Businesses must nurture their IT talent, study finds
Amidst the current economic downturn the fight for IT talent remains, and according to UK service provider Espira, it is imperative that firms’ act quickly to keep their employees from walking out the door.
With the unemployment level in the UK at its lowest since 1974 and pay growth still failing to keep pace with rising inflation, organisations looking to expand their IT teams need to look internally.
Clinton Groome, COO at Espria, said: “For businesses large and small, organisations looking to bolster their IT teams need to look within the organisation first to ensure that it is offering the most attractive careers.”
However, the digital skills gap in the UK is only hampering this option. A recent survey of taken from 5,000 UK workers identified that the lack of digital skills is not only injuring the economy in general but also businesses in particular.
The report found that around 22% of employees admitted a lack of digital skills was impacting their ability to hit targets and more than half (58%) said they had received no digital training from their employers.
“This means that organisations are facing a real double whammy – lack of IT talent for hire and lack of skills amongst the existing workforce,” said Groome.
The same problem arose last year when job vacancies surged to more than two million and industry figures found that nearly 12 million British workers lacked the essential digital skills needed to fill them.
The Digital Poverty Alliance, a charity based in the UK, urgently called on the government for a set of initiatives that would arm some of most effected people with the skills to secure these job vacancies – but Espira claims it is on businesses alone to support and grow their employees skillset.
“The goal must be – as we enter a new year full of economic uncertainty – that all businesses need to nurture their homegrown talent. IT staff need to be allowed a healthy work/life balance and feel supported in managing external stress factors. For a business to retain its key employees, they really need to demonstrate they value their employees,” said Groome.
To confirm these ideas, two recent surveys from McKinsey indicate that 87% of companies feel inadequately prepared to address the skill gap, and the majority (61%) of HR professionals believe hiring developers will be their biggest challenge in 2023.
Studies show that one of the greatest tools to increase engagement is a comprehensive onboarding process, but providing a great candidate experience from the moment they receive the offer of employment, can be costly and time-consuming.
“My advice,” said Helen O’Hanlon, HR director at Espria, “is to provide a great candidate experience from the moment an offer of employment is extended. This will inevitably become an important aspect of attracting and retaining top talent and includes everything from the initial job posting and application process, to the offer itself and onboarding. It is a way to show candidates they are valued and that the company is committed to their success.”
O’Hanlon added that “while it may require a significant investment of time and resources, providing a great candidate experience is worth it in the long run.”
“Not only does it help to attract and retain top talent, but it also has the potential to improve employee satisfaction and productivity, leading to a positive impact on the company’s overall success.”
Subscribe to our Editor's weekly newsletter