The demand for IT talent is high, and the supply is scarce. As technology advances, employers are set to add even more tech employees. In fact, CareerBuilder’s 2015 U.S. job forecast, which surveyed 2,192 hiring and human resource managers, found that fully 54 percent of the employers involved planned to hire full-time, permanent IT employees. And that was up from 29 percent in 2014.
The factors fueling the tech talent shortage are complex, and vary depending on the specific IT field. But, with the talent pool obviously running dry, employers should look to emerging markets for tech talent to fill their needs.
Here are a few ways investing in global talent can benefit tech employers and emerging tech hubs:
1. Develop talent.
IT talent craves continuing education. There’s new technology to learn, along with new systems to understand and new skills that will help to push their careers forward.
In fact, my company, HealthITJobs.com, surveyed health IT professionals in June and found that continuing education was one of the top perks employees wanted from their jobs. But tech employers are falling short. On a scale of 1 to 10, 64 percent of respondents to our survey rated the professional development opportunities their workplaces provided, at "5" or below.
So, IT employers are in a difficult position. They can’t find the tech talent they need, and merely training existing employees to take on different responsibilities means they might be left with gaps they won’t be able to fill.
That’s where global talent comes in. Talented professionals from emerging markets are full of potential and ready to take on more entry-level positions. Giving these tasks to developing global talent will not only give them needed experience and training, but will also free up mid-level employees to gain experience in more advanced and specialized roles.
Employers can provide their employees with more professional development opportunities, keeping their tech talent happy and engaged, while maintaining a steady supply channel for both entry-level and advanced professionals.
2. Grow tech leadership.
Leadership is a major problem in the workforce. Almost half of the companies surveyed for Workplace Trends’ Global Workforce Leadership survey last February and March said that leadership was the hardest skill to find in employees. Among the 1,000 employees surveyed, only 36 percent said leadership was a strength at their organizations.
Tech employees also see leadership as a weakness in their respective workplaces. In the HealthITJobs.com survey, 51.3 percent of respondents rated their supervisors' ability to lead and engage at "5" or below. In addition, leadership was among the top three areas health IT professionals cited as something they felt their employers needed to improve.
Hiring global talent can help to grow leaders within tech organizations and abroad in emerging tech hubs. Working with remote talent will give employees opportunities to hone and improve their communication skills, and communication is a key part of leadership. Tech pros can also develop their leadership skills by training, monitoring and mentoring global talent.
3. Allow for flexibility.
Hiring global tech talent will inevitably create schedule changes for employers. Talented professionals located around the world work in different time zones, which means employers and employees here will need to adapt and become more flexible. What's more, those IT professionals will want more flexibility.
Among the health IT professionals we surveyed, 40.9 percent said the option to work from home was the most important perk a health IT company could offer, followed by their preference for flexible work hours: 27.5 percent rated this as their top choice.
Bringing on global talent will allow the whole team to be more flexible. Managers and supervisors will need to integrate new tools to facilitate communication and collaboration, which will allow all employees, whether they live 20 or 2,000 miles away, to work from their homes.
With more employees working at different times, creating customized schedules to fit the needs of each team member will lbe easier. More hours covered will also mean client needs can be met at almost any time from normal business hours to the middle of the night.
What do you think? What benefits can global IT talent bring your company?