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How companies can win in the seven tech-talent battlegrounds

November 22, 2020
Sustainability

Companies have to hire the best, but that won’t be enough. They’ll also need to rethink how they reskill and upskill their people.

With the acceleration in digital, the demands on technology—for speed, flexibility, reliability, security, and value—have radically increased. For CIOs surveying how to transform their organizations, one tricky question is emerging: Where do I find the people to do all the work?

Few executives would debate the importance of talent or the difficulty that many have in attracting and keeping top people. But companies nevertheless aren’t treating tech talent with the urgency it demands. Respondents to a recent McKinsey survey report more significant impact from talent transformations than from any other technology-based play. Yet talent transformations are relatively rare. Only 27 percent say their companies have pursued one in the past two years, and just 15 percent believe they will do so in the next two years.

Amidst this reality, the increasing complexity of IT systems and the emergence of a broad range of new technologies, from cloud to artificial intelligence (AI) to machine learning, have increased the challenges. One European CEO and football fan explained it this way: if you gave him a big enough budget, he’d be confident he could put together a winning team. But a cricket team? He wouldn’t know where to start, since he doesn’t know anything about the game. He used the analogy to point out how hard it can be for leaders to know what talent they actually need.

A few companies, however, have started to crack the code. Companies winning in this arena have identified at a granular level the tech skills they need to build value for the business, have developed a clear view of their present and future talent needs, and are intentional about finding both top talent and adaptable learners. Crucially, these leaders understand that it’s impossible to hire everyone you need; training and reskilling the existing workforce has to be a core part of the strategy to win the talent battle. Some 82 percent of global executives expect that reskilling and upskilling will be at least half of the solution to their persistent skill gaps. Read more

By Matthias Daub, Ranja Reda Kouba, Kate Smaje, and Anna Wiesinger

Source: McKinsey.com

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