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Interim Talent Trends in the Technology Sector

4 April 2017

Attending HR Tech World in London recently three things struck me:

Talent Acquisition (TA) was at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

From corporates, to vendors and investors.  The formally triggering of Brexit in the days afterwards reinforced the need for access to skills, wherever it is in the world.

Digital disruption has arrived in talent.

Forward thinking companies have re-engineered their processes and candidate experience from first contact to first 30 days on-board. See  Kevin Blair, Global Head of Talent Acquisition for engineering at Cisco as an example. 

Talent Acquisition is at the epicentre of changes to the world of work.

The talk by Patrick Pettiti, CEO of on-demand consultancy marketplace Catalant stood out with his belief that it will be a “strategic imperative for companies to be the best at accessing external talent in the gig economy”. At a time when this has expanded out blue collar to high end IT and consulting –  a trend observed  by Odgers Connect as highlighted in the Telegraph recently .

Skills trends in an on-demand economy

Digital transformation is ubiquitous. It’s arguably more challenging for the technology sector being pulled by clients’ perennial demands and pushed by voracious competitors and strong investors, whether PLC or private.  Yet B2B software and services companies are some way behind their B2C “frenemies” in digital and cloud.

Their hunt for talent continues across different touch points. Clients consistently tell us that the top three areas of challenge are:

1. Technology:  Architects to design, leaders to drive engineering and run always-on operations. With cyber experts to predict rather than merely respond to breaches (if detected).

2. Transformation:

  • Digital/Cloud: Chief Digital Officers and Digital Delivery Directors with the ability and willingness to work across all phases of the change life cycle to plan, build and implement enterprise digital or SaaS platforms are most sought after.
  • Emergence of AI (machine learning) and Robotic Process Automation in interim:  Those at the forefront of change are utilising these to scale rapidly but cost effectively, rather than purely cutting heads and expenses. The talent pool is tiny and will be heavily contract driven in the near term.

3. Finance: leaders who know how to get through the hockey stick effect of the dip in revenue curve in migrating from on-premise to the cloud and optimise costly digital transformation.

These are closely followed by:

4. The C-suite:  Commercial leaders with the vision to navigate these challenges in an uncertain world.

5. HR/TA:  Human resource leaders to drive new organisation design, get smarter acquiring talent and bring more analytical thinking and methods to “fluffy” HR.

Last but by no means least, as this is still viewed as primarily a permanent hiring market.

6. Sales & Marketing:  Enterprise sales talent to promote the ‘new world’ and marketers who get the cloud to deliver the message.

I will shortly be sharing further thoughts on what leaders need to do differently to attract talent. In the meantime, we’d value your views on these trends and insight into what you think needs to be done.

For more information, please contact Paul Wright.

Categories: Technology, Entertainment & Communications


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