thought that must be put into planning ahead and getting and retaining the best talent on the market. The modern job trends show us that there is a higher preference for flexible work and the average tenure at a company is lower. Businesses have found themselves struggling with accommodating for these needs. It is up to organizations to be proactive in their approach to workforce planning and should avoid just looking to recruit and fill the available jobs.
There is currently an extremely competitive war for tech talent in Australia at the minute. Things are so rough that many organizations are looking to fill their gaps in critical skills by looking offshore. It takes a lot of effort and resources to pull in the best in tech talent. It also takes a focused and targeted approach. It doesn’t matter how great your recruitment efforts are if you don’t have a great onboarding strategy to support it and bring talent in.
To keep it short and simple; organizations must look for the right talent at all times and grab any good talent they come across. The IT tech market is a buyers’ market right now. Grab all the talent you can as soon as you can, or someone else will get them. This doesn’t mean you should take just anyone. Doug Walker, an employee of One Identity, an identity & access management software company, went through 7 interviews and a testing simulation before being hired. Hiring the wrong talent can cost companies millions of dollars.
The keys to retaining talent once they have been recruited are developing and training them. Training and development programs must be in place to keep employees satisfied and ensure they stick with the organisation for as long as they possibly can. If you aren’t providing them with the satisfaction and growth that they desire, they will find another employer who can do that for them.
Organizations must also consider training to be a continuous and ongoing process. It takes never-ending investment. As the technology an employee uses evolves, the teams using the technology must evolve and adapt to it. Millennials in particular will not stick with a company that doesn’t offer them sufficient training and allows their development to stagnate.
When an employer sponsors and supports training events it shows their staff they are actively investing in the professional development of employees, and it also benefits and protects the organisation as a whole. Continuing to train your staff ensures they have all the skills they need to tackle any challenge that might befall the organisation.
The old days – where employees would spend their whole working life at a single company – are gone. The modern worker prefers to work for the companies that excite, challenge, and reward them. They won’t work for a company just because it happens to be the oldest, largest, or supposedly most desirable organisation in their field. Many people actually prefer working for high-risk start-ups because of the fast pace things move at there.
On the other hand, an organisation will inherently place a high value on an employee that matches their strategic plans. They need employees they know will fit their needs. Sometimes this just isn’t possible without the organisation engaging these employees and creating organisational missions, values, and visions.
It is absolutely vital that the onboarding process of a company clearly states the values of the company and that companies take employees who want to work for them. The next step is to ensure that these employees are satisfied. Check-in on their satisfaction and promote it through processes and activities such as reviews, team-building exercises, and by offering them flexible working conditions. This ensures the staff there to improve organisational performance are the right fit for the company culture.
There are a range of challenges businesses face when they hier local IT talent, but there are also ways to overcome these challenges. One of the big challenges facing Australia right now is that there is a major lack of cyber-security skills. Other countries, like Japan and Mexico, have much more talent available. Even when attempting to entice employees by offering them higher wages, there’s only so much that can be done with a lack of local talent.
The shortage of talent does more than just burden other employees and increase their workload; it also compromises the security of their data. The Australian government recently pledged $1.9 million to universities to combat this shortage, and it is certainly a good start, but it really isn’t enough solve the problems that exist today. It is an investment in the future.
Some suggest that it is possible to take advantage of the immigration ban issued by President Trump to acquire cyber experts no longer welcome in the US. This approach might sound a little drastic, but it does also highlight an incredible opportunity businesses can take.
Organizations should be considering offering incentives such as visa support and accommodating for team structures based on contractors. There are shortages in talent in places like the UK and Canada as well, which is why Australian companies need to be vigilant and competitive in their approach to recruiting talent while getting government support.