As organizations accelerate their digital efforts, the impact of the tech talent shortage is causing increasing strain on resources as well as productivity finds a survey by Robert Walters. The study finds that in Southeast Asia hiring tech talent is difficult and is also time-consuming, but critical to business success.
Based on a survey conducted in April 2019 by Robert Walters with nearly 400 technology professionals and hiring managers across Southeast Asia, 68 percent of respondents who were hiring managers took three months or more to fill an open tech position on their team. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest, tech hiring managers rated the difficulty level of hiring talent on an average score of 7. Business productivity and innovation took a hit as 7 in 10 hiring managers interviewed shared that the shortage of tech talent negatively affected their speed of product development.
Nandita Nandakumar, Associate Director of IT Commerce at Robert Walters Singapore said: “The development of skillsets has not quite kept pace with the breakneck speed of technology. Singapore, which has traditionally focused on skillsets for areas such as engineering and finance, is faced with the challenge of finding and having the tech talent required.”
Change the way we view benefits
Companies are advised to review their recruitment strategy – be more proactive, discard conventional notions, and refresh the recruitment process. They are urged to begin early to reach out to and educate potential candidates through increasing the awareness of their employers’ brand and ensure a ready pipeline of quality and motivated talent. To complement existing sourcing methods, companies can consider non-traditional avenues such as seeking overseas talent or tech talent in other industries to reach out to untapped pools of talent. A review of the recruitment process, such as shortening it or investing effort in engaging the candidates, can help job seekers feel more valued and appreciated.
Incorporating more flexibility in the benefits package, based on individual preferences, can be an effective tool to attract and retain tech talent. The survey showed that more than half (57 percent) of tech professionals interviewed would agree to a smaller increment if offered the right benefits. The top 3 benefits favored by respondents when choosing a company were flexible hours (58 percent), family insurance (49 percent) and remote working options (46 percent).
Create a culture that focuses on team growth
Identifying high potential candidates and developing a strong learning culture are beneficial in helping talent shine. Companies are urged to consider candidates who show high potential, such as a good aptitude for learning quickly and working in teams, being comfortable in using technology to create solutions and having experiences or skills useful to the team.
Setting aside resources and opportunities to help tech talent grow in their roles will help keep them motivated, learn about the different areas of tech, and pick up on skills that they are less familiar with. Tech professionals surveyed cited training workshops on technical and soft skills, cross-functional project involvement, and job rotation opportunities as among the training opportunities that interest them most.
Spark change from the top
To enable change, leaders need to walk the talk to attract, motivate and retain tech talent. Business leaders who believe in the value of technology in accelerating the business, and incorporate it into the culture and direction of the company will set the tone. In hiring management candidates to lead the team, companies are encouraged to look beyond technical abilities, for one who has a good understanding of the current technology landscape and strong stakeholder management skills.