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Overcoming IT Staffing Challenges during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The prevailing market conditions require employers to think long and hard to manage IT-staff during the pandemic strategically. The year’s beginning looked promising, but the pandemic later occasioned many industries to take a severe financial hit from the loss of revenue and other pandemic-related causes. With travel, hospitality, and food industries bearing the brunt and being large buyers of technology, tech vendors could experience a decline in revenue in the short to medium term. The pandemic has forced companies to shut down offices and resort to implementing and managing remote work; this does not help considering the global shortage of IT workers. It is crucial for hiring managers to plan for long-term technology requirements as the world must brace itself for the “new normal” where telecommuting will play an important role. The best way to progress would be to plan for the future now instead of scrambling at the last moment.

For example, suppose you own a software company and anticipate that your company will have openings for Java developer jobs in the future. It is best to nurture your candidate pipeline by looking for talent through specialist recruitment agencies or training existing staff to expand their skill set. Another option could be to establish partnerships with recruitment agencies or educational institutions to acquire a stream of talent to help your organization in the long run. Companies must act fast; delaying will put you in competition with other employers with a limited talent pool. This would ultimately result in your company paying higher wages for the skills needed.

Scarcity in IT talent is not a new development by any stretch of the imagination. It is a real problem that plagues businesses around the globe. CompTIA published in its International Trends in Technology, and Workforce Survey report that analyzed more than 1000 businesses across 14 countries and found that 72% of the companies pointed out that they experienced difficulties acquiring tech talent to meet business objectives. The report also indicated that 45% of the businesses prioritized hiring tech workers, and 87% failed to do this and resorted to outsourcing. In addition, companies like Amazon are resorting to improving the skills of existing staff to cope with the dearth of specialized tech talent.

The best way forward would be to take a data-driven approach to discover the skills needed the most in the future and identify the technology trends that are likely to drive your workforce. Business intelligence groups in your sector could be a good starting point. Endeavouring to train your existing workforce to fulfill future needs can save time and money in the long run. Moreover, it is worth identifying geographies where the skill set you are after is common. Analyse the workforce and the market to leverage sources of talent that are not obvious unless researched thoroughly. For example, you could train a risk analyst to gain skills in cybersecurity as there is a clear skill overlap between the two roles. Acting fast and taking a data-driven approach to hiring while considering recruitment agencies may help keep your business alive in these difficult times. 

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