It’s clear that CIOs are under growing pressure to find IT talent and shape it to the requirements of the digital enterprise. But translating the general concept into reality is no simple task, particularly as skill sets shift and new requirements emerge.
Here are five ways technology and business leaders can transform the talent challenge into an opportunity to build a better IT organization.
1. Hire outside IT. A growing number of CIOs and others in IT did not come from a traditional information technology background. If a person is smart, well-educated and enthusiastic about acquiring specific IT skills and knowledge, they may be well-suited to key positions. These include strategic planning, design interfaces, cloud initiatives, and tapping into big data and analytics in a more strategic and overarching way.
Gary Curtis, owner of GAC Technology Consultants, points out that looking outside the IT department for talent can be advantageous. “It broadens the talent pool and can provide a valuable outside-in perspective,” he says.
2. Hire from within. One of the best but most overlooked places to find talent, particularly at larger companies, is from within the organization, including other IT roles. “An existing employee is already familiar with the company and, in many cases, he or she can bring to IT experience and a fresh perspective from another department or function,” states John Doehring, president of business consulting firm J. Doehring & Co.
As the lines blur and silos crumple between functions, a broader perspective—along with cross-functional knowledge—is critical. What’s more, employees often welcome a change as a growth opportunity, and, with minimal training and development, they can get up to speed in a new job. Best of all, it’s often possible to fill a position faster and at a lower cost to the organization.