Technology companies and organisations struggling with a shortage of tech talent would be wise to take proactive measures to improve continuous learning in their organisations and source much-needed skills from within.
Ryan Shanks, the managing director of Accenture Talent and Organisation, said that when seeking new hires for vacant skilled positions, companies tend to hunt externally without actually assessing whether the required skills exist in current workers’ prior backgrounds or that workers themselves may feel up to a new challenge and would be prepared to undergo training.
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“Think about what skills you are already sitting on,” Shanks told the Future Jobs Forum in Dublin.
He cited example of companies that had been hunting for Java skills but if they had bothered to ask existing workers in other departments they would have discovered that some employees had already been doing Java for fun and building their own websites.
He also urged companies to take the learning and development of employees very seriously.
“Help line managers to become talent managers and know what skills are critical for your organisation,” Shanks said.
Shanks cited Accenture research in Ireland that revealed 71pc of employers believe a lack of skills and capabilities is impacting their ability to grow their businesses. Fifty-eight per cent believe this is impacting their ability to maintain revenue and 32pc are being forced to recruit from overseas.
The shortage of skilled workers is forcing 30pc of the companies surveyed to reduce their investments in Ireland.
Shanks said that leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship and people management and teamwork skills are identified as capabilities that will be vital to their businesses in the next three years.
He said firms need to be aware that often the skills gap can be exacerbated by a skills blockage within the organisation.
Accenture’s research found that 71pc of employers claim to have a dedicated budget for training and development and 79pc say their budget stayed the same or has increased in the last year.
However, only 52pc of employees surveyed reported that their employer has a dedicated training policy and 44pc report that they have had less than a day to no training in the past year.
One of the critical levers for organisations to survive the shortage of skills is to identify the skills gaps now, define career paths and succession plans to mine talent in the organisation, create a learning and development strategy to underpin growth, turn line managers into talent managers and collaborate with education institutions and other employers to join the dots to reduce the skills gap across Ireland.
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