HR Metrics

The Myth of the Tech Talent Shortage

Virtually every business complains about the talent gap, of being unable to acquire all the skills it needs to push objectives forward. And a lot of business literature backs up this tech talent shortage—or it has, until now. In an article for TechRepublic, Alison DeNisco Rayome shares findings from a new Forrester report that claims the tech talent gap is partially in our heads.

Talent Found?

According to Rayome, tech talent is both available and affordable. This conclusion is drawn from looking at the data on the numbers of tech workers entering the workforce and also the numbers on increasing tech salaries. In a nutshell, the number of tech workers in the workforce is both healthy and growing, and the average rise in tech salaries has been only barely larger than the average rise for all U.S. wages. A lack of average salary spike—as seen in fields such as anesthesiology—would suggest that there is not a worker shortage.

However, where shortages do genuinely exist, they are “confined to specific industries, geographies, and skills.” Or in other words, some skills are scarcer than others, and some geographic areas have a harder time attracting talent. That sure sounds like a pervasive tech talent shortage to me. So it is strange that Rayome and the research seemingly downplay this crucial element. But Rayome does write this about it:

CIOs tend to battle to find professionals with niche skills in areas such as security and data science. … CIOs also may face difficulties finding candidates with experience in their organization’s field, Forrester noted. Wage growth has also been higher within these high-demand job categories, suggesting that subsets of workers in each area hold qualifications that make the competition to find and hire them much greater than average[.]

Firms located outside of major tech hubs and urban centers also struggle to attract tech talent.

At any rate, Forrester ultimately recommends that CIOs do these three things to address their talent gaps:

  • Be prepared to compete for tech talent, via compensation packages, specialized working arrangements, and personalized career paths.
  • Tap into new talent sources.
  • Design your model for the talent that is realistically attainable—or in other words, make the best of the talent that is available.

For further thoughts on this mythical tech talent shortage that very clearly is not a myth, you can view the original article here:

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