THE PERSISTENT LABOUR SHORTAGE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM HAS HAD A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE TECH INDUSTRY, PARTICULARLY IN TERMS OF SKILLED CANDIDATES.
The challenge lies not only in the scarcity of candidates but also in the scarcity of highly skilled individuals. As the demand for cloud services continues to grow, major cloud services providers face difficulties in finding certified cloud-native engineers to meet this demand. More than half of UK small and medium sized businesses are currently experiencing skills shortages. While some companies are relaxing job requirements to fill positions, a strong foundation of skills remains essential for employees to succeed.
Poonam Flammarion, Head of Talent Academy at Eviden, an Atos company knows expanding diversity is essential to alleviate the cloud talent crisis and has dedicated most of her career to raising standards when it comes to inclusivity and diversity as a whole.
In this piece, Poonam discusses the strategies organisations can implement to create a truly inclusive hiring pipeline and address the skills gap.
IN LIGHT OF THE CURRENT TALENT SHORTAGE IN THE CLOUD INDUSTRY, COMPANIES ARE FACED WITH A PRESSING NEED TO ACQUIRE SKILLED PROFESSIONALS.
However, the demand for qualified personnel far outweighs the supply of available candidates. To address this issue, companies must explore alternative sources of employees beyond the usual, conventional channels. This means diversify the hiring pipeline by including more women, black and minority ethnic (BAME), and members of the LGBTQ+ community in the talent pool. By doing so, companies can ease the talent crisis and improve their chances of finding qualified individuals.
It’s important that organisations implement various strategies to close the skills gap and establish a work environment that promotes inclusivity.
EMPOWERING CANDIDATES FROM DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS WITH THE NECESSARY TRAINING FOR SUCCESS IN A CLOUD-BASED PROFESSION.
In many cases, these candidates face the challenge of not even receiving callbacks. Surprisingly, women make up only 26% of the tech workforce, and it was found that for some tech positions, women do not even reach the interview stage. Regardless of their background or experience in the field, every new employee requires training. To empower underrepresented individuals in the technology industry, it is important to reframe the hiring process by incorporating a training period specifically designed for them. This approach will provide the necessary support for their success.
Customised training programs can be particularly helpful for candidates from diverse backgrounds who may lack the typical hard skills required for certain positions. These programs can help bridge the gap and bring them up to speed in alignment with business requirements. Companies that are open to considering diverse candidates without prior experience will benefit from motivated employees who can be tailored to their specific needs. Research even suggests that teams with diverse composition make decisions twice as fast as more homogeneous groups, highlighting the advantages of diverse workforce dynamics.
EQUITY OVER EQUALITY.
The tech industry continues to face issues of underpayment and underrepresentation among women, BAME, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, leading to dissatisfaction and burnout. Achieving equal compensation at every level is crucial to the success of a business. Research shows that diverse teams are 70% more likely to capture new markets. In addition, they are 87% better at making decisions. Offering fair payment from the beginning, including during training, will foster motivation and enhance productivity for these employees.
For instance, a reputable HR consulting firm implemented an initiative aimed at improving economic outcomes for at-risk women, which included provisions such as child-care assistance and professional attire. As a result, 95% of participants secured long-term job opportunities. Companies that are willing to go above and beyond in supporting underrepresented candidates positively impact the lives of individuals in these programs. This approach is a win-win situation for both a business and its employees, as it helps meet staffing needs while giving candidates the opportunities to learn and grow professionally.
CREATE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE WHO MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD UNIVERSITY FEES OR UNPAID INTERNSHIPS.
Requiring prospective employees to undergo unpaid training creates its own set of problems, but even before reaching that stage, many employers demand specific degrees or certifications as prerequisites. This expectation significantly disadvantages candidates from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and overlooks a substantial pool of capable workers. Fortunately, an increasing number of tech companies are addressing this issue by implementing programs that not only compensate participants for their time but also prepare them for employment upon completion. In the 2021/22 academic year, there were 740,400 people participating in an apprenticeship in England. These programs are open to candidates of all backgrounds and experience levels, providing an equal opportunity for everyone.
INCLUSIVITY AND NOTHING LESS.
The persistent labour shortage in the UK’s tech industry, especially in terms of skilled candidates, poses significant challenges. The demand for cloud services is growing, but finding certified cloud-native engineers remains difficult. To address the skills gap, companies must explore alternative sources of talent, diversify their hiring pipeline, and provide tailored training programs to empower underrepresented individuals. By prioritising equity in compensation, companies can improve employee satisfaction and drive better decision-making and capture new markets. Additionally, creating equal opportunities for individuals who cannot afford traditional education or unpaid internships through apprenticeship programs can help bridge the skills gap and foster a more inclusive workforce.