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Solving the IT Skills Shortage

Mark Bradshaw discusses the skills shortage in IT recruitment and what his team is doing to overcome it

IT Skills Shortage

It has been estimated by the European Commission that the ongoing IT skills shortage could leave around one million European jobs unfilled by 2020.  The skills shortage in IT has been well documented and there are a number of reasons why this skills shortage is happening which I’ll go through below.

Why has this happened?

The first issue that arose was outsourcing. Companies outsourced all their technology requirements as needed, from apps to websites – but this doesn’t take into account the regular upkeep required for their IT needs and the necessity of it having to be refreshed or redone entirely every few years. Technology moves fast, meaning businesses can very quickly be left behind and, by having outsourced people working on your applications (as an example), can mean that updates aren’t implemented as swiftly or effectively as necessary.

One of the reasons that outsourcing has been so appealing is the cost, or lack thereof. Overseas developers traditionally get paid significantly smaller salaries than those in the UK. Short term reductions in cost were frequently considered to be worthwhile so work was sent abroad.

Another key contributor to the issue was a lack of internal training. Those who showed aptitude often weren’t encouraged to broaden their skills or weren’t sent on training courses to keep up with the pace of technology, meaning they took other roles offered internally or left businesses to go elsewhere. This leads me onto my next point – not keeping talent in-house. In such specific roles as those in information technology, keeping your talent in your business is crucial.

What is being done to fix it?

The skills shortage is starting to be diminished by companies taking action to change the behaviour of the past. Quick fixes for short term money-saving benefits are no longer the standard as companies are realising that investment in talent is the key to a long-term skilled IT workforce.  Investing in graduate training schemes is creating a well-educated workforce, well equipped to fill future roles. 

There is also a new trend for bringing training and talent back in-house. Many of our clients are doing this really well by investing in developers in their offices through training and opportunities for growth – this is crucial for retaining skilled staff. Those working in IT can demand very high salaries but it isn’t just money that drives them – they’re also after work that is stimulating. Our clients are recognising this and it is reflected in the extra benefits they’re offering – from time to work on their projects to proactively offering opportunities for development of their skills and careers.

One of the issues arising is the high salaries expected by the very top people in this area. Clients always want the best candidates possible but, often, that person comes with a salary expectation that can’t be matched by the client. As a result, companies that can’t attract the very best talent are looking carefully at their requirements and working out if they can take on less qualified workers with good ‘soft skills’ and then support them with training whilst on the job. Again, this shows that investing in people for the long-term can really pay off.

What we do to help

In the Anderselite IT Team, we pride ourselves on our expertise on what’s going on within the IT industry. We work closely with our clients to ensure that they are going after the right person for the role, even though this sometimes means helping them to readjust the requirements they think are needed. They appreciate our honesty about those they’re recruiting – we never waste their time by following paths that aren’t suitable for them.

We recruit at all levels which means we get a real overview of how the resourcing process works for our clients and candidates. Our sources have been carefully honed via networking, so our clients trust our referrals. We don’t believe in fighting over a small talent pool in one particular sector.

I’m very proud of my team. The strong candidate pool they’ve built up is testament to their hard work and consultative approach to resourcing, evidenced by the candidates that they regularly place into great roles.

To learn more about our current opportunities and what we can do to help you find your perfect role or candidate, please do get in touch on the phone or via email. You can also see our current opportunities here.

Tel: 0207 743 7563



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