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5 Tips for Tackling the Data Center Talent Shortage

By Joe Reele, Vice President - Solution Architects at Schneider Electric

The talent shortage has affected every industry across the globe, as businesses struggle to fill critical gaps and hire the right skills. The Great Resignation and an uptick in retirement numbers have crippled the already strained talent pool, and data center managers are feeling the pressure to maintain their staff.

In fact, studies show that the data center industry will need to add at least 300,000 skilled workers by 2025 to keep operations running. This comes at a time when employees are reconsidering their priorities and work-life balance. Job seekers hold the power as thousands of open positions provide them with new options to re-negotiate with their employers or transition to a new role.

Fortunately, there are a few things that employers can do to retain top talent. By collecting candidate and employee feedback, organizations can adapt to the emerging needs of today's workers. To address the talent shortage, there are five ways that companies can adapt to these new demands:

1.      Attracting up-and-coming talent with education

In consideration of the aging workforce and a slew of retirements, it's clear that the future of data centers rests on the ability to recruit skilled, young talent. To achieve this goal, the industry needs to make moves to show the next generation the value of a career in data centers. From IT to OT to trade careers, the data center is an environment where workers of all backgrounds can thrive. The training and inspiring of young people through trade school internships, job fairs, and STEM programs is needed to make it clear to the future generation that data centers provide fulfilling careers.

2.      Turning attention to transferable skills

As the industry modernizes, new technologies, like data center automation, call for skills that can transition into new ways of working. Data center managers can capitalize on this by adjusting job listings to attract a broader range of candidates or altering job requirements to accept candidates with less traditional backgrounds.

3.      Bringing DE&I into the picture

The demographic makeup of data center employees skews significantly male - roughly 95% of data center staff are men. Promoting efforts to entice job candidates from under-represented populations will widen the talent pool, help the industry diversify, and cultivate an environment of creativity and innovation.

4.      Redeploying talent with new tools

Certain software and services, including DCIM software, can increase efficiency within the data center. DCIM tools and others that introduce monitoring, maintenance, and management capabilities optimize working environments and can help train data center systems. With the digital transformation fully underway, taking advantage of these solutions is essential for recruiting top talent familiar with modern tools.

5.      Relying on partners

Fortunately, data center managers are not entirely on their own when it comes to managing the talent shortage in their facilities. Managed Service Providers give data center managers a method for filling the gaps in their in-house functionality. Partners can operate as an extension of a business by offering services that the organization does not already have.

The Employee Experience and the Data Center Talent Shortage

Data centers underpin the global economy, and as the world faces a period of transition alongside new sociopolitical challenges, it is essential that the industry retains talent. Employers can shore up their talent pools by focusing on improvements to the employee experience. Developing a strategy that prioritizes worker experiences is key to keeping data centers staffed, efficient, and secure. Through enhanced education efforts, better tools, relying on partners, and staying open to new skills and backgrounds, all stages of the employee lifecycle will be well-supported.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joe Reele 

Joe Reele, Vice President, Solution Architects at Schneider Electric, influences and inspires a large team of highly talented professionals to provide cutting edge designs, innovative solutions and operational models for Mission Critical Facilities/Operations. He has an impressive track record of more than 10 years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, business unit development and growth, project development, operations management, and system engineering strategies. Joe provides strong technical and leadership skills with proven ability to successfully analyze an organization's critical operational business requirements, identify deficiencies and potential opportunities, and develop innovative and cost-effective solutions.

Published Thursday, November 10, 2022 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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