The tech skills shortage and solutions for attracting the best talent

The tech skills shortage and solutions for attracting the best talent

Despite tech being a growing and innovative sector, there is a crippling skills shortage that is causing problems for tech companies across Lancashire and the rest of the UK.

In Lancashire, there aren’t enough IT workers to meet the demand for their skills which can lead companies to reject the adoption of emerging technologies. This is not good for tech companies, and it’s catastrophic for the wider economy.

Lancashire skills shortage areas have been identified as software programming, cyber security, digital marketing, DevOps, and electronics technology. Even before the pandemic, the digital skills requested in 89% of job specifications were already lacking. Remote working and distancing rules highlighted the issue and left many businesses desperately trying to catch up.

Why is there a tech skills shortage?

Tech skills gaps are widening with fewer young people considering tech as a career, despite tech vacancies making up the highest proportion of all vacancies in the UK. This, coupled with the post-pandemic Great Resignation, is leaving Lancashire businesses short of tech talent.

According to an article by FE News, reasons for a lack of interest in tech roles among young people could be down to

  • the industry’s poor reputation for offering a good work/life balance
  • a lack of confidence in advanced digital skills such as coding
  • not enough focus in the school curriculum on encouraging analytical thinking
  • a general misinterpretation of what a career in technology can offer
  • non-inclusive work cultures.

What can you do to overcome the tech skills shortage?

Hire a contractor

A quick way to overcome a tech skills shortage is to hire a contractor. This option allows businesses to target specific skills and requirements. With many freelance contractors available in the tech sector, their services give businesses the flexibility to use their skills only as and when they are required.

Improve recruitment strategies

Many companies are changing their approach when recruiting for tech roles.

  • There has been a significant shift away from only recruiting fully skilled tech workers towards recruiting talented workers with basic skills who can be retrained.
  • With hybrid and flexible working becoming more desirable, Lancashire companies are finding ways to make these work patterns viable to attract top talent. Employers are also introducing workable solutions for fully remote workers.
  • Diversity and inclusion are other areas where Lancashire businesses can improve to overcome the tech skills shortage. More needs to be done to improve diversity and inclusion policies in tech workplaces due to their influence on the career decisions of skilled workers.
  • While it may seem obvious to state that higher salaries, better work conditions, and improved employee benefits will increase a business’s chances of attracting and retaining the top tech talent, Lancashire recruiters do need to develop a robust strategy around these requirements if they want to be competitive when dipping a toe into the talent pool.
  • Upskilling is a cost-effective way to overcome the limitations of a tech skills shortage. Upskilling evokes loyalty and commitment from staff that will reduce the number of skills gaps in your business.
  • To attract new tech talent into a business, providing training opportunities, programmes, apprenticeships, and sponsorships will all prove beneficial. These require a proactive approach that is robust and meaningful for both the employee and employer.

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