Using digital technologies to transform your business is essential for organisations of all sizes and industries. According to a KPMG survey, more than 70 percent of the UK workforce believes that digital transformation is a “key priority” at their workplace.
But finding the right tech staff to accomplish these digital transformation goals is easier said than done. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 of the biggest challenges that businesses face when trying to hire IT consultants and other skilled technical employees.
1. Fierce competition for candidates
Much has been written about the current “IT skills gap,” which deprives many businesses of the tech talent they need to achieve digital transformation. According to a Microsoft survey, two-thirds of UK business leaders say that their organisation is facing a digital skills gap.
Another survey by Robert Walters found that 55 percent of professionals believe that Brexit will exacerbate shortages in the tech industry. Meanwhile, the Open University estimates that the UK skills shortage is costing organisations £6.3 billion each year.
This means that technology roles are still very much an employee’s market, with organisations wanting to hire automation experts instead facing stiff competition for candidates. Technical positions may remain open for months or years because job-seekers are spoiled for choice.
2. Looking in the right places
While the UK’s IT skills shortage is bad enough on its face, it can be even more challenging for organisations that aren’t looking for candidates in the right places.
For example, 79 percent of technology candidates use online job boards to hunt for their next position, while 69 percent search for opportunities on LinkedIn. By contrast, just 28 percent and 38 percent of employers, respectively, advertise open jobs on these platforms.
Social media in particular has become a way for tech-savvy employees to show off their work and make industry connections. Recruiters can and should take advantage of platforms like Facebook and Twitter (and tech-specific websites like GitHub) to identify and reach out to promising candidates.
3. Matching a specialised skill set
Even if you’re looking in the right places, it’s no easy feat to find strong candidates who check all the technical boxes on your list. The software and technology field has countless disciplines, subdisciplines, and skills that offer nearly limitless possibilities for specialisation.
To successfully execute a digital transformation strategy, many businesses need access to experts in artificial intelligence or specialised technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA). While it’s sometimes possible to train new hires or existing employees, this training can be costly in terms of time, money, and effort—and it can distract from workers’ core missions.
4. Properly assessing candidates
Of course, the job of a headhunter isn’t over once you’ve sourced a pool of candidates that match your specialised skill set—you must then assess them to verify that their knowledge and capabilities are up to par.
This part of the hiring process usually takes the form of one or more technical assessments, which may take the form of in-person or phone interviews, coding challenges, quizzes and tests, or reviews of a candidate’s previous work. Unfortunately, far too many of these technical interviews miss the mark. According to a 2020 study by Microsoft and North Carolina State University, many such interviews for software engineering positions are better at assessing a candidate’s level of performance anxiety rather than their technical competence.
When assessing technical candidates, you can take several steps to improve the instructive nature of the assessment: for example, inform the candidate about the assessment ahead of time; ask questions that are directly relevant to the role; and include both an in-person and a take-home component.
5. Offering an appealing workplace
Finding competent tech staff is challenging, but organisations also need to ensure that they offer an appealing workplace environment. This includes concerns such as:
- Is the salary commensurate with the knowledge and experience asked for, and competitive with similar positions?
- Is the work interesting and engaging?
- Does the position offer accommodations such as working from home, flexible hours, or a strong work-life balance?
- Are there other perks and benefits, such as a casual dress code, free food, or a good pension program?
The five challenges mentioned above mean that finding skilled tech staff to enact digital transformations is no easy feat—and what’s more, it may not be the best move for your organisation. Hiring, onboarding, and training the right full-time staff is a lengthy, expensive process, especially in technical fields. You must then pay the costs of a full-time employee, including salary, bonuses, and insurance.
Instead, many organisations are turning to solutions like convedo’s Digital Experts program to find automation specialists and gain access to the tech skills they need for digital transformation. The convedo Digital Experts program connects enterprises like yours with the top-tier technical talent you need to remain competitive in a rapidly changing business landscape. We source out and hire IT graduates, train them to use the latest technologies (like automation, RPA, and AI), and then embed them seamlessly into our clients’ workflow.
From Microsoft and Appian to OutSystems and Blue Prism, convedo’s Digital Experts program gives enterprises the intelligent automation tools and technologies they need to excel. That’s why we’re trusted by some of the world’s leading brands, including KPMG, Deutsche Bank, and Swiss Air.
It's time to find out if convedo’s Digital Experts program is right for your business. Check out the Digital Experts website to learn more, and get in touch with our team about your needs and objectives.