IT Recruitment: Addressing the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage
Around the world, the use of technology has increased to deal with the challenges posed by the pandemic. The need for remote access to essential business tools and/or enhanced online customer experiences is greater than ever.
As a result, the demand for professionals with technical capabilities in areas such as cybersecurity and coding has increased dramatically. As reported in the UK Digital Economy Council Jobs and Skills Report 2021it is estimated that in the UK, vacancies related to technology represent around 13% of all vacancies, the second highest by sector.
Here are four ways to tackle the skills shortage and find talent for success.
1. Look for soft skills
Technical skills and expertise have always been a given in industries such as technology and cybersecurity.
But as teams are stretched by skills shortages, the vital importance of soft skills is underscored. When asked about the most important factors to consider when hiring, modern tech leaders are likely to cite a good cultural fit as key to their search. Similarly, many will also stress the importance of peer feedback on soft skills when evaluating the performance of existing employees. These types of qualities and skills will often be more important than how many years of experience a potential new team member has or how proficient they can write code.
[ Also read IT retention: 5 strategies for becoming a talent magnet. ]
As these skills have become more integral, the traditional belief that a cybersecurity expert is someone who simply monitors threats and writes code to mitigate them has become much less prevalent, and soft skills have taken over. the front of the stage. To be successful, the modern developer must have a much better understanding of broader business goals and possess the skills to build cohesive and productive teams, be an effective communicator, and have the potential to become a leader in the future.
2. Remember that work is not a physical place
At the start of the pandemic, most organizations did a great job transitioning to remote work and keeping businesses going. Now, work is no longer seen as a physical place, and the sooner leaders catch up with this notion by providing flexibility and changing their thinking about productivity, the more likely they are to build successful teams.
I’d bet most tech leaders think the rise of remote work hasn’t hurt team relationships, and some might even say remote work has dramatically improved those relationships. In 2022, with the help of technology, it is perfectly possible to foster strong relationships despite the physical distance between teams.
With employees now better able to take on the most important challenges, it’s time for managers to take advantage of the increasingly remote nature of work and tap into a new pool of talent.
[ Read also: Hybrid and remote work: 3 new leadership rules ]
The challenge is to bring everyone on the journey with you. Every industry will struggle to convince the old guard that remote work is the future. By accurately measuring and reporting team productivity, as well as having open discussions about challenges, most can be brought to this more modern way of thinking.
Bringing a new member to the team shouldn’t be a process of finding someone exactly like everyone else in the company.
3. Focus on culture fit
With the distance that comes with remote work, cultural fit has never been more critical. Bringing a new member to the team shouldn’t be a process of finding someone exactly like everyone else in the company. In fact, fostering a healthy environment in which different viewpoints and ideas can coexist is an essential part of what makes an effective team.
Team cohesion in technology means that everyone is able to effectively express their ideas through regular creative and critical thinking sessions, and in their day-to-day collaboration with team members. Thus, everyone becomes a valuable member of the teams and contributes to successfully meeting the challenges.
A good culture allows teams to develop trust, goodwill and camaraderie. A cohesive team will diagnose and resolve technical issues faster, and be able to create something far more valuable than any individual could have created on their own.
4. Recruit strategically and widely
To close the skills gap, organizations have a responsibility to broaden their recruitment and ensure they are properly incentivizing potential employees, especially those who have recently graduated, into tech roles. Also, feel free to look further and engage with potential employees working overseas. If a candidate is based in a convenient time zone and has the necessary language and communication skills to succeed in an international role, there’s no harm in giving them the opportunity to fill one of the many vacancies in technology.
[ Get exercises and approaches that make disparate teams stronger. Read the digital transformation ebook: Transformation Takes Practice. ]