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The Digital Talent War – Winning the Race

3 Mins read

Following my previous blog in this 2-part blog series, the war for digital talent is expected to only become fiercer going forward as technology adoption continues to gain steam. A recent study from Gartner revealed that talent shortage is the major adoption barrier for a whopping 65% of emerging technologies, compared to just 4% in 2020. In fact, the shortage of talent availability is more pervading than other technology adoption challenges such as cost of implementation or security risk.

This situation begs an all-important question: How can companies create a pool of employees capable of driving their digital initiatives at a time when the demand for tech talent is rising steeply?

In my last blog, I had written about the need for companies to understand key digital hiring imperatives such as focusing on core foundation skills, banking on employee potential, and forging stronger collaboration with academia. While these strategic hiring decisions can help companies close the existing skill gap, it’s also worth revisiting the priorities and preferences of talent prospects.

What Talent Prospects Are Thinking

The next-generation workforce nurtures a forward-thinking mindset with an openness towards the changing work environment and the zeal to explore newer things intuitively. Today, employees are more open to opportunities in organizations that promote a conducive work environment, that allows them to nurture and demonstrate skills that are required to gain a competitive edge in the digital world.

In such circumstances, organizations need to identify the workforce population with high potential, provide them with the opportunity to work in a fast-paced work environment, plan their orientation with new technologies much faster as compared to the general population. This is honestly quite opposite to what I see in practice currently. There are young leaders with immense potential to lead challenging assignments and drive success stories for companies in the future. The need of the hour is to identify them. Of course, there need to be the right balance between customer priorities and

employees’ satisfaction. This will help organization differentiate themselves to attract the right talent and retain them for longer term.

According to a recent study, a whopping 82% of employees believe that they will need to sharpen their skills or acquire new ones at regular intervals to sustain competitive advantage in the current market. Now, what this means is organizations will also have to take proactive steps in provisioning high-end collaborative technology to facilitate agile learning to reskill and upskill their employees.

During the pandemic, organizations were compelled to introduce the remote working model within a short span of time to facilitate business continuity. This stands as a testament to the fact that remote working is equally or in some cases more productive for even normal scenarios and it is here to stay. Employee expectations are evolving around flexibility, proximity to their home locations, work life balance to avoid burnout that comes with continuous remote working. While organizations have made proactive efforts to get closer to employees’ home locations by setting up offices in tier 2 cities, they will also need to focus on implementing the right technology that can help in orchestrating flexible work models. In fact, 83% of employees expect companies to reach out to suitable candidates irrespective of location barriers as a response to the global talent shortage. The writing is on the wall

– to position themselves as talent magnets in the future, companies will need to meet employees where they are.

The Road Ahead

The spectre of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge the digital hiring status quo across the enterprise ecosystem. From an organizational standpoint, it has accelerated digitization and, in the process, increased the demand for talent required to fuel aggressive digital transformation. At the same time, it has also transformed how employees view and approach work. In such circumstances, making strategic hiring decisions while creating a work environment that attract top talent will create a win-win situation for both the company and its employees in their collective quest to thrive in the digital era.

Author – Himanshu Agrawal

Global Delivery Head – Digital Engineering and Industry 4.0, Tech Mahindra

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