Timely Advice on Managing Top Tech Talent

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Top tech talent is a hot commodity. Whether your company creates and markets technology or simply utilizes it, there’s no doubt that you’re in constant need of employees with a strength in the area. Likewise engineers and scientists. Unfortunately, recruiting, retaining, and upskilling top tech talent is easier said than done.

Reiniell Gan is a Senior Recruiter at Goldbeck Recruiting who specializes in Information Technology, Life Sciences, Sales, Manufacturing, and Operations. He’s also the perfect person to turn to for insight on managing tech talent.

Upskilling Your Tech Talent is a Win-Win

Gan believes that technical skills will determine the potential success of a business and urges companies to invest in upskilling and career development.

“A continuous learning culture is a win-win situation for a business and their employees,” he says. “Not only will staff be better equipped to meet the company’s future needs, they’re likely to be more engaged. They’ll also feel valued, which will improve retention.” 1

Which Tech Skills are Most Important?

Gan lists digital literacy, AI, machine learning, and data analytics as key areas of development that companies should prioritize. He admits, however, that skills development can be a moving target, particularly for companies that produce technology.

“Product lines and needs change rapidly for tech companies,” he says. “With changing market dynamics it can be a big challenge to determine which upskilling or reskilling programs will remain most relevant in 3-5 years.”

In order to make the best decisions, Gan says that companies should closely monitor business goals, target efficiency levels, and market dynamics and respond accordingly.

Are Soft Skills Important in the Tech Sector?

We tend to think of soft skills such as communications being most important in functions like HR and marketing. According to Gan, however, they are being increasingly prioritized in tech.

“Even though projects and goals are quite technical, they still involve working with humans,” he reasons. “Considering the collaboration involved, interpersonal communication is key to ensuring that teams remain on the same page.”

Gan says that he takes soft skills into consideration when evaluating resumes. He believes they’re particularly important for engineers, as they tend to work remotely.

“It’s a position that requires a high level of accountability,” he says. “Effective communication with peers and supervisors is key to achieving project goals.”

How Can Tech Professionals Develop Soft Skills?

Tired clichés posit that scientists and tech workers are more adept at solving problems than interacting with humans. While this may lead to amusing scenarios on sitcoms like the Big Bang Theory, it’s not necessarily accurate in real life.

Gan says that tech workers, and indeed all members of the workforce, should work on understanding one another’s emotions.

“Even when work is technical, it’s important not to lose the human touch,” he says.

He recommends a number of steps that individuals can take to develop soft skills.

·  Seeking constructive feedback from peers and supervisors.

·  Participating in team activities outside of your core knowledge.

·  Attending public speaking workshops.

·  Joining networking activities to improve communication skills.

Attracting Cyber Security Talent

Cybersecurity talent is in particular demand. Gan says that incident response and cloud security are among the critical skills that are currently lacking in the workforce.

According to Gan, the three most effective strategies for recruiting and retaining top cybersecurity talent are:

·  Offering competitive pay.

·  Offering career development and a progression path within the company.

·  Providing a supportive work environment with a solid feedback loop.

Attracting Diverse Candidates in Cybersecurity Roles

Companies are increasingly seeking to diversify talent in various roles, including cybersecurity. Gan believes that organizations should be actively reaching out to underrepresented candidates when recruiting for these roles.

“Companies can attract a wider range of candidates by showcasing the success of other employees who come from diverse backgrounds,” he says.

Preparing for the Future

Attracting, developing, and retaining employees with top-tier tech skills is absolutely critical today, and will only be more so in the future. Companies should employ a long-term and forward-looking strategy to ensure that they’re ready to meet all challenges. Building and equipping staff with top-tier tech skills is a moving target, but one that’s worth focussing on.

Cited Sources

1 Direct Communication with Reiniell Gan