The war for talent is reaching peak pitch. Manpower Group’s 11th annual Talent Shortage Survey noted 40% of employers globally are having difficulty finding skilled workers, the highest level since 2007.[1] The survey found information technology (IT) positions are in very high demand, particularly for developers, programmers, database administrators, big data analysts and IT managers.[2]

A LinkedIn survey found the top IT skills that companies need relate to cloud computing, data mining, mobile development, network security, and middleware and integration software development.[3] Industry giants Cisco and Symantec estimate there are between 1 million and 1.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide.[4]

Employers cite few applicants and a lack of candidates with the technical competencies and experience needed as the main reasons they have unfilled positions. Other reasons include applicants asking for higher salaries than the company can afford and a lack of candidates with soft skills and workplace competencies.[5]

So what’s a company to do? Many are hiring temporary IT workers and beefing up training. Manpower Group reported 58% of businesses are developing and training existing staff to “upskill” their employees, a sharp increase from 20% of employers who reported doing so in 2015.[6]

Some other ways companies are addressing the IT talent gap include:[7]

  • Providing employees with access to free and low-cost online technical training programs
  • Giving incentives to attain certifications in technical computing skills and programming languages
  • Encouraging staff to switch departments and move to IT for cross-training and broader career development
  • Fostering talent through internship programs that offer real-world experience on a range of IT projects
  • Creating apprenticeship programs that expose workers to various IT roles to help them narrow their interests
  • Hiring temporary IT workers with the intent to transition many to full-time positions

[1] “Report: 40% of employers worldwide face talent shortages, driven by IT,” by Alison DeNisco, Tech Republic blog, Nov. 4, 2016. Available at: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/report-40-of-employers-worldwide-face-talent-shortages-driven-by-it/

[2] “2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey,” Manpower Group, issued Oct. 18, 2016. Press release and survey highlights available at: http://manpowergroup.com/talent-shortage-2016

[3] “Information Technology Skills to Close the IT Skills Gap in 2017,” Manpower Group blog, Nov. 8, 2016. Available at: https://insights.manpowergroupsolutions.com/growing-skills-gap-technology/

[4] “Indeed Spotlight: The Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap,” Indeed blog, Jan. 17, 2017. Available at: http://blog.indeed.com/2017/01/17/cybersecurity-skills-gap-report/

[5] “Report: 40% of employers worldwide face talent shortages, driven by IT,” by Alison DeNisco, Tech Republic blog, Nov. 4, 2016. Available at: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/report-40-of-employers-worldwide-face-talent-shortages-driven-by-it/

[6] “2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey,” Manpower Group, issued Oct. 18, 2016. Press release and survey highlights available at: http://manpowergroup.com/talent-shortage-2016

[7] Compiled from: [7] “Report: 40% of employers worldwide face talent shortages, driven by IT,” by Alison DeNisco, Tech Republic blog, Nov. 4, 2016. Available at: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/report-40-of-employers-worldwide-face-talent-shortages-driven-by-it/ and “Six ways to fix the IT skills shortage,” by Mark Samuels, ZDNet blog, Oct. 17, 2016. Available at: http://www.zdnet.com/article/six-ways-to-fix-the-it-skills-shortage/

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