How to Address IT Skills Gaps

The IT skills gap is not a passing trend. It’s not something that can be ignored by IT management. And it certainly isn’t going away on its own.

According to the 2017 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, 62 percent of IT leaders reported a skills shortage. This is the fourth consecutive year that the reported skills gap has hovered around 60 percent. That finding also aligns with the Global Knowledge 2018 IT Skills and Salary Report, where 70 percent of IT decision-makers reported current skills shortages.

The recent CompTIA report, Assessing the IT Skills Gap, revealed not only that a skills gap is present, but that it’s growing. Nearly 6 out of 10 large-size firms reported that the IT skills gap has grown over the past two years.

And these gaps are proving harmful to organizations. They can increase stress on employees, delay deployments, increase operating costs and harm customer satisfaction.

How to address skills gaps

The first step is recognizing that skills gaps aren’t a myth. The second step is dealing with the shortages.

You have three options: Buy (hire the needed skills), rent (contract the needed skills) or build (train employees). Let’s take a look at each option and weigh the pros and cons.

Buy the skills you need

Hiring — or buying — the necessary skills to address skills gaps in your workforce is certainly a viable option. However, there are several issues to consider. For starters, the hiring process is often lengthy and success isn’t guaranteed. Finding the right candidate with the right skills that match the culture of your company can be a challenge. In fact, 50 percent of new hires fail, according to ERE, an online resource for recruiters.

Cost is another major factor that must be considered. Since there is an identified IT skills gap, chances are multiple hiring managers are looking at the same candidates, which can drive up salaries.

Rent the skills you need

Renting—or hiring—a contractor is often the quickest solution to address an immediate need. It is likely the best way to address a short-term, project-based skills gap, but should not be viewed as a long-term solution. While effective, contracting is often the most expensive option over an extended period of time.

Build the skills you need

Training your current staff and building their skillsets are often the most effective ways to address skills gaps. Developing the skills of internal employees also has additional benefits, such as increased employee morale, increased motivation and increased efficiency. Employee training also reduces staff turnover and addresses the failure rate of new hires, as investments are being made in proven resources.

Advantages of building your team with Global Knowledge

Outside of the benefits to the individual, Global Knowledge training also delivers tangible value to organizations. For starters, 97 percent of surveyed students said they have used or will use the skills learned on the job. Ninety-four percent said the training received had a positive impact on them and/or their performance.

Other key training statistics

  • 93 percent of students are able to apply the skills learned in four weeks or less.
  • The average student saves 143 hours annually (based on 47 work weeks) performing job-related tasks. This represents a 6.9 percent productivity increase.
  • Improved work quality, greater engagement and improved speed rank as the top three benefits reported by students.
  • 88 percent of students believe that the training received has enabled them to positively impact the performance of their team and organization.

Take the next step

Whether you have organizational or individual skills gaps to address, Global Knowledge can assist with our portfolio of over 3,200 courses delivered live in classrooms or online, or on-demand when you need it.

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