The Race for IT Talent: Bridging the Gaps

July 1, 20168:50 am515 views

There have been a lot of news and articles regarding the perceived problem on the shortage of IT talent, not just regionally but globally. According to a Manpower survey conducted last year, engineers and IT staff are among the two jobs that are hardest to fill.

The IT department is crucial to the smooth operation of most organizations. That said, companies must be focused on hiring top talent to manage technology on an ongoing basis. There will always be challenges in finding the right fit for a particular job, especially one that requires specific skillsets.

A forecast by Computerworld last year highlighted some of the most IT skills in demand, which included IT architecture, programming and application development, big data, business intelligence and web development.

“Before beginning a search for potential hires, it is vital to have a plan in place for finding, interviewing, hiring and retaining the best IT candidates. Companies must also avoid making common hiring mistakes that will risk losing valuable time and talent prospect,” said Gery Messer, Managing Director, Asia Pacific at CenturyLink.

“CenturyLink has witnessed how the technology industry has evolved. One thing remains the same for a legacy companies– people are still the top priority and key pillar of the business.”

Some of the strategies that companies can use to attract and retain IT professionals include:

  1. You (along with your colleagues) are your company’s best brand ambassador

It is important to consider and identify existing employees who best represent the type of talent you want to attract. It is useful to know what they enjoy most about working for the company, such as employment perks, opportunities, benefits, internal growth and more. You can use this information to showcase the company’s recruitment programme.

Employee referrals are another way to source for ideal talents, especially for technical positions such as engineers, technicians or IT architects. Tapping into your employees’ existing networks allows the company to extend the reach of their hiring efforts. Not only that, it also acts as an effective filter, to find candidates that work well with existing talents at the organization.

See: Is Asia running out of IT talent?

  1. Make the recruitment experience a memorable one

A lot of companies looking for IT talents are opening up myriad possibilities and opportunities for the IT professionals. Thus, it is important to provide a positive hiring process, starting from the first interview.

Interviews hold the best opportunity to impress the candidate and showcase the benefits of working for an organization. The technological capabilities and the advancements within the company can also be called out, offering IT talents a position in an organization where their skills and expertise will be valued. In short, establishing a reputable and innovative company image is important.

  1. Create a learning culture with approachable role models

Progressive organizations understand that the only sustainable business model is to ensure that they have the right talent, at the right place, at the right time. A good organization also delivers what is promised to talents during the hiring process.

By providing career growth opportunities, paths and role models, it gives talents’ the confirmation and assurance, that the company is looking after their personal growth.

  1. Instilling the “speed of trust” to bridge the talent gap

The “speed of trust” essentially allows each employee to be a part of a trusted environment, which paves the way for making faster and more informed decisions. By investing in resources to develop the talent pool – such as building a robust system to track progress, providing timely employee reviews, and offering performance recognition – a company will be better positioned to strengthen its workforce. This in turn will keep employees motivated and inspired to work.

To continue retaining talents, businesses must work on satisfying their demands, while supporting their ambitions and professional development. Fostering a culture of transparency and trust could benefit the company in the long run as you nurture talents to become company’s own brand ambassadors.

As Singapore embarks on its Smart Nation push, the talent crunch will certainly be felt. In fact, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) recently launched the Smart Nation Fellowship Programme to foster a network of tech talents for Singapore.

CenturyLink - Gery Messer

Gery Messer, Managing Director – Asia-Pacific, CenturyLink

The opportunity is there for organizations to change the tone of the conversation regarding IT talents. If anything, it is the perfect time to re-evaluate the talent agenda.


Author credits: Gery Messer, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, CenturyLink

Also read: Aligning Board Talent with Strategy a Key Challenge for Organisations

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