Digital transformation has been greatly undertaken across global markets and companies have already begun leveraging such opportunities to provide better products and engage consumers more effectively. But as more and more companies undertake the digitalization of business processes, it becomes increasingly challenging to find the right talent to support businesses through and post such transition phases.
The demand for people equipped with the necessary skills to contribute to a digitally geared future has today outstripped the supply of qualified talent. Institutions and academic centers have failed to catch up with the changing business need across the period of digitalization and that makes the job of modern-day recruiters difficult when it comes to sourcing the right talent for their companies.
Such barriers also reflect upon the nature of business. Many non-tech facing companies, especially large, traditional firms, especially those which operate in consolidated, non-growth industries find it difficult to attract digital talent; their problems further accentuated by the lack of quality talent. And even in cases where companies might have the right talent fit for people with digital skills, that’s not the only factor that recruiters and HR professionals have to align to ensure their company can attract the right people.
Factors around how the working culture operates within the organization play a major role in how effectively can a company hire and retain digital talent. As companies undergo changes, it is important to note that so do talent pools. Today the demographic composition of talent pools is more varied than at an earlier age which had a more streamlined composition. With both millennials and baby boomers in the talent pool, today vying for similar positions, it's not new that recruiters face a tough task when it comes to getting the right talent in. But this rise of millennial talent with a better grasp on digital services (a group that many have begun to address as “digital natives”) it is important to create a work culture that attracts such talent.
Reports show how today almost eight out of ten digitally talented employees prefer joining organizations that allow a flexible work-life balance. Seventy-five percent of digital talent prefer joining organizations with a flat hierarchy and accessible management as well as an open and collaborative physical workspace. Undertaking such changes helps HR professionals create a better employer brand and attract the right talent.
Training and growth opportunities
Reports show that digital talent often looks for career growth and training opportunities as a key factor in joining companies. The Capgemini report notes that over 55 percent of digitally talented employees who say they are willing to switch jobs if they feel their digital skills are stagnating. There are also cases where skill redundancy fears and lack of faith in their organization’s upskilling efforts impact how engaged people trained within digital fields of the application feel with the company and could trigger attrition. On this issue, over 55 percent in the Capgemini report said that they were willing to look for newer opportunities and apply for organizations that are willing to offer better digital skill development.
Training becomes an important part of the value proposition that attracts digital talent today. And it seems to be a big opportunity missed for most recruiters. The Capgemini Study shows that over 42 percent of employees describe their organization’s training programs as “useless and boring.” However, while employees worry about the future and clearly feel the need to keep their skills current, the report notes that employers aren’t necessarily doing much to alleviate such fears. Employees feel organizations’ training programs are not hugely effective. More than half of today’s digital talent say that training programs are not helpful or that they are not given time to attend. Instead, over 52 percent of employees interviewed for the study pointed out that they preferred learning through a massive open online course (MOOC) than their organization’s training program. This points to a glaring gap that HR professionals will have to address soon.
Leadership and investments
None of the above-mentioned points will have any long term impact if such HR initiatives can rope in the necessary leadership buy-in and the necessary investments that follow. This herculean task is more necessary now more than ever. There is a need to align leadership on talent strategies. Leadership will also have to play a greater role in seamlessly integrating new digital talent into the workforce. Dealing with a multi-generational workforce requires greater awareness of employee strengths, their working styles, and their aspirations.
Digital transformation involves much more than adopting additional technology — it is a deeply rooted managerial challenge. To succeed, companies not only need to attract, train, and retain new talent; they must integrate those people into core business processes. Talent development also needs to be framed in terms of the overall business strategy. Firms won’t see results if there is no clear vision for how digital capabilities will improve operational efficiency and customer value.