How to Bridge the IT Talent Gap in the Best Way Possible

As jobs in the US are growing at an exponential rate and more demand is being placed for skills in cybersecurity and IT talent, the race is on for HR managers to find the ideal workforce for these roles. But as more baby boomers are retiring, the talent gap continues to widen. The most recent Manpower Talent Shortage Survey shows talent gaps in U.S. companies that are as large as 32 percent, particularly those in the construction, healthcare, and manufacturing industries.

Few things hinder a company's functions faster than significant talent holes. This widening gap is challenging HR managers across the country to think outside the box to find new methods for solutions. A few of them from experts in the talent search field is below.


Creative Ways to Bridge the Talent Gap

Some companies have responded to the talent gap by cultivating a culture of learning from within instead of searching on the outside. If it's difficult to find qualified candidates, why not invest in your own homegrown workforce? Giving your current employees opportunities to learn new skills fulfills a mutual benefit that offers career advancement to them and dependable talent to you, creating a win-win scenario for your company.

Strong talent teams drive sales, deliver results, and strengthen networking relationships.

One way you can do this is to begin an internship or mentoring program while you still have a decent number of experienced IT individuals on staff. If your interns are coming from the outside, they will get the added benefit of learning what your company culture is like by example.

Another strategy HR managers are using to fill the IT talent gap is promoting the value of their company in their talent search. Put together a marketing campaign using social media to tell candidates what advantages they will have to be hired by you. What do you offer to the table? Good social media outlets include Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


Search Through Overlooked Opportunities

Don't forget to tap into sources that are often overlooked in your search. Veterans are an excellent choice to go after. Other possibilities could be working moms, students, and retired workers. Consider the qualifications you are after while you're looking for candidates. While it's true that qualification lists for IT jobs are rising due to the demand for complex digital tasks, ask yourself what's most necessary for your company's needs, and go from there. Develop a checklist for yourself that prioritizes what needs are most critical to be filled in order for your company to enhance smoother operations, and stick to it.

Remember that if the most vital needs are met first, additional training can be provided later on to further enhance their skill set if push comes to shove.

One thing to keep in mind is to search for individuals with business experience in a different field from IT in addition to working with IT technology. Since IT integration with standard business practices has increased in recent years, research suggests to hire IT talent with additional business experience that complements IT to stay competitive in the race for IT talent.

This smart strategy focuses on making sure that your team is prepared for what's ahead instead of playing catch-up. And since an increasing amount of daily business tasks are being laced with digital technologies, having your IT talent experienced at wearing different hats is an imperative asset in giving you an advantage with lasting results.

This is one reason why human resource experts recommend finalizing briefer job descriptions than in times past. Principal researcher human capital Mary Young at The Conference Board suggested employers to first define the organizational capabilities that are needed in the future, and then help company managers make choices that fill in this gap. This ensures business plans are aligning with found talent candidates in the job search.


Preparing for a Future of Integrated IT Business

While the talent gap for experienced IT individuals has widened and can be painful for many companies, it also presents a challenge to grow in a tantalizing opportunity for future technological development and advancement in the American workforce. Shrewd HR managers will overcome this challenge by utilizing savvy tactics like these mentioned to fill in the talent gap and move forward.

If your company is facing a challenge in filling the IT talent gap, consider facilitating IT management options for your telecom and digital utility communications. Valicom can help with managing data usage, utility costs, and other important factors. Contact us today to find out which options your company can benefit the most from.

About the Author: Jeff Poirior

Jeff brings 25 years of telecommunications and information technology management experience in voice and data networking, server support, and telephony and security; with a significant emphasis on customer service. Prior to joining Valicom, he was chief of the infrastructure support section for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Jeff was the vice president of operations for CC&N, overseeing telecommunications, help desk, data and desk side support services. Prior to that, he served as the associate director of technical resources for Covance, responsible for managing systems and network operations supporting 1700 users in Wisconsin and Virginia. He has also led data center operations at Magnetek Electric, supporting mainframe systems, client/server applications, telephony systems, and computer-aided design. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University and a master’s degree in business administration from University of Phoenix. In addition, Jeff is a past board member of the Wisconsin Telecommunication Association.