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COVID crisis creates demand for retraining, change management and remote onboarding in IT

New IT trends have begun to appear in the recruitment space, according to a new report from Hays Information Technology. 

The report says demand for change management professionals and software developers, a move to remote onboarding and a requirement to retrain employees with legacy skills are three of the latest IT recruitment trends to emerge in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. 

James Milligan, global head of technology at Hays, says demand for technology talent has evolved since the start of the pandemic. 

“First, we saw huge demand for people with cloud-based skills who could deploy systems like AWS and Azure to enable remote working,” he says.

“This quickly shifted to cyber security candidates, then data analysts and data scientists who could take a predictive view of what would come next.”

Now, organisations are thinking longer-term about their digital and technology talent strategy, Milligan says.

To aid this process, Hays has identified five key areas to address to ensure businesses attract and secure the top technology talent.

The key areas to consider are:
 
Plan ahead: Organisations have identified new priorities based on the new needs of employees and customers. Some want to improve the tools they use to engage people while others are focused on improving virtual shop windows, websites or other channels of customer engagement that have replaced or augmented traditional human interaction. These organisations need to plan their program of work, including the recruitment of candidates who can enable change, such as change management professionals, as well as software developers to build and develop required applications.
 
Evolve your recruitment process: Covid-19 accelerated the adoption of video interviewing and remote onboarding. However, many organisations still lack a cohesive remote onboarding process. If this describes your organisation, look to your IT department – most IT departments are agile, familiar with the appropriate technology and can assist in evolving the recruitment process.
 
Broaden your attraction process: Organisations have become much more flexible in the geographies they will now recruit from. Consider how you can recruit talent who are not geographically located near the office a role stems from.  
 
Embrace the cultural shift around technology adoption: Technology workers have traditionally found it challenging to implement change as people have been slow to respond and adapt. However, in response to the pandemic, people were forced to rapidly adopt new technology. Behaviourally, users have demonstrated they can change quickly, so psychologically they will be more open to new systems in the future.
 
Reflect and retrain: Organisations are assessing their position to ensure they can continue to operate and thrive in a hybrid working model. This will lead to an acceleration in digital transformation. As part of this, you may need to retrain technology professionals with legacy skills so that they remain relevant and employable in this new world.