It’s getting harder and harder to hire the right employees for the right position. In the human resource department, IT skills are highly valued even if the position has nothing to do with computer science. A worker in the administrative department must work with computers, but those who study to become administrators do not precisely study IT at college and thus arises this need for improving their skills. This is the so-called IT skills gap – a mismatch between the technical requirements for a particular position and the capabilities of the employees in the organization.
Some business owners would argue that this gap does not exist in their organization. But if they look closely, they will notice it to exist in varying degrees. The biggest concern is that the companies address this issue in the short-term, with actions that don’t really make a big difference. The IT skills gap is a serious issue that needs to be addressed via a strategic approach.
What exactly is the IT skills gap?
There is no doubt about it: IT is the backbone of any business that has a zeal to succeed in the 21st century. A business owner requires several types of IT skills in their employees: knowledge of programming languages, operations and systems knowledge, and general computer skills needed for all positions within the company.
A disproportion between the needs and realistic achievements for a particular position results in Skills Gap, which leads to a variety of problems:
- Lack of innovation within the company
- Ineffective new product development
- Lower focus, motivation, and productivity levels within the staff
- Inability to meet the organization’s strategic goals
- Shortcomings in the organization’s cybersecurity (this is the most problematic aspect of the IT gap)
Evidently, it’s a problem that you would want to overcome.
Tips on how to overcome the IT Skills gap in your organization
#1 Consider the Global Talent Pool
When hiring new employees in your company, you shouldn’t only focus on applicants from your own country. Those who were born and educated in a foreign country may be the right choice. If you look at the American educational system, you’ll notice that it’s based on written projects. As a student faced with too many assignments and too little time, you would hire someone to write your literature review. College students do the same thing with coding assignments when IT is not their main area of interest: they get online help. European educational systems are slightly more rigorous. IT assignments are completed during class, under direct supervision.
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t hire workers from your country.
The point is to expand your reach globally, since that will help you access more versatile talent.
#2 Develop a Strategic Plan
You must have a strategy for hiring the right people in the IT workforce and the overall organization. When you have an unfilled position, it directly impacts the company’s efficiency. But if you hire someone without planning what their achievements and qualifications should be, you’ll cause damage to the entire workflow. That’s why it’s important to take your time evaluating and interviewing candidates.
What programming languages and other skills are needed at this point? What will you need the same employee to do in the future? Did they take the right courses at university? Do they have the needed certificates for this particular job?
You should have a strategic plan for each open position, and clearly identify the type of employee you need for it.
#3 Expand or Create Effective Training Programs
You can’t expect to find the ideal employee for each position in the long term. By offering additional training opportunities, you will help your workers to grow and meet the organization’s needs.
You can start by offering apprenticeship programs for recent graduates. If you want to hire someone who just graduated but didn’t receive all the needed IT training, you can offer instructions in context. On-the-job learning is effective because it’s specifically tailored to meet the organization’s needs.
Develop a Strategy!
All business environments are fast paced. If there’s an IT skills’ gap within your organization, the competitors will quickly outrun you in the market. You have to recognize the exact problem and develop a strategy to bridge the gap.
The root of this gap lies in the educational system. It hasn’t evolved enough to meet the needs of modern employers. That’s why you have to invest in additional training and be more careful when hiring new people in your organization. You want them to be focused on learning and developing new skills.
With the tips presented above, you have the foundational steps for bridging the IT skills gap. This is not an issue that can wait, so start taking action today!
Author: Bobbi Sanchez Bobbi Sanchez is a blogger focused on small business tips. He has been researching various industries in an attempt to provide basic tips for overcoming common issues. Bobbi is focused on helping beginners to succeed with their business ideas.