Tapping talent in a global shortage
How are technologists tapping talent in a global shortage? Discover more in this Studio roundtable debate with exclusive insights from executive technology leaders.
Technology leader insights from:
With Peter Stojanovic, Editor of HotTopics, moderating, the speakers of this roundtable included:
- Nick Reeks, Director IT, Tata Steel UK
- Milena Nikolic, CTO, Trainline
- Angelina Essuman, Head of Business Operations, PayPal
- Avril Chester, CTO, Royal Pharmaceutical Society
- Sal Laher, CDO & CIO, IFS
Featuring five C-suite technology leaders, this roundtable debate explores the global shortage of technology talent in the industry and how leaders are currently addressing this issue.
Are these leaders all on the same page when it comes to the talent shortage?
Trainline’s CTO, Milena Nikolic, believed that there is indeed a lack of technology talent.
Compared to a year ago, Milena argued that the market has now become more of an “employer’s market”, with less shortage of talent. Despite this she said that “there is always a shortage of excellent people”. Taking it a step further and adopting a macro lens, Milena noted that there is always a chance that the situation will “flip” back.
“We will always be in a shortage because it is not like other traditional professions”. CTO at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Avril Chester, is convinced that while the talent shortage is here to stay, the rules have changed.
Rather than focusing on an individual’s experience, it is more about how they innovate, their ability to learn and their networking capabilities. Another angle Avril explored was the idea that there is now a wider talent pool composed of people who do not associate themselves with being technologists. “It is really ripe for career switching… encourage them to do that and think of themselves as technologists.”
This idea resonated with PayPal’s Head of Business Operations, Angelina Essuman.
Dialling into the roundtable remotely from the US, Angelina agreed with the psychological aspect Avril referred to earlier, arguing that on top of the coding and language skills, leaders need to be looking out for that analytical aspect – for her this means “thinking outside the box”. Nevertheless, Angelina doesn’t believe that talent shortage is the issue here, rather, it is about companies needing to up the notch with their innovative talent acquisition. “I think that we just have to do a better job investing in developing some really great, eager people with tenacity.”
“There is an absolute talent shortage. I am surprised that we think there is not”.
Going into the specifics, CDO & CIO at IFS, Sal Laher said that the talent we need now is different to the talent we needed a year ago. “We need cyber specialists”. In high demand, these cyber specialists make up what Sal described as a small global pool – and technology leaders are fighting for first dibs. Scientists and those with machine learning skills are in short supply, and Sal explained that the pandemic helped change those dynamics, with significant losses in talent through migration and career moves.
For Tata Steel UK’s Director IT, Nick Reeks, the lack of modern technology talent is not his main focal point. “We have a reverse problem… some of the skills that we need are actually within legacy platforms”. Nick is on the search for talent with experience in heritage platforms – he argued that these skills have either disappeared over time or the right talent has retired.
Watch highlights: Tapping talent in a global shortage
Explore in this Studio roundtable debate, where executive technology leaders share exclusive insights, how technologists are tapping talent amidst a global shortage. Watch the highlights for this roundtable discussion to find out more.
This roundtable was recorded at The Studio. To find out more, click ‘The Studio’.
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