Reconsider technology workforce – Flexibility is key
Don’t hire if you can develop
The past few years have seen the most serious shortage of technologically skilled workforce. Besides technology skills, creativity, problem-solving and other people skills have become increasingly important for candidates, while employers need to shift their focus from recruitment to talent development, nurturing and retention, as Deloitte’s latest research concludes.
More than half of technology leaders in Deloitte’s Tech Trends survey claimed to have vacant tech positions at their company. It also says a lot that 72% of tech employees in the US consider quitting their current jobs – in a sector where the unemployment rate is only a third of the overall unemployment rate. The shortage has been exacerbated by the fact that the expectations of employees changed during the pandemic, what employers are unable to keep up with. Deloitte Hungary, too, has conducted a survey on the so-called Great
Resignation/Big Quit phenomenon. The results will be published shortly.
Responses to labour market challenges
Companies respond to trends in various ways. Remote working has become more popular as a result of the pandemic. Today, 85% of tech jobs are hybrid or fully remote. In addition to the possibility of flexible working, employers try to reduce staff turnover by increasing compensation and offering development and retraining opportunities. At the same time, the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of the companies, which only increased demand for talented technology workforce.
Companies often only adopt one of these measures to retain workforce, while they compete fiercely to attract new talented hires. In many cases upon recruitment, employers focus on filling the technological skills that are lacking at the time, which is not a viable strategy in the long term, as technological skills become obsolete on average every 2.5 years. Rather than being exhausted in a recruitment race for technology professionals, companies should look to develop long-term strategies that focus on developing, nurturing and retaining technology talent. In other words, don't compete when you can develop the people you already have.
— explained Agárdy-Séra Eszter, manager at
Deloitte Hungary’s Technology Consulting
Future trends: agile skills, sourcing and career path
According to Deloitte’s research, one of the main obstacles of growth and agility is the traditional approach to work. As a result, many organisations are experimenting with talent management models which focus on skills rather than models. This approach makes it possible for them to manage the scarce supply of talent more creatively. Such organisations are by over 100% more likely to utilise their talent and by 98% more likely to retain those who deliver outstanding performance. Starting point for technology leaders who wish to adopt this model must be the business requirements, based on which they are to determine what soft and technology skills are required.
Agility also pays off in terms of acquisition of skills. In addition to hiring, there are several ways to acquire the right skills: subcontracting, temporary agency work, outsourcing, moving work processes to another country, or training or retraining. Companies that are at the forefront of flexible sourcing are flexible in filling skills gaps from external sources. Deloitte's research shows that digitally mature organisations are more likely to have a comprehensive ecosystem strategy to help free up internal resources to focus on the most challenging and interesting work.
There is also great potential in DEI (diversity, equity & inclusion) initiatives, which are increasingly important for candidates when considering a job offer. In addition, technology training for disadvantaged groups is another way to train and attract new talent.
Companies can use the following methods to provide interesting and attractive career paths for employees:
- In contrast to traditional vertical paths, these career paths allow lateral transfer between different technologies, to gain experience. 74% of employees believe that they need to update their skills at least once in six months to be able to perform work efficiently in the digital environment.
- According to Deloitte’s survey, the most important incentive for technology talent in the case of new work is the nature, variety and challenge of the work itself. To promote internal mobility, organisations should create internal platforms through which employees can apply for short-term projects. This platform facilitates workforce placement according to skills and a variety of positions for employees.
New operating models
- It is not their flexibility organisations are primarily famous for. In order to enable their workforce to cooperate with the right colleagues at the right time and place, they will have to change their operating models. (Deloitte will show the details in its soon-to-be published Global Technology Leadership Study.)
- The increasing number of positions required for technology innovation promises a future where business is shaped by technology teams. 16% of organisations have such positions today and the technology budget spent on innovation has increased by 8% since 2020. Besides being a trendy word, innovation will be defined as a discipline.
Next step – Use human sciences
The situation is further complicated by the fact that low-code or no-code developments are already spreading in Hungary, and the pandemic has accelerated modernisation. For this reason, creativity, problem-solving and other people skills are becoming increasingly important and distinctive features of candidates, alongside technological knowledge. By offloading time consuming and repetitive tasks to AI, the talented workforce can focus on the tasks that really require human input.
As AI automates problem-solving, companies will soon be looking for humanities graduates who can use AI technologies to drive business results. As a result, the holistic thinking, ethics and problem-solving of the human sciences may soon be in demand again.
As automation frees up valuable human time, the battlefield of the next decade will not be about finding tech talent, but mastering the ground-breaking technology of the future.
— added Agárdy-Séra Eszter.