If you thought 2020 was rife with changes and lessons for the business world, well 2021 exposed a whole lot of weaknesses in our work systems and it is time for change now. HR departments in companies have been notorious for not being fully understanding of the tech roles they advertise and recruit for leading, in part, to the skill shortage that now plagues our business world. And though companies are just beginning to feel the effects of the Great Resignation, it is now turning into a major skill shortage crisis that no one quite knows how to deal with. With the incoming new year, there are a few ways in which your business can prepare to deal with these issues that may affect your hiring systems.
Distributed Tech Teams Are All the Rage
If your business needs a tech team, it might be a good idea to try hiring a dedicated developer team next time you find yourself in the need of new staff. This sector has truly gone global. It is common to hire experts from other countries when local talent is sparse and/or you do not have the infrastructure and time to arrange for a full-time, supervised office setup. Companies like Gaper, Andela and Turing are good places to start if you’re in the market for such a team.
Outsourcing for Cheap is No Longer Sustainable
There are better ways to describe affordable, offshore tech solutions but ‘cheap’ is how they are typically branded so let’s go with that. You may be able to save some money in the short term through this approach but it will certainly end up costing you more than just money in the longer term. Don’t hire engineers or developers from a company unless you are sure of their vetting process, turnover rate and engineer/developer career progress. Gaper and Andela have streamlined hiring and vetting processes with the former also training and teaching aspiring engineers for future placements.
Invest In Your IT Professionals
A major issue recently has been a shortage of cybersecurity professionals. A report by ISSA/ESG has shed light on how employers are to blame for the skills crisis as well. You can do two things to ensure that you don’t become the reason for poorly thought of HR processes.
Firstly, curate realistic job descriptions and criteria when hiring tech professionals. Be fair when you assess interview performance and make sure your HR department knows what is appropriate for the vacancy they are dealing with. You would be surprised to know how clueless and unfair HR can be about job roles they don’t have much knowledge about.
Following this, make sure your tech teams and IT professionals are paid fairly. Disappointing tech salaries are often a major reason why people end up quitting for freelance work which tends to pay handsomely especially to experienced professionals. Senior and more critical roles need even more thoughtful hiring and compensation. If you find this tricky to do, feel free to turn to the aforementioned companies to help you obtain remote engineers and developers.
Lastly, invest in their training. Tech standards and innovations change very fast. Big-name firms with a lot of R&D budget are able to keep up with these changes with little resistance and thus create new standards for other companies to follow. Make your tech teams go through at least 40 hours of training each year with a focus on new and upcoming technologies.
Don’t Return to Old, Inflexible Systems
Finally, if hiring in-house tech teams is too cumbersome on your management and/or accounting books, don’t do it. You can easily resort to distributed and remote teams of engineers vetted by reputed companies without straining your resources. This has in fact been the downfall of many companies in the past two years. The pandemic and now the future demand a much more flexible approach to work. Employees continue to quit workplaces that do not match these new trends. Millennials and Gen Z are even more vocal and supportive of remote and hybrid work.
To avoid any exogenous shocks hurting your business in the future, make sure you have enough built-in flexibility to allow for constant adapting and growth.
The takeaway is simple. Hiring processes and work systems have undergone a very dramatic, but long-lasting transformation in the past two years. It is up to businesses now to figure where they need to bring changes and where they can continue old systems. It is also important to keep an eye on your competition and whether you are in danger of losing your customers and tech teams to them just because they have adopted more flexible means of doing work. Where outsourcing was once frowned upon due to the questionable nature of work conditions and skill quality, distributed teams and dedicated tech teams have one-upped that idea by bringing in the most skilled and high-quality professionals from a global talent pool. Don’t dismiss this idea just because of skeptics who are resistant to any kind of change.