Electronic Products & Technology

Tech leaders struggle with growing skills gap crisis

EP&T Magazine   

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Robert Half report says 92% of tech leaders find it difficult to hire suitable candidates

A recent report, Building Future-Forward Tech Teams, by Robert Half highlights skill gaps within teams as a challenge faced by tech leaders. Over half (52 per cent) of surveyed technology leaders acknowledge the existence of such gaps, with 48 per cent feeling a more pronounced impact compared to a year ago.

According to the research, the top priorities for technology leaders this year include:

  • Security of IT systems and information
  • AI, machine learning and automation initiatives
  • Cloud projects
  • Digital transformation projects
  • Remote/hybrid work programs and technologies,
  • ERP/CRM system implementation or improvements

The study underscores the limited availability of skilled talent, with 92 per cent of tech leaders reporting challenges in finding suitable candidates. Additionally, nearly six in ten (58 per cent) predict a significant hiring challenge due to the lack of applicants with necessary skill sets.

“Having a vision and talent strategy in place to ensure you can meet long-term business needs is critical”, said Deborah Bottineau, managing director for technology talent solutions at Robert Half. “Businesses require thoughtful and deliberate hiring and retention strategies to achieve goals amid ongoing technology skills gaps.”


A Challenging Skills Gap (CNW Group/Robert Half Canada Inc.)

The need to solve skills gaps has accelerated with the emergence of new AI capabilities. According to the report, 79 per cent of tech leaders plan to implement initiatives involving AI this year, and 47 per cent cite a lack of staff with AI skills as the biggest barrier to success. In fact, AI and machine learning topped the list of skills where tech managers said gaps are most evident, with more than half (52 per cent) reporting this for their department.

Depending on their role in the company, the knowledge and experience a technology professional may need to work effectively with AI can include:

  • Programming
  • Data analysis and statistics
  • Machine learning
  • Software engineering
  • Ethics and responsible AI
  • Big data technologies
  • Deep learning frameworks
  • Computer vision
  • Building Future-Forward Tech Teams

To tackle these challenges, Robert Half recommends implementing upskilling programs to encourage ongoing learning and innovative thinking and focusing on recruiting candidates eager to learn new skills aligned with business priorities. It also advices to embrace a flexible talent model, utilizing a mix of permanent, contract, and consulting professionals to bridge skills gaps efficiently.

“As the technology landscape continues to evolve, technology professionals need to ensure they are growing their skill sets too, continuing to develop their capabilities alongside rapid change. Tech leaders need to provide training opportunities and initiatives to ensure their teams and their businesses remain as efficient and effective as possible,” Bottineau said.


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