The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation is here and could result in about $8.5 trillion in lost annual revenues. An extensive new Korn Ferry report finds that by 2030, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them. The Great Resignation is real and its unfortunate impact has tightened the technology labor market, as skilled IT workers are hard to find and even more challenging to keep.

Amy Luby, Founder of Modern MSP

AUTHOR: Amy Luby, Founder of Modern MSP

One of the hardest-hit areas is cybersecurity, experiencing a mass exodus of specialized technology talent and insufficiently skilled workers to fill the gaps. According to Cyber Security Ventures, there are more than 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings worldwide, and that figure is expected to sustain through 2025.

The technology labor shortage means more companies are vulnerable to security breaches and cyber threats. The number of cyber and technology experts is dwindling while cybercriminals are increasing in number and know-how, causing $6 trillion in damages worldwide. According to Cisco CEO, Chuck Robbins, “If we think about cybercrime the way we think about the GDP of countries, it would be the third-largest economy in the world after the U.S. and China.”

A few reasons for the mass exit are lack of recognition, inability to grow professionally and learn new skills, and burnout. Unless organizations can find a way to right the ship, that ship will go down or, at the very least, leave it incredibly vulnerable to cyber threats.

As somber as this sounds, it’s not all doom and gloom. It is a challenge to hire skilled IT professionals in a normal market. But, in today’s post-pandemic workplace, it is even more difficult. However, jobs are changing faster than ever, and you should look for potential rather than experience. Here are some tips for hiring and retaining the right people:

Get creative

If you are looking to hire a skilled IT professional, you need to be creative. In a tight labor market, finding qualified candidates can be a challenge. To help you find the best candidates, you should open your search to include a wide range of people in different locations. You can also consider enhancing your company’s image by hiring employees from diverse backgrounds. And don’t forget to incorporate social media into your hiring strategy. The average person uses social media for more than two hours a day.

Also, consider community outreach initiatives or hosting career days at local colleges and trade schools.

Look within

The first step in creating a competitive talent pipeline is to evaluate your current employees to identify potential candidates for leadership training. You may be surprised to find existing employees have some, if not all, of the skills your company seeks. In addition to enhancing their current skills, you can also consider people with different skill sets, like software developers, who may be a better fit for your company’s culture. This method will increase the efficiency of your hiring process and employee morale and retention.

Recruiting for potential over experience

One way to adapt to the technology labor shortage is to recruit for potential rather than experience. This tactic works well when a candidate lacks experience in the position for which they are applying. The key is identifying possible candidate characteristics and the need for specific expertise. Millennials are particularly enthusiastic about careers that offer a clear path to growth and career development and are more likely to actively seek training and education opportunities.

Diversify

Women have been grossly misrepresented in the IT space, particularly in the cybersecurity space. Recognizing the potential women have in the IT space, Deloitte created a global awareness and recruitment campaign, Women in Cyber, in an effort to promote female leaders in cybersecurity and close the profession’s gender gap. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts women will represent 30 percent of the global cybersecurity workforce by 2025.

Furthermore, paying closer attention to diversity and historic wage gaps among ethnic and demographic groups can help MSPs identify prospective recruits. Finding, locating and lading skilled workers takes a much greater effort today than in years past.

Identifying actual job skill requirements

Identifying job skill requirements in a tight labor market can help you tap an untapped talent pool. Unfortunately, many employers continue to rely on outdated methods for selecting candidates. New online candidate screening technologies are now available to help MSPs filter through the proliferation of credentials that may substitute (or bridge the gap) for some preferred job skill requirements. But now that the labor market is tighter than ever, employers are rethinking their hiring methods to ensure they get the right talent.

Look beyond degrees and college education

Attracting and retaining the best IT talent in a tight labor market is more difficult than ever. Job seekers, especially experienced ones, are more discerning. As a result, employers are recognizing the importance of soft skills in the recruitment process and working to make these attributes a priority. A great candidate may not have a Bachelor’s Degree, but they are super proficient in cyber security, automation, or tech support.

A great candidate may not have a Bachelor’s Degree, but they are super proficient in cyber security, automation, or tech support.

While the labor market may be tight, you can tap into a pool of talent that’s ready and willing to work. By putting forth the time, effort, and resources to develop effective partnerships with untapped talent pools, you’ll be able to quickly and cost-effectively fill your open IT positions.

Partnerships

And finally, consider partnering. Managed security services are a specialized set of skills and many MSPs are successfully adding to their security portfolios without taking on more risk by partnering with well-established MSSPs. Lowering your costs, increasing your service offerings, and mitigating risk are benefits of partnering with a trusted technology provider with a strong partner program.

If you have something to say about this topic, I’d love to hear from you over in the Modern MSP Facebook Group.

 


About the author

Amy Luby is the Founder of Modern MSP. A proven entrepreneur and pioneer in the IT services industry, Amy founded and built one of the first Managed Services Providers in America. Next, she expanded that business into one of the first Master MSPs, defining both business models in the process. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.