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How COVID Has Impacted the IT Talent Crisis


By Summer Crenshaw, CEO, TalentNow

Anyone tasked with hiring is aware of the global IT talent crisis. A 2019 CIO survey found that 65% of CIOs believe hiring challenges are hurting the industry, creating an arms race to attract, hire and retain talent. Companies are looking to hire workers with the digital skills necessary to compete in today's environment whether that be for cloud computing, data analytics or artificial intelligence. Predictions made around the talent crisis show it only getting worse. The Korn Ferry Institute estimated that the global talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people by 2030. This prediction however, was made prior to the global pandemic we currently face. So, we have to consider the impact of the coronavirus on the IT talent crisis.

This is not to say the future of IT talent is all doom and gloom. I do firmly believe the talent pool will rise to the challenge to meet demands for IT experts. Take our current job market for example. Fifty years ago, there was no such thing as a "systems administrator" - the technology wasn't there yet. So, just like we rose to the challenge with the availability of software, we will with roles changed by digital transformation. Let's dive into three major ways we currently and will continue to see the impact of COVID-19 on the IT talent crisis.

Proof of ability

According to data from May 2020 shared by McKinsey & Company, consumer and business digital adoption leaped five years forward in just eight weeks. We saw companies adopting new technologies, new work environments, and new ways of doing business. Millions of employees turned into remote workers overnight and businesses kept moving forward. This serves as proof that we are able to adapt to changes and learn new ways of doing business.

Remote Hiring

Many companies are permanently switching to remote work, cancelling leases or at least providing it as an option. As a result, new hires are more frequently remote workers. The way we work is nearly fully supported by digital systems so we're no longer tied to desks, paper and files. This has created a future with no borders to great talent. An amazing developer based in Cincinnati can work for a startup headquartered in the Bay Area as long as they're enabled with the right technology. We are no longer limited to the talent immediately around us, a new hire could be located anywhere.

Investment in Reskilling and Upskilling

As I previously mentioned, the adoption of remote work has accelerated our adaptability towards new technology. As we continue to see technological advancement there is a need for new skills to meet the new demand. Instead of organizations hiring outside of the entity, we will see a movement of investing in reskilling or upskilling to meet the future demands of an organization. Employees within a company often have the potential to fill future positions that don't currently exist. By focusing on growing talent within, companies will be prepared for the future.

The IT talent crisis does not have to hinder our progression. Throughout COVID, we have proven to ourselves that we can adapt and learn new skill sets. As we look ahead, we know that there is plenty of talent available to companies, whether that be internally or externally.


About the Author

Summer Crenshaw 

Summer Crenshaw is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author with over 15 years of experience in digital recruitment, marketing, branding, strategy, HR Tech and business development. She serves as CEO of TalentNow, a human capital cultivation and utilization company addressing the talent economy.

Published Tuesday, August 25, 2020 9:55 AM by David Marshall
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