Is Emerging Talent an Answer to Tackling Tech Skills Shortages?

8 mins

Discover how investing in emerging talent can address skill shortages and drive innovation in your business

Investing in people is one of the most critical aspects of your business strategy. Your people are the driving force behind your innovation, profits, customer experience, and growth. With talent playing such a vital role, it is imperative that you get your hiring strategy right. However, with such difficulties worldwide attracting tech talent, businesses must look for alternatives. Therefore, has your business considered building an emerging talent pipeline as an alternative to traditional recruitment?

This guide will explore why businesses are struggling to attract experienced tech talent. We will discover the benefits emerging talent can bring to your business, examples of who constitutes emerging talent, and strategies to target this untapped pool.   

Businesses Struggling to Attract Tech Talent 

The scarcity of exceptional tech talent is reaching critical levels, with a staggering 46% of UK tech companies grappling with talent gaps. This is the same for countries globally, with France and Italy reporting 61% and 49%, respectively. As the gaps widen, this causes escalating competition in the job market, making it increasingly challenging for businesses to secure the right tech professionals with their desired experience and skill level. 

Here are some of the reasons why businesses in the UK and globally are experiencing tech talent shortages:

  • Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic - The pandemic accelerates businesses going through digital transformations, which increased the need for tech talent as organisations embraced digitalisation and remote working. 

  • Increased Demand for Specific Tech Skills - The rise of technologies such as AI and big data have increased the demand for talent with specialised skills to help businesses embrace these advancements.

  • High Competition - Major organisations are not just competing against each other but also against the allure of working for innovative and exciting startups or even the freelance market.  

  • Desire for Meaningful Work - Ambitious tech talent are seeking opportunities to be part of organisations striving to shape the future and contribute positively to society. 

  • Passive Candidates - Many highly skilled and experienced tech talent are already employed and not actively seeking a new job. To attract these candidates, businesses must offer higher quality compensation packages and put more effort into showcasing a compelling work environment. 

  • High Wage Demands - As touched on above, tech talent with in-demand skills knows their worth and, therefore, have the ammunition to demand high wages. Businesses that don’t meet these demands may lose the candidate to a competitor. 

These factors combined create a challenging environment for businesses seeking top tech talent. This is a highly complex issue that isn’t easily answered, highlighting the need for businesses to adapt their recruitment strategies to find their next generation of talent. 

Looking Beyond the Traditional Talent Pools 

With such a wide range of reasons why hiring from traditional talent pools is proving increasingly difficult for businesses and exacerbating skills shortages, are you starting to look for alternatives for your business? An effective alternative and often untapped pool is emerging talent. Emerging talent refers to individuals who are either new to the workforce or have had career paths in different professions and industries. 

What are the Benefits of Emerging Talent?

To present emerging talent as a recruitment solution, let’s explore the advantages of investing in it: 

  • New Ideas and Fresh Perspectives - Emerging talent can bring fresh perspectives to the table because they haven’t been ingrained in traditional industry practices. They are more likely to challenge the status quo and offer innovative solutions. 

  • Cost-Effective - Compared to experienced professionals, emerging talent may be happier with lower salaries because they are new to the role and the industry. 

  • Builds a Talent Pipeline - By nurturing emerging talent early on, businesses can develop a strong pipeline for the future. Companies can turn these early professionals into effective, long-term employees by investing in apprenticeships, mentoring, and training. 

  • Technological Proficiency - Younger generations commonly possess a more natural ease with modern technologies and social media platforms, thanks to their upbringing in the digital age. This familiarity allows them to provide practical support to businesses by effectively utilising these tools for marketing strategies, improving communication, and streamlining internal operations.

  • Increased Diversity - Focusing on emerging talent can help businesses tap into a more diverse talent pool of candidates. Hiring more diverse candidates can lead to a more well-rounded team with a wide range of viewpoints and experiences. 

By building an alternative talent pool of emerging talent, businesses can gain a competitive edge through diverse perspectives, fresh ideas, and a pipeline of future leaders. 

What are Examples of Emerging Talent? 

Emerging talent includes a diverse range of individuals on the cusp of establishing themselves for the first time in the workforce or looking for a change of direction in their careers. Here are some key examples: 

Recent Graduates

Emerging from universities and colleges brimming with fresh knowledge and enthusiasm, recent graduates offer a wealth of untapped potential. While they may lack extensive work experience, their eagerness to learn and adapt makes them valuable assets to any team. Furthermore, their exposure to the latest industry trends and technologies can inject new energy and innovation into projects. 

Military Veterans 

Military veterans with a background steeped in discipline, resilience, and problem-solving possess a rich array of skills that translate seamlessly in the tech industry. Their ability to thrive under pressure, adapt to changing circumstances, and collaborate effectively in team environments makes them invaluable additions to any workforce. Moreover, their diverse experiences and perspectives can drive a culture of inclusivity and camaraderie within businesses. 

Individuals with Untraditional Backgrounds 

Beyond traditional educational or career paths lies a wealth of talent with diverse skill sets and experiences. Whether they come from non-tech technical fields or have pursued unconventional career trajectories, these individuals bring fresh perspectives and a unique set of abilities to the table. Their transferable skills, such as communication, project management, and critical thinking, are highly sought after in the tech industry and can contribute significantly to the success of projects and teams. 

Recognising the potential within these often-overlooked groups gives your business a strategic advantage and shows a commitment to building stronger, more innovative teams equipped to tackle tomorrow's challenges. 

How to Embrace the Untapped Talent Pool

With the tech industry thriving on innovation and traditional recruitment methods overlooking a wealth of potential, here's how to embrace the valuable, alternative resource of emerging talent. 

Rethink your Job Descriptions 

When assessing job descriptions, shifting the focus from rigid criteria like specific educational background or years of experience to a more inclusive approach centred on skills and potential is crucial. By highlighting the key skills and competencies required for the role, companies can attract more candidates with varied backgrounds and experience. 

This not only opens doors for individuals who may have been overlooked based on traditional qualifications but also builds a culture of inclusivity and innovation within the business. Emphasising skills over pedigree allows businesses to tap into a broader talent pool and harness the unique perspectives and talents that each candidate brings to the table. 

Expand on Utilising Skills-Based Assessments 

Incorporating skills-based assessments into the recruitment process is a proactive step towards identifying candidates with the necessary capabilities to thrive in a role. Unlike traditional methods that rely heavily on CVs and interviews, skills-based assessments provide a more objective and comprehensive evaluation of candidates’ abilities. 

By assessing candidates based on their practical skills, problem-solving capabilities, and aptitude for the role, businesses can make more informed hiring decisions and ensure a better fit between candidates and positions. This approach not only helps mitigate biases inherent in traditional hiring practices but also enables companies to identify talent from non-traditional backgrounds and drive a more diverse workforce. 

Partner with Organisations Specialising in Untapped Talent 

Collaborating with specialist organisations focusing on sourcing, assessing, and training candidates from diverse backgrounds can significantly enhance a business’s recruitment efforts. These partnerships provide access to untapped talent pools that may possess the skills and potential to excel in tech roles despite lacking education, experience, or both. 

By leaning on the expertise of these organisations, businesses can identify emerging talent with transferable skills, diverse perspectives and unique experiences, enriching their talent pipeline and driving innovation within the business. Also, this commitment to forming these partnerships demonstrates a commitment to agility and staying cutting-edge through talent, enabling businesses to gain a competitive edge in the fast-advancing world of tech.   

Build a Pipeline of Emerging Talent for Your Business 

The scarcity of tech talent poses a significant challenge for businesses, influenced by factors like the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased demand for specific skills, and competition in the job market. However, there's an opportunity for businesses to tap into emerging talent pools, offering fresh perspectives and cost-effective hiring options. Businesses can build a diverse workforce by focusing on recent graduates, military veterans, and individuals with diverse backgrounds while fostering a culture of inclusivity and innovation.

To embrace this untapped talent pool effectively, businesses should adjust their job descriptions to focus on skills and potential, implement skills-based assessments for fair evaluation, and collaborate with organisations specialising in sourcing diverse talent. By proactively identifying and nurturing emerging talent, businesses can gain a competitive advantage and ensure long-term success.

Ready to Build a Pipeline of Emerging Talent for Your Business? 

Unlock diverse talent for your junior tech and marketing roles with our specialised Emerging Talent service, designed to address your talent challenges head-on. From tackling the tech talent shortage to facilitating soft skills development, we streamline assessment, deployment and training by presenting only the most suitable emerging talent sourced from a diverse pool of over 400,000 applications annually. Join us in order to achieve excellence and drive your business success. 

Contact us today for more information. 

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