By Ramesh Alluri Reddy, Director-Managed Services & Professional Staffing, The Adecco Group, India
Change is the only constant in the IT sector with new disruptive technologies entering the market each year. After COVID-19, an estimated 75% of businesses will need an upgrade of outdated infrastructure and invest in new technologies to keep pace with industry growth. Statistics reveal that there is far more demand for highly skilled IT jobs with a limited talent to fill them. This will bode well for aspiring job seekers.
Most organisations still do not have a strict protocol for predicting demand and fulfilling technology talent needs; relying on a progressively expensive outside talent pool that has been shrinking in the past decade. The pressure created by this talent gap impacts the hiring process and the organization’s capability to offer competitive salaries in a tight talent market. Employers will now need to reassess their talent management practices and protocols to operate in the new reality of remote working, social distancing, and substantial economic stress.
Never waste a crisis
Both employers and job seekers need to prepare themselves for a different future – flexible partnerships, agile approaches, digital-driven modes of delivery and imbibe a culture of continuous learning – constant reskilling and up skilling New careers will be created as a result of COVID-19 with organisations adapting and finding ways to fill skills gaps.
In the spirit of the crisis turning in to an opportunity, we see a spike in demand for certain competencies:
- Cybersecurity, digital marketing, telerobotics, AI, ML, augmented and virtual reality, DWH, UI/UX (Angular), IoT, and Java skills are in hot demand.
- Increase in demand for people who are multi-skilled –E.g. Full Stack Developers.
- Understanding of business processes is imperative given the restricted interaction with business stakeholders in a remote environment.
- Soft skills – especially around effective communication gains more importance than ever – with video/voice and digital mode of communication becoming the norm.
- Demand for talent with the upcoming rollout of 5G technology.
There are many shifts this year in hiring as companies work to cut costs by blending full-time IT staff with contract work/part-time requirements. This strategy and business innovation will disrupt traditional talent management models. Some will argue that the IT sector has been a pioneer in many aspects. While that argument holds well, the current unprecedented situation has brought blended staffing models to the forefront.
Flexible staffing strategies on the rise
Many IT/ITeS organisations responded to the current situation by turning to project-based consultants and interim demand hiring. Others have also embraced more flexible staffing strategies to help IT departments stay agile so they can quickly jump into new projects, implementations, upgrades, and migrations. Using a flexible staffing approach can help companies “deploy teams that can work on a diverse and complex range of digital projects,” allowing the “core staff” to focus on keeping the lights on and maintaining the organization’s core technologies. Besides, incumbent talent will have to be trained and reskilled/up skilled to ensure they do not become obsolete.
Sustained and coordinated initiatives like these will help avoid the worst of the growing economic crisis and ensure a more resilient and stable world of work. Candidates will have to be conscious of the fact that relevant employable skills, behaviors, and the right attitude is the need of the hour. Personal factors rather than external factors take precedence over what matters for organisations and employees alike. Pursuing the development of critical skills that can pave the way to multiple opportunities for career development, rather than preparing for a specific next role can be a game-changer. Be deliberate in your approach and be mindful of the fact that whatever is your struggle it will not be long-lasting.
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