Companies in every industry across the globe are digitalizing their operations in preparation for the future world of work, leaving many ill-equipped to find the right talent they need to help drive and enforce the transformation.
A recent global survey of 1000 business leaders by Harvard Business Review examined what ‘digitally-ready’ employers are doing differently to ensure they find and retain the right skills. The survey found that what sets these employers apart, is a robust talent pipeline. It also found that the fundamental distinction between companies that are good at filling their digital talent needs and those that struggle, is not that they pay more for recruits, nor spend more to train them, but that they go beyond the conventional practices of recruiting.
The survey found these employers do a combination of four things:
1. They look for potential, not credentials
Given that the life cycle of any given technology skill is only about two years, the clock on technical expertise quickly runs out. A stronger candidate, therefore, may be someone curious, adaptable, and quick to learn. The leaders in the survey (those best at staffing their digital initiatives) cast a wider net than other companies. They are more likely to hire people with associate degrees (81% vs. 39%), vocational or trade school graduates (73% vs. 39%), or those who have taken time out for parenting (71% vs. 24%).
2. They value soft skills as much as technical ones
IT development used to be about writing a spec and coding it, but today it’s more about finding problems and creating solutions. For instance, with digitalization initiatives focused on improving how customers and employees interact with the company, so-called soft skills have become more important than technical ones. The skills in highest demand among survey respondents are teamwork (74% of respondents), leadership (70%), and communication (67%), all soft skills, followed by user experience and analytics, which are technical ones.
3. They think about teams, not individuals
Leaders in agile organizations and teams are not always those with the most impressive titles or broad managerial responsibilities. Companies will always need PhDs and MBAs to groom as future leaders. But the leaders in the survey are much more likely to hire graduates with non-STEM degrees (76% to 39%), non-college graduates with high aptitude scores (71% to 38%), and vocational or trade school graduates who can be valuable contributors to teams.
4. They incentivize employees to grow
Leading companies are much more inclined to reward higher skill levels with better compensation (67% to 41%), benefits (64% to 23%) and responsibility (78% to 58%).
Homecoming Revolution offers bespoke talent catalogues of our vast global network of African professional talent, enabling employers to assess their existing skills and identify those required for the future. Each catalogue is built from scratch according to each employer’s needs and specifications. Get in touch to find out more (firstname.lastname@example.org).