Why Investing in Your Tech Talent Is Still Imperative


In the face of fierce competition, large tech companies continue to bid up the cost of tech talent. The need for companies to retain a clear, tailored strategy to attract and retain tech talent remains more apparent than ever, writes Vivek Sharma, chief executive officer and founder of InStride.

Even with the recent rise in U.S. unemployment rates due to the impact of COVID-19, nearly every primary industry understands the critical long-term need to attract high-quality tech talent to support business operations and future growth.

As the pandemic continues to impact just about every facet of our lives, the one underlying current keeping several companies running and expanding is technology.

From the exponential rise in the use of tech toolsOpens a new window to meet the high demand of people now working from home to the need for heightened cybersecurity in industries such as e-commerce and healthcare, the need for new tech talent will remain high – and perhaps be even more significant – as the world recovers from the current crisis and establishes a new state of business as usual.

“Technology-related talent will continue to be needed across a wider swath of U.S. jobs, well beyond the traditional TMT (technology, media, and telecom) sectors where they were expected in the past,” said Amy Miles, the former chair of the board and CEO of Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGCOpens a new window ).

“Given the rapid pace of change, those already in the field also need to constantly update their skills and commit to lifelong learning to compete,” added Amy.

Companies must develop a transformative tech talent strategy that drives immediate and future business objectives. How can organizations create a plan that meets both short and long-term talent needs?

Focus on Learning and Advancement as the Key to Success

In addition to culture and mission, lifelong learning and career growth opportunities play critical roles in attracting, developing, and retaining the right workforce. The ever-changing world of tech requires continuous learning. As 61% of employees prioritize career growth over payOpens a new window , companies need to support and reinforce learning through several efforts.

1. Empower tech employees with educational opportunities to upskill and earn credentials

Shorter, more targeted approaches such as taking singular tech courses that complement existing degrees, boot camps, or earning online certificates and credentialsOpens a new window take less time to complete and remain generally affordable. And they enable employees to advance to the next level in their current positions in a shorter time.

While these condensed and targeted approaches can be useful, earning a more advanced degree also holds significant value to help employees move up within an organization. Some companies are now prioritizing opportunities for employees who hold associate degrees to earn their bachelor’s degrees in computer science or information technology, a direction Infosys, a leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, decided to take. Through a new training and reskilling initiative, Infosys aims to amplify domestic talent and shrink the IT skills gap.

“Soft skill” degrees in business administration, communication, and finance are emerging as another educational opportunity for companies. They offer employees with bachelor’s degrees, as more tech management and executive positions now require the development of business strategy and effective communication with non-tech leadership. By attaining these types of degrees, tech talent can also inspire their colleagues downstream to earn non-tech degrees and create other paths for advancement.

Learn More: Retain, Develop, Plan, Innovate * Talent Management & RecognitionOpens a new window

2. Create a university pipeline of talent

Company-university partnerships can take many forms, such as Infosys’ establishment of training programs with Arizona State University (ASU), Purdue University, Trinity College, and North Carolina State University, among others, which are associated with the company’s recently opened Technology and Innovation Centers. Ravi Kumar, president of Infosys, indicated that one of the most critical factors in choosing the locations of Infosys’ Centers was the quality of the academic ecosystems in the state and the availability of large pools of talent.

Another pipeline example involves companies and colleges in the Washington, D.C., area that developed a set of credentials through the facilitation of the Capital CoLAB. Students who earn the credentials secure priority for job interviews and internships with those firms.

Partnering with a university can lead to other mutually beneficial synergies, such as shaping the development of their curriculum. This type of collaboration helps companies ensure their future workforce will have the skills they seek, while the universities benefit from the insight industry can provide. For example, Google plans to expand its professional certificate in information technology support to 100 community colleges, with colleges embedding and customizing the certificate for their IT programs.

3. Expose employees to new technologies regularly

Companies can keep employees engaged and informed by tapping into a university ecosystem that offers advanced technologies that may not be available in the work environment. In addressing this need, MIT launched MIT HorizonOpens a new window , a digital content library for workforce learning on emerging technologies. It contains articles, videos, and podcasts designed to keep tech workers up to date on the latest developments in AI and robotics.

Learn More: Tech Tools for Hiring Top TalentOpens a new window

The Time to Act Is Now

The need for companies to have a clear, tailored strategy to attract and retain tech talent remains more apparent than ever, especially as this need becomes more pronounced across all industries. While the challenges around recruiting and developing the right talent can feel overwhelming at times, in light of the current pandemic environment, C-suite leaders can take concrete steps to prioritize what employees seek in today’s workplace and align this strategically to their companies’ long-term business objectives.

When it comes to tech talent, by focusing on workplace culture, learning, and advancement, companies acquire the key to success and competitive differentiation to set them up for sustained success in the future.

Which strategies are you implementing to attract and retain tech talent? Tell us on FacebookOpens a new window , LinkedInOpens a new window , or TwitterOpens a new window !