As organizations accelerate their digital efforts, the impact of the tech talent shortage increases the strain on resources and productivity. A recent survey by Robert Walters revealed that hiring managers in Southeast Asia find hiring tech talent to be difficult and time-consuming but critical to business success.
In response to this growing urgency, specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters released a technology guidebook titled “5 Lessons in Tackling the Tech Talent Shortage.” Combining insights from forward-thinking business leaders, HR experts, hiring managers and tech professionals, the guidebook shares key learnings on attracting and retaining tech talent—from creating innovative recruitment and retention strategies and providing learning and growth opportunities within the organization to zooming in on the instrumental role of tech leaders.
Based on a survey by Robert Walters of nearly 400 technology professionals and hiring managers across Southeast Asia, 68% of respondents who were hiring managers took three months or more to fill an open tech position on their team. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest, tech hiring managers rated the difficulty level of hiring talent an average score of 7. Business productivity and innovation took a hit as 7 in 10 hiring managers interviewed shared that the shortage of tech talent negatively affected their speed of product development.
“Extending a pleasant candidate experience is very crucial in today’s extremely competitive talent-attraction environment. Robert Walters believes that every encounter with potential candidates should be positive, as to reflect the company’s culture. There should be a strong message that makes them feel that they are more than just a trade commodity. This should be central in a candidate attraction strategy for every company,” said Andrea dela Casa, senior manager of IT, Robert Walters Philippines.
Robert Walters sees strong growth in recruitment activity in the Philippines this year, driven by the country’s positive economic conditions. The increasing adoption of digitalization and e-commerce in the country will continue to drive demand for top-caliber tech talent. Continued digitalization efforts will see companies actively looking to hire professionals with strong technical expertise in the field of AI, robotics, big data analytics, and cybersecurity. As the market matures, companies are expected to fill more senior-level positions. But because of the job-skill mismatch in the IT sector, companies may face difficulties getting qualified candidates.
Companies are advised to refine their recruitment strategy—be more proactive, discard conventional notions and refresh the recruitment process. They are urged to begin early if they want to effectively reach out to potential candidates and increase their awareness of the employer’s brand. This ensures a ready pipeline of quality and motivated talent. To complement existing sourcing methods, companies can consider non-traditional avenues such as seeking overseas talent or tech talent in other industries to reach out to untapped talent pools. A review of the recruitment process such as shortening it or investing effort in engaging the candidates can help job seekers feel more valued and appreciated.
Incorporating more flexibility in the benefits package offered can also be an effective tool to attract and retain tech talent. The survey showed that more than half (57%) of tech professionals interviewed would agree to a smaller increment if offered the right benefits.
The top three benefits favored by respondents when choosing a company were flexible hours (58%), family insurance (49%) and remote working options (46%).
Identifying high potential candidates and developing a strong learning culture are beneficial in helping talent shine. It is recommended that companies consider candidates who show high potential such as a good aptitude for learning quickly and working in teams, being comfortable in using technology to create solutions and having experiences or skills useful to the team.
Setting aside resources and opportunities to help tech talent grow in their roles will help keep them motivated, learn about the different areas of tech and pick up on skills that they are less familiar with. Tech professionals surveyed cited training workshops on technical and soft skills, cross-functional project involvement and job rotation opportunities as among the training opportunities that interest them most.
To enable change, leaders need to walk the talk to attract, motivate and retain tech talent. Business leaders who believe in the value of technology in accelerating the business and incorporate it into the culture and direction of the company will set the tone. In hiring management candidates to lead a team, companies are encouraged to look beyond technical abilities, for someone who has a good understanding of the current technology landscape and possess strong stakeholder management skills.
For more information on the e-guidebook and Robert Walters in the Philippines, please visit the site.