Technical Workforce: Planning & Preparing for Tomorrow’s Workforce Competitions

March 17, 202112:54 pm630 views
Technical Workforce: Planning & Preparing for Tomorrow’s Workforce Competitions
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From artificial intelligence and automation to digital mobility and virtual collaboration, technology is seen as the most radical driver of change. The pervasiveness of science and technology in the economy has also changed the nature of work at all levels. Despite the changing context of work, people’s desire for ‘good work’ – defined as work with purpose – has remained remarkably consistent over the years. It is imperative for corporate leaders to embrace this concept of good work while crafting a people experience in the context of wider trends, such as technological development. 

Technical workforce projections 

Josh Bersin in a webinar “Managing for Innovation and Agility: How to Enable Your Technical Workforce” mentioned that the tech workforce is growing fast. From 2010 to 2018, tech is the sixth largest workforce segment in the U.S. Tech jobs are bigger than the tech industry with 46 percent intersection between both, meaning there is approximately 11.8 million NET tech employment. The number is projected to keep growing, following the development of tech and automation that are also growing at a faster rate. 

The World Economic Forum also reported that technological adoption has been accelerating with cloud computing, big data and e-commerce remain high priorities. There is a significant rise in interest in encryption, reflecting the new vulnerabilities of the digital age, and a significant increase in the number of firms expecting to adopt non-humanoid robots and artificial intelligence. These new technologies are set to drive future growth across industries and to increase the demand for new job roles and skill sets.

Technical Workforce: Planning & Preparing for Tomorrow’s Workforce Competitions

Following the growth of technologies and automation, business leaders and organisations must hold the key to surviving the new industrial revolution. Agile businesses will need awareness of disruptive technology and a plan to develop talent that can make the most of it. Above all, leaders must ensure their technical workforce as top priority, reducing the fierce competitions of tech talents recruitment.

See also: Hybrid Workforce: What HR Managers Need to Prepare

The technical workforce might require different practices and treatments 

Surveying 792 employers in 30 different industries, Josh Bersin found that there might be differences in attracting, managing, and retaining essential technical workforce. For example, the technical workforce demanded a work culture that is not only flexible but also appreciative and balanced. Here are the key cultural themes of the technical workforce Josh Bersin mentioned in his webinar: 

  • The work is far more important than the company. Technical workers love, honour, and value their work. They are also more motivated by projects and resources, not necessarily the organisations where they work. 
  • Reward expertise and results. Fair pay and fair treatment are critically important to the tech workforce. Technical workforce also believes in pay for performance and regards technical expertise and rewards to be fair and equitable. 
  • Autonomy, risk-taking, and transparency. According to Josh Bersin, transparency is sacrosanct not only to tech talents but every employee in an organization. Managers should also be respectful and supportive of the creative and design process these tech talents create. 
  • Trust and teaming behaviours. Tech employees thrive on non-competitive behaviours, trust, and being open to new ideas. 

Managing technical workforce 

Bersin emphasised that managing technical people would require tools that help the communication go two-ways. There might also need a little management role when dealing with tech people – as Josh Bersin said “They (tech people) are smart. They will figure it out”. What managers need to do in managing tech individuals is to be supportive and be their facilitator. 

There are 4 keys to managing tech people Josh Bersin mentioned in his webinar, as follows: 

  • Fair and appreciative environment. Basic talent practices in place should focus on organisational programs, not managers. As their leader, appreciate and recognise your people, as well as ensure that the purpose is clear and well communicated. You might also need to compensate them based on clear performance practices. 
  • People-centric management, meaning focus on managers and management development in order to create a collaborative team. 
  • Focus on empowerment and growth. Managers should guide teams without over-managing, empower teams to take a risk, foster non-competitive collaboration, and use bonuses to recognise people in real-time. 
  • Teams activated to thrive. Focusing on activating and empowering teams by doing all the above strategies. 

Retaining technical workforce needs more than compensations and efficient cultures 

Tech talents are not only creative and innovative, but they also desire growth within their reputable company. This trick is nearly applicable to every role in an organisation. But understand that a traditional career path might not be relevant to all tech workers. Managers should instead offer non-traditional tech talents to move up in the organisation. This can be done by increasing their scope through greater responsibility over time. 

Managers can also try development programs beyond traditional skills, courses, or certifications, such as an opportunity for tech employees to attend specialised conferences. Or offer to increase their exposure to different ideas, people, and levels of expertise by working in different departments, teams, or geographic locations. 

Read also: Workforce & Succession Planning: Strategic Alignment of HR