The IT employment market in Ireland continues to experience a significant shortage of experienced technology professionals, as Morgan McKinley reported in their quarterly market reviews.
The high demand for professionals with tech skills and relatively low number of skilled candidates has driven the wage growth which according to Enterprise Ireland is nearly three times the national average.
Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, HP, Intel and Vodafone’s presence has resulted in Ireland becoming a global tech hub that attracts some of the world’s brightest tech talent. However, this highly skilled talent pool is drying out quick as international tech giants and indigenous SMEs are competing for these specialists in this space.
The Impact of Tech Talent Shortage
A fast pace of innovation in areas such as mobility, data, app development and cybersecurity affects every company, regardless of the service or product they offer. In order to sustain their levels of productivity, efficiency and development, organisations demand IT talent. This means that the shortage in professionals is a real challenge for employers across all industries.
Below we explore the consequences of failing to fill IT vacancies on a business:
How to combat the talent shortage
There are a few things that companies can and some already do to overcome the challenges related to talent shortages:
1. Upskilling current employees - companies are becoming more proactive in supporting their employees by greater investment in L&D. There are several tools and approaches that employers can choose from, to upskill their workers. These include classroom or online training sessions, workshops, education reimbursements, certification programs and many more.
2. Redefining hiring criteria - some organisations take upskilling their workforce a step further by hiring candidates who may not fit the exact criteria on their job description. Candidates are selected based on their potential to acquire certain skills as the companies plan to upskill new joiners as soon as they join the workforce.
3. Turning towards new, innovative hiring strategies - using tactics and tools that haven’t been used before becomes a more common solution for companies that struggle with finding talented candidates. Some of these tactics involve innovative ways of using social media to reach out to the candidates or gamification to attract the right talent.
4. Untapped and under-tapped talent pools - partly due to talent shortages but also as a way of increasing diversity, companies reach out to untapped and under-tapped talent pools to find the potential candidates among groups such as people with visible and invisible disabilities, criminal record, stay at home parents and older people.
5. Partnering with educational organisations is another way some large and small organisations approach the challenge of getting on the radar of future professionals. Another extremely popular collaboration is how companies are partnering with universities. The reason this is increasing is because businesses are acquiring highly educated candidates who meet their business requirements.
6. Updating internal processes and policies to address the changing needs of the workforce. More and more companies include more flexibility not only as a benefit to avail of but also as a tool to attract remote workers and those based in areas they wouldn’t be able to commute from.
Although HR and TA professionals have faced the supply and demand challenges in the past, the IT talent shortages are reaching levels that are higher than ever before. Understanding their companies strategic goals, the economic environment and the demand for the services or products the company offers, will help HR professionals predict the future talent demands and create candidate pipelines. A company’s ability to stay competitive in today's market lies in the hands of HR departments who are responsible for ensuring the right balance of talent.
If you would like to discuss different strategies to overcome IT talent shortages, please get in touch with us to arrange a call with one of our experts.