Why Do Organizations Need To Build 'Alternate Talent Pools' To Win The Talent War In The Long Run?

According to India Skills Report 2021, only 45.9% of our pool of educated candidates possess the skills required by the organizations today, which has created a considerable void.


When the pandemic hit, the need for more ingenious solutions became apparent. The demand for tech-enabled solutions surged exponentially and forced the organizations to become more dynamic in their offerings and, therefore, increase their reliance on constantly evolving technologies. According to industry data, India would struggle to fulfill its technology resource requirements over the next 3-4 years. There is a gap in the demand and supply of digital talent estimated to be around 6 million in countries like India, US, parts of Europe, and China. This skill gap has led to a massive shortage of job-ready talent in digital domains.

According to India Skills Report 2021, only 45.9% of our pool of educated candidates possess the skills required by the organizations today, which has created a considerable void. The tech roles are among the most challenging job roles to find suitable talent for. This is ironic as India houses the highest number of engineers globally and adds a staggering 1 million engineers per year as of 2021.

The skilled talent shortage is due to the fact that there is a sudden increase in the demand for professionals fluent in new-age skills such as Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Digital Marketing, and Cloud Computing. Still, only 47% of our engineers possess such skills. The situation is made further dire with “Great Resignation” underway. The attrition rate of IT companies is at an all-time high, with the QoQ attrition rate ranging between 15-25%. The quick loss of experienced and skilled employees with few suitable replacements available is creating even more pressure on the already scarce resources. This has created a cut-throat talent war in the industry, and the only sustainable way to move forward is to fill this skill gap by investing in upskilling to create an alternate talent pool.

The Need For Upskilling

Professionals who took a career break know the relevance of upskilling themselves, especially in the contemporary market landscape. Some are even resorting to taking a break with the sole purpose of acquiring the skills to fit in the jobs of tomorrow. Various leading organizations such as IBM, Cognizant, and Microsoft have already started down this path and taken the initiative to offer career programs for professionals who wish to learn. Providing support to such candidates can prove critical for employers to fill the existing skill gap, make the workforce more robust and resilient, and even help increase retention to some extent.

It is to be noted that upskilling the existing workforce is not limited to just the tech industry. Learning new-age skills is the way forward for every industry today as none is working in isolation from technology. For example, individuals who have a background in B.Sc, Polytechnic, etc., can be trained in digital disciplines such as blockchain, AIML, and Data Science and encouraged to take up tech roles. It also helps individuals looking for a career transition and offers new growth opportunities to baby boomers, retirees, and military veterans. It helps the organizations by reducing dependencies on new-age talent and putting

a sizable dent in the demand-supply spread. This brings diversity in the workforce and provides much-needed flexibility with a widening of the relevant reservoir.

To be able to achieve, as is said above, creating a continuous learning culture in the organization is indispensable. However, a one-size-fits-all approach to learning would not be efficient. A learning program must be tailored to the needs of a learner to achieve the maximum ROI. This is where our cutting-edge technology to deliver quality education comes into play.

Role of Ed-tech in Upskilling

Ed-tech companies have quickly recognized this growing need of the industry. They are now creating a talent pool by training fresh graduates and professionals through cutting-edge methods such as technology-led learning, interactive sessions with experienced faculty in online + classroom-based formats capstone projects. They offer quality pedagogy and an advanced curriculum adept to the point that it takes into account the changing needs and evolves in real-time, thus providing quality education while also making it more experiential, holistic, research-driven, and most of all– flexible.

Several ed-tech platforms offer a range of online courses and degree programs in collaboration with leading universities around the globe. These courses allow professionals to jumpstart their careers in prevalent domains while also providing great economic opportunities for individuals. Education and training for Data Scientists, Software Architect, Blockchain Engineers, Cloud Architect, Full-Stack Developers, AI Engineers, and Product Managers– some of the most sought-after job roles today, are readily available online with the help of the Ed-tech sector.

With regard to the growing trends in the ed-tech industry, employers worldwide have taken advantage of this to ensure their fresh hires are job-ready from the very beginning. They are increasingly flocking to ed-tech platforms to hire relevantly skilled professionals bridging the gap to meet the industry competitiveness, adapt to the dynamic work environment, and successfully build an alternate talent pool in the long run.

Powering Ahead For A Thriving Future

With the accelerated use of, and innovation in, digital technologies, especially throughout the pandemic, the need for evolving digital talent cannot be overstated. Investing in upskilling techniques ensures that your employees' skills are aligned with your dynamic business model, which is crucial for having a competitive advantage in this war to acquire resources. Companies that invest in progressive upskilling methods have a more lively culture, increased employee engagement, and better recruitment and retention rate. They have also been shown to expedite technological advancements, develop more swiftly, and respond rapidly to potential opportunities. The development of an alternate talent pool has become crucial to not only growth but also the very survival of any business entity. Those who fail to do so in time are bound to fade into the abyss in the near future.

(The article has been penned down by Ritesh Malhotra, Business Head, Great Learning for Business, Great Learning solely for BW People publication.)

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