You are currently viewing Pipeline preview: Working from home, opening borders won’t end the tech skills crisis – Training & Development

Pipeline preview: Working from home, opening borders won’t end the tech skills crisis – Training & Development

According to Bridget Gray, vice president of IT services at Korn Ferry APAC, remote work arrangements and the easing of border restrictions will only alleviate but not solve the talent crisis.

Gray, who will deliver the keynote address on the skills shortage at the upcoming CRN Pipeline conference on the Gold Coast next week, told CRN where the tech job market is tightening the most and why the shortage is costing so dear to organizations.

She explained how organizations can hire and retain talent through data-driven workforce planning, upskilling and reskilling and ways to incentivize employee retention through strategies such as clearly defined career development opportunities.

To what extent is the demand for technological skills increasing and the supply decreasing?

“We continue to feel the shortage of talent across all disciplines as Australia’s need for innovation drives the need for more and more technically and digitally proficient talent,” Gray said.

CPA Australia reports that 70% of Australian organizations surveyed had a digital transformation strategy and 47% planned to increase investment in or upgrade technology over the next twelve months.

“The outlook for information technology personnel is worse, with turnover expected to be closer to 20%,” Gray said.

“On the upside, IT candidates tend to stay and choose once they’ve accepted a job, with new hire turnover rates being among the lowest in the country,” Gray said.

Which technical skills tighten the most?

Gray said, “Software engineering remains the hottest IT skill set on the market, with an ever-increasing demand for full-stack developers,” alongside engineers trained in “data, cyber, and cloud.”

This is consistent with a recent CRN survey of more Australian IT buyers which asked them what skills and services they were looking for in an MSP.

The results were security, 33%, infrastructure, 28%, modern workplace (desktop, software, print management) 17%, other miscellaneous skills and services, 10%, network, 8% and unified communications: 4%.

According to the CPA report, 95% of Australian respondents said their organization currently uses cloud computing.

Based on responses from 820 employees from organizations in eight South Pacific countries, including Australia, the four technologies in which companies planned to invest more in the next 12 months were:

  • Data analysis and visualization software: 43%
  • Cloud Computing: 39%
  • Business intelligence software: 34%
  • Video conferencing and group collaboration tools: 31%

How much do on-demand tech skills cost businesses?

Gray said software, data, cyber and cloud skills were “in an acute state of demand and salary demand continues to drive up wages and rates.”

“Many consulting firms need to revise their pricing model, because even with the best culture and focus on offer, previous salary bands are far below market demand.”

According to CPA research, “financial costs and low return on investment” was the most cited reason why an organization had not invested more in technology, followed by “shortage of technology talent”.

A report from the Director of Human Resources Australia found that “Australian businesses are feeling the effects of talent shortages and high turnover where the cost of hiring an employee has risen to an average of $23,000 per candidate. – which is up from a typical spend of around $10,000 over the previous year. And it takes 40 days to fill a typical position.

Easing immigration restrictions will help but not solve the tech skills crisis

“We certainly have a backlog in visa approvals and Australia hasn’t rebounded as the top destination it enjoyed before the pandemic,” Gray said.

“The extended lockdowns and high-profile weather events have left international talent thinking about this decision more than perhaps they did before.”

“I think, however, that with warmer weather ahead, open borders and better communication of visa options to our global tech community, we should see an influx of new talent by the end of the calendar year. “

“I risk though that even with this influx, we will still have a national tech skills crisis with many more jobs than applicants, so we cannot just wait for immigration to solve our skills problem. We must requalify and improve the skills of the nation.

Remote work is not always the solution

“Working with your Digital Nomad colleagues is quickly becoming the norm with favorable growth in digital nomadism being propelled by new visas, taxes and work agreements to support this lifestyle and I expect we will continue to see the embracing this lifestyle for years to come,” said Gray.

“If candidates have had success working independently and from anywhere over the past year, coupled with many talents re-evaluating their priorities, adoption of this trend is inevitable.”

“We have seen a working from anywhere theme and in the majority of cases it has been mutually beneficial for employers and candidates to access skills and experience. Many candidates now expect rem parity with their Australian colleagues. So yes, it’s a great way to access talent.

However, Gray said remote work can also dampen employee morale and exacerbate pay disparities.

“It may not work commercially in some cases and create further pay disparities within organisations. This remote work strategy works well if your employee feels engaged with your brand and organizational goal and feels comfortable being accessible across different time zones.

Attracting and retaining technical skills

Gray pointed to various tactics organizations could use to address the skills shortage. “Upskilling, retraining and internal professional mobility are essential strategies for any organization serious about developing its future capabilities.”

Data-driven workforce planning is also key, she says. “You need to understand where you are and where you need to get to. Less about people and job titles, more about behavior, skills, learning agility and ability. Then plan how you will get there. “

“The companies that do it best use a well-thought-out strategy that carefully considers leveraging their existing high-performing subject matter experts with a career and skills development lens, then layers that with a plan for how best to to augment this platform most effectively with the required capacity and skills achievable in the market.

Earlier this week, CPA Australia said the shortage of tech skills was boosting work for MSPs, according to a report on the Digital Jobs Market.

Bridget Gray will speak at the CRN Pipeline conference on the Gold Coast on August 24. After two extraordinary years of transformation, this event will reconnect Australia’s most influential channel partners to explore new ways to maximize revenue.

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