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The Key to Winning the Talent Battle in Tech

Workplace disruption exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the technology industry – greatly expanding the talent pool from local communities near an office hub to sourcing candidates from around the world. With the world opened up for tech talent, candidates are in the driver’s seat when it comes to tech industry hiring (despite the uncertainty of today).

In this environment where new hires are expensive and change is the only constant, recruiting new employees to fill roles and skills gaps may not be the best approach for your business. So, what gives?

“In a world where skilled talent can be challenging to find, retaining high-performance employees becomes more critical than ever,” notes a Web Summit blog.

“Companies that fail to recruit and retain great tech talent are bound to lose their edge, cede ground to competitors, and, in many cases, fade away,” according to Bain & Company. “Meanwhile, companies that adopt a winning talent strategy will have a powerful advantage that’s just as critical to their success as the competitive moat created by their technology products.”

A Winning Talent Strategy

What does a winning talent strategy look like in practice?

It’s a fresh approach to talent management in a recruitment climate that remains highly competitive even in the face of rapidly changing market conditions. Especially in times of economic uncertainty, you can’t afford to invest in hiring new employees who might leave the company within a few months. And with tech companies facing greater scrutiny around performance and efficiency, it may not be feasible to bring in costly outside talent.

So, what can you do? Turns out the best talent strategy is to focus on reskilling and upskilling the talent you already have. Not only can this approach help you retain your top talent, but it can also save the company money – benefiting the bottom line. According to McKinsey, “While reskilling an internal employee may cost $20,000 or less, the cost of hiring often costs $30,000 for recruitment alone, in addition to onboarding training.” And with uncertainty across the tech space today, you know as well as any analyst that cost efficiency is paramount. Shifting your focus from external hires to upskilling and reskilling existing talent is one of the most reliable ways to improve the cost efficiency of your talent function .

How to Win the Tech Talent Battle and Get the Skills You Need

As McKinsey puts it, “It’s impossible to hire everyone you need. Training and reskilling the existing workforce has to be a core part of the strategy to win the talent battle.”

How can you make sure you win that battle?

Before you can embark on an upskilling or reskilling initiative, it’s important to understand the skills your current workers already possess. Rather than interviewing each worker or asking them to complete a survey, why not make use of the talent data you have on hand? ‘Easier said than done,’ you may be thinking. Not necessarily. However, if your skills data is dispersed across the company and stored in multiple systems, you’ll need to consolidate it into a centralized repository so that you can get a full picture of your skills landscape.

You’ll also want to enlist the help of AI to make connections between skills and roles and between possessed skills and potential to develop new skills.

An AI-powered talent data platform can help to aggregate your talent data and map data points so that talent teams can quickly see which workers are best positioned to develop the skills that are in high demand. AI and machine learning can also be used to help create personalized skills development plans for your workers.

AI can quickly find connections that would be time-consuming or impossible to uncover manually. For example, with a centralized, AI powered talent data platform, you can easily see how certain skills relate to open positions – even if they’re not mentioned in the job description – and how other skills can be systematically grown and developed.

McKinsey sums it up, explaining that, “the best companies look for ‘strong talent,’ which has the ability to learn and adapt.” Is your talent data platform able to learn and adapt with your workforce?

Learn how Beamery helps tech companies win the talent battle through reskilling and upskilling.