Addressing the Labor Shortage in Tech — Looking Inside the Organization

The labor shortage in tech is now a global problem, and it’s not going away anytime soon. According to research and consulting firm Korn Ferry, “by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people… Left unchecked, in 2030 that talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.”

Among the jobs in highest demand are software engineering positions. These include DevOps and Software Engineers, each of which has a projected growth rate of 30.7 percent over the next decade. Many other positions are expected to grow by at least 10 percent during that time frame. As one analyst said, “Robots and AI aren’t taking our jobs because there aren’t enough developers to build them.”

“By 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people. Left unchecked, in 2030 that talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in
unrealized annual revenues.” -Korn Ferry

The shortage can be traced back to many factors, including education, policy, even simple demographics. But the solutions are relatively uniform in every major economy across the globe:

  • Invest in public and private education initiatives to ensure more students graduate with sufficient skills to fill tech positions
  • Broaden and enhance hiring strategies to attract the skilled talent that does exist
  • Train and upskill workers to take on more challenging roles
  • Train and upskill non-tech talent to be able to fill needed entry-level positions

Most companies (including Cprime) have little control over the first option on that list. The others are within the grasp of companies that are already facing the labor shortage in tech, or soon will.

This article will look at ways to address this issue from within the company. In the next, we’ll look at options that exist outside the company.

How to get more done with the tech pros you have

Agile principles have found their way into most development teams in one form or another. However most companies aren’t utilizing this powerful methodology to its full potential.

For example, a company may have several Agile teams that adhere to Scrum or another formal agile workflow. But, the rest of the organization is not set up to support that. As a result, they use some hybrid of Agile and more traditional waterfall development processes.

The result is an organization that isn’t as nimble or able to deliver as much value as an Agile enterprise.

The solution to this challenge starts with ensuring leadership understands the value of supporting Agile development. Once the concept has support from management and executives, it becomes possible to adjust how the organization chooses priorities. At that point:

  • Agile processes can scale beyond individual teams to encompass programs (teams of teams)
  • Portfolios of work centered around value streams (complete pathways the business controls to deliver value to the customer)

These concepts are simple, but that doesn’t mean transforming into an Agile enterprise is easy. It takes time, effort, and commitment. And, to be successful within a reasonable timeframe, it takes help also.

Agile transformation experts at Cprime are always ready and willing to help guide this effort. Once you’ve started to move toward agility, you’ll undoubtedly find you can accomplish higher-value work without sourcing new tech talent.

Explore Cprime’s Agile transformation and Agile scaling solutions.

How to upskill your existing tech talent

In many cases, the most challenging tech positions to fill are those handled by senior engineers and developers, especially those specializing in niche in-demand skills. Examples include developers skilled in Ruby, Go, Scala, and C languages.

If you’re having trouble hiring new tech professionals with these niche skills, why not invest in training and supporting your existing team members to learn the skills you need? Doing so provides two distinct advantages:

  • You can fill a hard-to-fill position for a skill you need without going through the time, expense, and hassle of seeking out and hiring someone new. IT staffing firm Daxx reports that the total cost of hiring a new tech employee ranges from 50 to 250 percent of the person’s salary.
  • Your workforce (especially those who benefit from the training personally) gets tangible proof the organization values them enough to invest in their career growth, which improves their morale and reduces turnover.

On-demand training is available from many different sources to help existing employees fill niche skills. From online training like LinkedIn Learning or Udemy to more formal on-demand courses offered by hundreds of universities.

Taking it a step further, in-person small-group training sessions can be an excellent investment. The opportunity to learn hands-on with an experienced instructor on-hand to offer personalized help can often make the learning more readily applicable. Cprime offers training courses in many different areas to benefit companies seeking highly-skilled tech talent. Many other private training options exist, and companies have found that paying their employees to take courses outside of work can also help achieve this goal.

How to leverage the non-tech talent you already have

While training existing software engineers and other in-house tech talent is not groundbreaking advice, most organizations miss an incredibly viable opportunity involving existing employees.

As technology positions absorb more and more of the company’s total headcount, other jobs will often become less necessary. But, the individuals filling those roles may have been with the company for years, making them a wealth of domain expertise that’s too valuable to let go.

Why not train these individuals to take on tech roles that need to be filled?

One of Cprime’s newest, most exciting solutions is the MakeDev program.

Ken Robinson, a Technical Coach with Cprime, explains, “The six-month program trains non-technical employees as entry-level full-stack developers using technical agile principles.

“Using an online curriculum, Technical Coaches pair with the students to understand their learning styles and teach learners how to leverage their unique skills to accomplish individual and team tasks.

“During the last two months of the program, students begin integrating with their long-term organizational teams while still receiving coaching and mentoring. This ensures learners can effectively apply their newfound skills in the work environment.”

The global tech talent shortage will impact your company soon if it hasn’t already. Now is the time to prepare and start implementing solutions to mitigate its impact and get a leg up on your competition.

Be sure to tune in soon for the second article in this series, Addressing the Tech Labor Shortage—Looking Outside the Organization.

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