How technology companies are responding to talent gaps

With the number of unfinished technology jobs increasing and young tech workers moving out the door faster than ever before, companies are being forced to move to unconventional ways of looking for new talent.

Companies are developing in-house training to improve and retrain employees, some of them from non-tech business units. Companies are focusing on skills-based recruitment, bypassing educational requirements, and exploring talent in areas that have traditionally not encouraged new recruits.

While in many cases unemployment is at historically low levels, the technology industry has been hit hard by epidemics and great resignations, companies are facing a shortage of qualified job seekers to fill more than a million opportunities.

According to Gartner, 37.4 million people are expected to quit their jobs in 2022; Most of these workers are millennials and General Gers. And by 2030, according to a survey by Los Angeles-based management consulting firm Corn Ferry, an estimated global human talent deficit of 85 million people could result in an unrealistic annual income of about $ 8.5 trillion.

Yannick Binwell, president of Corn Ferry’s Global Industrial Markets Practice, summed up the issues in an earlier Corn Ferry report: “Governments and organizations must make talent strategies a top priority and take immediate steps to educate, train and improve their existing workforce.”

Rescue low code?

Due to the lack of skilled developers, more companies are turning to developing low-code software so that enterprise users with little formal coding experience can create business apps.

In 2021, the global market for low-code development technology has grown to 13 13.8 billion. And adoption of low-code software development platforms is growing at more than 20% a year, according to Gartner. .

Low-code development tools abstract the more widely used codebase and replace it with a graphical user interface or visual “what you see” (WYSIWYG) interface to create an application. According to Gartner, “no-code tools simply refer to the abstraction of all codebase in the GUI.”

Low- and no-code tools are designed to help business users, such as analysts or project managers, create apps with little formal coding experience. This helps reduce the need for traditional app developers.

Appian, a vendor for creating enterprise software applications using a McClean, Va.-based platform-as-a-service (PaaS) low-code development tool, typically trains or hires about 4,000 low-coders per year. This number has increased by almost 70% from Q1 in 2021 to Q1 in 2022 This year alone, Appian expects to provide 1,000 scholarships for low-income and low-skilled workers and low-skill skills training for the elderly.

Appian’s basic low-code developer program is two weeks (80 hours) long. According to Adam Glaser, senior vice president at Engineering Appian, training takes a little longer to be certified for a particular application – three and a half weeks.

“You won’t be a project lead after this, but you will know the capabilities, workflow, interface and business rules of our platform,” Glaser said. “Of course, there is someone who will architect the project and lead it, but you will be a contributing member.”

Glaser says his company is part of an ecosystem scouting for technological possibilities that includes every big name in the consultation – “KPMGs and PwCs and Deloittes around the world.

“Like Appian, they all have a strong history of attending these colleges and universities and they make an exciting career in technology without a technical degree,” Glaser said. “So, they’re going to system engineers and people in management information systems – even liberal arts and English majors – and they’re saying, ‘Look, this is a path for you if you want to. And it’s a portable skill.

“It’s really creating this new wave of low-code and no-code,” he said.

Like other low-code development platforms, Appian’s coursework is mostly online and self-paced. The company has physical benefits for tutoring and virtual instructor feedback.

Unlike apps built at a single time through a coding language that can be updated once or twice a year, low-code applications can evolve faster because they can be customized by each user, according to Glaser.

And low-code apps are being embraced by every market vertical, including retail, life sciences, government and financial services.

“… even how low-code apps are used varies greatly across different major financial services companies,” Glaser said. “Someone uses it to get to a call center. Others use it for their credit card registration system. Another uses it to detect fraud. And another uses it to let your customers know.”

Competitive pay with less training time

The starting salary for low-code developers is around 100,000, according to Glassdoor, a job search and recruitment site best known for its payroll database. In fact, according to a survey of 400 developers conducted by Appian, more low-code users report a base salary of $ 100,000 or more than high-code-only developers.

According to Jason Wong, a leading vice president analyst at Gartner, it is becoming commonplace to seek out talent or train in-house with low-code skills.

Gartner Lockwood Survey Gartner

Gartner sees a large and growing number of non-IT “developers”.

Although often combined with citizen development (which can enable low-code), many professional developers also use it, as it speeds up the marketing time of all kinds of business apps. According to Gartner, 30% of the professional development community uses low-code in some form.

“And, those developers were also ahead of the non-low code developers in terms of cloud-native technology and advanced usage. So, they weren’t dummy, ”Wong said. “They were doing great things. So, even among professional developers, this is not a special thing.

“In my opinion, there will be low-code development [eventually] Be the only table stock for business workers – just like personal productivity tools, ”Wong added.

Epidemics and the rise of hybrid jobs have changed the perception of low-code business application development as many companies needed to bring applications to market faster. For example, in March 2021, every U.S. bank suddenly had to deal with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from students when the Biden administration moved to help struggling student borrowers who had previously qualified for PPP.

“Suddenly, a lot of PPP loan applications are being created using low-code techniques,” Wong said.

In addition to Appian, the top low-code development platforms include SalesForce, ServiceNow, Mendix, Out Systems and Microsoft PowerPlatform.

Lack of skills is one of the biggest concerns of CEOs

In the Fall 2021 survey of Fortune and Deloitte, 71% CEO expected A skills and labor shortage will be the biggest business disruption of 2022, which will create an urgent need for training and skills development to take home for the organization.

According to Jean-Marc Lauchez, president of the Corn Ferry Institute, the most conscious organizations themselves are taking responsibility for talent training, increasingly recruiting people out of school. These organizations are constantly trying to establish a culture of learning and training.

“Continuing education – driven by both employees and organizations – will be the focus of the future of work, extending beyond the traditional definition of learning and development,” Lauchez wrote.

In that light, coding bootcamps have become more of a talent pool for companies looking for skill-based applicants than more traditional college graduates.

According to a recent survey of 3,800 U.S. graduates from coding bootcamps at U.S. educational institutions 2U and Gallup University, graduates from coding boot camps report faster ROI, higher pay, and STEM career opportunities.

All graduates reported an average increase of বেতন 11,000 in their salary one year after graduation, and those who moved from non-STEM to STEM jobs after graduation saw the highest income growth.

Zoho practices traditional recruitment and retention

Cloud software provider Zoho Corporation has been conducting an in-house training program for employees and young technical apprentices since 2014. The Chennai-based India-based company has more than 11,000 employees in India and 22,000 employees worldwide. IT management software.

With Joho University, the company has expanded the number of 12- to 18-month courses from software development and engineering to include soft skills such as communication, problem solving and customer relationships. It was later renamed the Zoho School of Learning.

Joy Sundaram, chief strategy officer and managing engine at Zoho Corporation, said the training program seeks talent not only from within but also from underdeveloped socio-economic areas and recent high school graduates.

“We understand the futility of looking for so-called pre-qualified talent. Firstly, there was a lot of competition for it and secondly, the college degree was not very much in our business, ”said Sundaram. “It all came down to what people knew about technology, in contrast to what they learned in an academic institution; How much they worked with customers and related issues. And that translates into a measure of success. “

Sundaram, who rarely looks at resumes at the time of recruitment – focuses on skills and experience instead – said there was also a social purpose to Johor’s in-house training program: it sought to empower people living in small towns and cities, rural areas and areas with disadvantaged populations.

“A lot of it started in India, but a lot of the same policies and philosophies are moving to other countries, like the UK and the US,” Sundaram said. “If you look at hiring techniques in technology – and I’ve been in this business for 30 years – you see the same problems. Everyone follows the same playbook, especially if you’re in a Bay Area like me.

“It does not create a geographical distribution. This hindered diversity, because you start to see the same kind of people and you start imposing certain employment restrictions – imposing college degrees and [hiring] Only from specific organizations. So, in essence, you start self-selection. And it contributes to the social inequality that we see across different levels of society. “

Traditional recruitment playbooks further reduce talent pools in remote areas as talented individuals move to metropolitan areas where they know there are more jobs.

The strategy behind the Johor program was not entirely altruistic. Zoho sees that the regions are filled with potential talent missing from academia and professional opportunities.

“It was more than just a recruitment strategy. It’s about building a sustainable company, “said Sundaram. “And that includes relocating offices in rural areas. We’re doing it now in Europe and here in the United States. “

In the United States, Johor was headquartered in Pleasanton, CA. About a decade ago, it decided to move to Austin, TX, which at the time seemed more rural. But Austin has become a “bay-like” technology hub, so the company has opened offices in various cities around Austin. Three months ago, it opened an office in McAllen, TX, on the Mexican border.

“I was amazed to see the infrastructure there. We have great facilities there, good academic infrastructure, but no tech company competitors because it is out of the way, “said Sundaram.

When employees graduate from the Zoho School of Learning, a company policy requires that after five years their salary be consistent with that of a college graduate who did not join the program but did the same.

“It simply came to our notice then. It may take a little longer for them to grow up in their job because they have not brought a college degree and they are under 6, but the pay scale has to be equalized in the end, ”said Sundaram.

To date, Zoho has graduated 1,200 students from its training program.

“We have people joining the program who are now leading a team of 150 people. And many of their team have advanced training and PhDs in engineering, ”said Sundaram. “This is what happened in the short time we were running this program.”

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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