There Are Now 8 Billion People on Earth, So Where is All the Tech Talent?

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Tech Talent EM360

A major crisis is looming over today’s technology landscape – the demand for top talent is skyrocketing at such a rate that the demand is outstripping supply.  

It’s a problem that starkly contrasts with the decade-old conjectures of robots taking positions away from the workforce. Instead, the advancement of technology has only led to an abundance of jobs, but not enough people to fill them. 

The Korn Ferry Institute predicts that by 2030 the tech industry labour-skill shortage will reach 4.3 million workers, resulting in a staggering unrealised output of $450 billion across the industry. 

As the world’s 8 billionth child is born, tech companies across the globe find themselves faced with a contradiction reminiscent of the Fermi Paradox – if there are so many people in the world,  where is all the tech talent?

Understanding the tech talent gap 

It’s important to note that today’s tech talent crisis is not new. More than 50 per cent of CEOs expressed their concerns for the lack of digital talent over ten years ago. 

But in recent years, the crisis has worsened drastically, with almost 60 per cent of CEOs identifying finding quality employees as the single biggest concern their businesses face, according to the October 2021 Technology Executive Survey.   

The global talent tech shortage can be attributed to a variety of factors. For one, the pandemic dramatically increased the need for automation and innovation, requiring highly qualified staff to build and maintain digital infrastructures. 

At the same time, the global employment market has seen historic shifts over the past few years, with workers adapting to flexible working environments and becoming more conscious of deteriorating working conditions.

This gave birth to a “Great Resignation,” in which millions of workers around the world left their jobs to return to education or switch industries altogether in pursuit of a better working environment.

Another often overlooked cause is the tech industry’s reluctance to invest in the training of entry-level workers. Hiring managers are often looking for candidates with multiple degrees, an impressive employment history, and an extensive list of technical skills – only to be unable to find a candidate that meets such requirements. 

Forging a future of talent in tech 

In a TalentLMS and Workable survey, 72 per cent of tech employees said they were considering leaving their jobs in 2022.  

While some pointed at limited opportunities for career progression, others blamed a non-flexible working environment and a toxic, ‘tech bro’ culture that has long prevented minorities from progressing within the industry. 

To read more about enterprise culture and strategy, visit our dedicated Business Agility page.

For the tech industry to attract and retain talent, it needs to adapt to new employment trends to truly understand what candidates are looking for. 

Rather than attempting to attract talent through wage increases, tech firms need to begin cultivating their own talent by providing a working environment that allows people to thrive within the industry. 

This includes opening up roles to candidates from different educational backgrounds and providing more access to training and education within the workplace.

It also includes offering flexible working opportunities such as remote working to widen the candidate pool with people from different geographical backgrounds. 

Of course, increasing wages is still important, but wage increases alone are no longer enough to lure and keep top talent. According to Glassdoor, 80 per cent of employees prefer additional benefits such as flexible working over a rise in pay.

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