Article: IT recruitment skill gap: How to identify challenges and overcome them


IT recruitment skill gap: How to identify challenges and overcome them

High attrition is attributed to the shortage in new-age tech talent and recruiters are redesigning their hiring strategies and betting on contract-to-hire staffing platforms and other online hiring platforms.
IT recruitment skill gap: How to identify challenges and overcome them

As the economy continues to transform digitally, the ecosystem of IT hiring evolved dramatically. From e-commerce to AI and data mining to cloud technologies, the tech hiring frenzy refused to take a halt. According to the reports, the IT industry created over 5,00,000 new jobs in the market alone in FY22. The covid-19 accelerated digitalisation by five to ten years in India. 

India is a powerhouse of IT talent that is witnessing a steep surge in IT recruitment due to its technology-driven start-up culture. Organisations are increasingly investing in hybrid work model tools including cloud technologies, digital customer outreach, AI, and automation to streamline repetitive and mundane tasks. However, there is a wide market gap between the rate of IT adoption that intends to hire over 10,00,000 people by the end of 2023 and the availability of competent IT professionals. 

The IT sector will always pose myriad challenges to recruiters in hiring tech-savvy talent and one needs to be prepared before anyone jumps into the market. 

Talent supply shortage

There is no denying that covid-19 has created an unparalleled demand for the IT workforce. However, the gap between demand and supply is inevitable. It requires better solutions as the Indian IT market was already battling with a chronic dearth of talent even before the pandemic outbreak. The limited availability of skilled talent in the IT industry is further initiating a war of talent within the industry, resulting in record-high attrition rates. As per reports, India is already battling with the tech demand-supply gap of 21.1% which is further projected to stout in the coming years. 

Talent availability for in-demand roles

With Metaverse, Web3, and Industry 4.0 on the horizon, new roles in the tech industry are springing up at a faster pace. The demand for IT talent has grown multifold and new positions comprising data engineers, programmers and developers will continue to lead the digital transformation of the Indian economy. In addition, UI/UX designers, no code developers, Android / iOS app developers, etc. are gaining prominence in the industry that needs reskilling of existing tech talent to meet the burgeoning demand of the industry.  

The shift in hiring strategies

The attrition rate in the Indian IT industry is at an all-time high. It is around 25 per cent. High attrition is attributed to the shortage of new-age tech talent. As a result, recruiters are redesigning their hiring strategies and betting on contract-to-hire staffing platforms and other online hiring platforms. These platforms play a crucial role in hiring employees for hard-to-fill roles. Bringing contract to hiring and gig workers into the mainstream help in delivering high-value projects at efficient costs. Furthermore, recruiters are also exploring solutions to tackle the dearth of talent by hiring non-IT background professionals and training them for the role. 

Longer notice period

Though HR policies are gradually changing due to the paradigm shift in work models and recruitment processes, one thing that still hampers the onboarding of new employees is longer notice periods. A 30 to 90 days notice period poses a difficult challenge for HRs because the system disrupts the working of the entire staff. In the present-day scenario, employers need a 15-day notice period rather than 90 days and to get rid of new hires they even buy out their notice period. The problem that is already prevailing in the market for ages is not going to vanish overnight and needs certain revisions in the HR policies of organisations. 

Candidates desire for new work culture 

To attract top industry professionals, organisations need to reconsider their culture and employer branding strategies. It is the key to winning the war of talent by building a sound and positive image brand in the market. According to a LinkedIn study, around 75% of people looking for a job consider the employer brand before sending their application. As the covid-19 muddled the organisation’s recruitment processes, companies slowed down their investments in employer branding strategies. To attract and retain skilled talent, organisations must leverage the idea of ensuring a positive candidate experience by promoting their culture on social media and creating an outstanding employer image. 

Candidates back out at the last moment

Recruitment is an expensive affair. Every time a candidate backs out before the scheduled interview, after the interview, or on the day of joining, the recruiter has to initiate the process all over again. Though the recruiter would find another potential candidate as a replacement, a good amount of time and effort go in vain, resulting in delayed results and impacting the revenue. The most potential candidate backing out at the last moment is the last thing HR would want in their recruitment process. To avoid such situations, recruiters must conduct a thorough background check to know whether the candidate is applying just to test his potential, whether your offer is just an option among plenty of other options available to him/her or if he/she is expecting a counter offer from the previous employer because it is difficult to accept a job change.  

Lack of recruiter’s technical expertise 

Lack of clarity on the job requirement or technical expertise in interviewing IT candidates creates a huge gap between the employer’s expectations/requirements and the candidate’s profile. The best IT talent wants to build a strong portfolio while the employer wants to employ the right candidate for its job function. Therefore, recruiters need to be very specific about the job description and the initial round of interviews. To bridge the gap, recruiters should know when to redirect the conversation to the department’s senior leadership to bring transparency between candidates’ expectations and the details of the job function. 

Way forward

In the highly competitive IT talent market, recruiters are confronting new challenges every day. However, to stay ahead in the market, IT recruiters must figure out where to look to expand the talent pool. This will open new avenues for organisations to close hard-to-fill positions from non-IT backgrounds, and gig and contract staffing platforms.

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Topics: Recruitment, Skilling, #GuestArticle

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