Industry insights: Winning the battle for digital talent amid finance and tech layoffs
- 5 Min Read
In this industry insights round-up, we examine the latest thought leadership and best practices to emerge as an employer of choice for digital talent
In the current business landscape, the battle for digital talent is intensifying, particularly within the finance and technology sectors. Despite ongoing layoffs across 2023 in finance and technology, the demand for top talent with advanced scientific knowledge and digital skills remains high. To win this war, organizations need to adopt innovative strategies that not only attract but also retain top talent. In this industry insights round-up, we examine the latest thought leadership and best practices for winning this battle and emerging as an employer of choice for digital talent.
The battle for digital talent: Don’t compete when you can create
The competition for tech talent has been heating up over the last year. Per Deloitte, organizations are struggling to fill positions that require advanced scientific knowledge or deep technical capabilities. The instinctive move may be to find ways to compete for this limited supply of tech talent, edging out the competition. But whilst this may deliver short-term wins and marginal gains, it does not present a long-term solution to this ongoing battle.
To meet their talent goals, organizations must embrace a skills-based approach, source talent from their ecosystem, and promote flexible career paths. Additionally, businesses should provide foundational training, modern training for modern engineering, and brush up on their humanities to multiply productivity by partnering with digital colleagues. The author summarizes this neatly: “Don’t compete when you can create.”
Accordingly, the analysis from Deloitte advocates organizations to explore ways of creating, curating, and cultivating technology talent.
Creating digital talent through upskilling
Creating digital talent, in this case, means investing in in-house training and development programs to upskill your existing workforce for the digital challenges of tomorrow.
By creating a culture of continuous learning and development, companies can ensure their digital talent stays engaged and motivated to contribute to the organization’s success. In turn, they can best create an employee value proposition that is attractive to both active and passive candidates possessing digital skills.
In an article for Chief Learning Officer, Ashley Dugger argues one of the most cost-effective ways to invest in talent is by providing access to ongoing skills development. According to a 2021 Gallup survey, workers in the 18-24 age demographic ranked learning new skills as one of the most important benefits when considering job opportunities.
Dugger goes on to explain that by offering a robust mix of in-person, online, self-paced, and synchronous learning opportunities, organizations can appeal to employees with different schedules and needs. This not only improves job performance and productivity but also enhances employee experience, engagement, and satisfaction.
Curating talent through early careers recruiting
Curating involves seeking partnerships, perhaps with educational institutions or even rival organizations, to identify and onboard emerging talent.
Amid widespread layoffs in the tech and finance sectors, the struggle to secure digital talent has intensified. Campus recruiting offers a strategic avenue for filling this critical gap, but it demands more than a transactional approach. According to Brittany Ramsey, Director of Early Career Recruitment at L’Oréal USA, an integrated talent acquisition strategy is key.
Ramsey advocates for a methodical alignment between campus recruiting and overall corporate hiring goals, focused on identifying and filling skill gaps that will become acute in the next three to five years. By partnering with universities that specialize in these areas, companies can develop a pipeline of candidates with the precise digital skills they need, ensuring long-term retention and growth.
Ramsey emphasizes the importance of establishing enduring relationships with educational institutions. These partnerships enable companies to cultivate talent tailored to their future needs, a vital strategy in sectors like tech and finance where digital skills are at a premium. Through targeted campus recruiting that aligns with a firm’s broader talent acquisition plan, organizations not only secure the skilled personnel they need but also build a resilient, future-ready workforce. This approach offers a proactive solution to the talent challenges exacerbated by layoffs in these industries.
Cultivating talent through internal mobility
Cultivating encompasses mentorship, apprenticeships, and other long-term initiatives to mature talent internally. Research from Lou Adler finds that companies should focus on internal mobility and employee development. Such an approach brings together stakeholders across workforce planning, L&D, talent acquisition, and more, to craft meaningful career paths and development opportunities for digital workers.
This approach can therefore help retain existing talent, reduce hiring costs, and improve overall employee satisfaction.
Reinventing digital talent acquisition for a digital age
It’s clear that the era of merely “competing” for digital talent is, or should be, behind us. The urgency to address this is amplified by the wave of layoffs in the tech and finance sectors, increasing the competition for specialized skill sets, hence the need for a multifaceted approach to talent acquisition that involves creating, curating, and cultivating talent.
Moreover, this shift in approach should also prepare HR leaders for other paradigm shifts within talent acquisition and the full employee lifecycle. The continued emergence of the gig economy, for example, serves as a harbinger of the complexities to come in talent acquisition. To stay ahead, companies will need to integrate flexible work models, like contingent labor, into their talent strategies.
This approach does more than provide a buffer during talent shortages; it’s a cornerstone for building a versatile, future-ready workforce. Future-proofing talent acquisition is no longer just about hiring the right people. Instead, organizations must now focus on creating an ecosystem where talent thrives.