Quick Tips

5 creative ways to address gaps in IT resources and talent

In a survey of more than 1,000 hiring managers and recruiters, more than half (53 percent) of respondents have hired IT talent, in spite of candidates not necessarily meeting the requirements of the original job description. This alludes to the fact that businesses are working hard to meet their needs for IT talent. Here are five more ways that businesses can employ to fill the gaps in their IT talent pool.

#1: Training People with Transferable Skills/Hiring Recent Grads

Businesses can meet their IT needs by training people within the organization who have the transferable skills needed: for instance, an IT-savvy employee (but not necessarily a member of the IT team) who can learn a new computer language to meet the job requirement.

Bringing interns into the organization is also a perfect chance to feel out a cultural fit – their ability to learn and adapt and to measure how they’d work with the existing team.

Another way that businesses can fill tech roles by turning to internal training to fill talent gaps is by hiring college graduates with two- or four-year degrees in computer science or even technical trade school graduates. This requires growing them into mid-level techs who bring value, which can take a little longer, but is very valuable once done.

#2: Support and Mentor Programs

Companies having a hard time finding tech talent may consider creating a mentor program and work with junior IT team members to put them on a skills fast-track. The first six months of the mentor program is always an investment period, with team members acquiring new skills quickly. At the six-month or (in some cases) one-year point, they begin creating value for the company, although they still need the advice of senior leadership to grow and avoid pitfalls.

#3: Internal Training, Certification

If you have competent IT generalists but the need arises for them to receive specific training, it always pays to invest in their certification training, providing they show the aptitude and ambition and fit their company’s long-term vision.

The potential downside is that investing in IT personnel training doesn’t always continue to pay off, as they may leave at a certain point, taking the training you provided with them to another, higher-paying job. This is a risk that companies must simply grin and bear as the opportunity cost of not having this qualified experience in your team is often greater than not providing the training at all.

Furthermore, investing in your people is fundamental to a retention strategy, regardless of the industry you are in. Definitely a key point to remember.

#4: Sharing IT Talent with Other Businesses

Another approach that may be possible is that other, non-competitive businesses that you work with, such as vendors or businesses operating in the same building, may have part-time tech staff that you can work with and whose consulting costs can be shared with their initial employer. This may be more feasible if your business is relatively small and its IT needs are more straightforward.

It does present some drawbacks, as they may not be available when there is a problem, even though they may be on call. Other challenges are, they may be IT generalists rather than specialists, so they may not have the skills to handle more complex IT needs.

Often companies who run into this kind of situation then turn to companies, which provide a dedicated solution on the basis of a solid service-level agreement.

#5: Strategic IT Staffing Through Augmentation.

All of these solutions can be quite costly, and depending on your IT needs, it may be a long time before you see the return on investment at some type of break-even point. In today’s digital era, IT needs are a combination of current network and IT system maintenance, monitoring, and management. Additionally, it is about IT strategy development and implementation for technology solutions that will meet future business needs. This is true regardless of the size of your business, so with part-time IT staff or even in-house IT personnel, their skill sets and numbers may not be sufficient to effectively bridge the IT resources gap.

Gaps in IT can lead to major problems in network downtime, slow technology processes, and cyber attacks due to poor security patches and software update scheduling. With today’s deadline-driven IT demands and time-compressed project cycles, the ability to augment a core IT staff with on-demand advanced-skills professionals can dramatically increase a company’s competitive advantage.

By having an external managed web infrastructure services partner, such as NxTcoms, to deal with the foundation on which all your web presence is built, as well as oversee the long-term evolution and strategy, your organisation can tap into highly skilled IT consultative support.

The very best of the managed dedicated hosting providers give a broad and interconnected suite of services that is bolstered by an understanding of how to develop and fulfill a defined infrastructure strategy, aligned with business goals, vision, and culture.

The support of a web infrastructure provider that has the experience needed can effectively bridge gaps in IT personnel, while providing monitoring, maintenance, security, and vendor relationships for the inevitable investments in new and improved IT and web solutions. The right provider will give a set price contract that can be adjusted for expanding and short-term needs. You will also have a dedicated account manager, who can consult on the development of a sound IT, cybersecurity, and virtualisation strategy to prepare your business for future needs in ways that foster agility, growth, and flexibility.

Chris Hudson
Co-founder @ NxTcoms