Blog articles

How tech fluency can solve the tech talent shortage

January 11, 2023

In times of economic uncertainty, organizations look for ways to reduce spending and implement cost-saving measures. Tech fluency enables you to build your own tech talent and fill critical skills gaps—all while boosting organizational resilience.

What is tech fluency?

Tech fluency means giving your entire workforce an understanding of key technologies, including why they matter and how they’re used. When employees become fluent in technology, you boost your organization’s overall productivity, collaboration, and velocity.

What is the tech talent shortage?

The tech industry moves quickly. Because of this, only a few individuals possess considerable experience with emerging technical skills like cloud computing. 

According to the 2022 State of Cloud report, 75% of tech leaders say they’re building all new products and features in the cloud moving forward. But only 8% of technologists have extensive experience working with cloud-related tools.

In other words, there’s a tech talent shortage. Even if you have the budget to hire new employees, there’s no guarantee qualified candidates with the skills you need will be available in the marketplace.

Causes of the tech talent shortage

With technical skills in high demand, many organizations struggle to fill crucial roles. Here are some of the top challenges of hiring tech talent:

A competitive talent pool

A limited talent pool means that organizations face fierce competition when recruiting. The most qualified individuals receive multiple competing job offers. If your organization’s hiring process moves too slowly or your organization doesn’t offer competitive benefits, talented candidates may take their skills elsewhere.

The cost of hiring a new employee

Tech talent isn’t cheap. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that the average cost per hire is $4,700. But for many organizations, the total cost per hire can reach up to three to four times the position's salary. This includes hard costs, like salaries, as well as “soft costs” like lost productivity. 

For organizations facing budget constraints, the cost of talent acquisition can be too high. Upskilling or reskilling existing employees to solve the tech talent shortage is one potential solution.

How tech fluency can create tech talent

The main challenges associated with tech talent are based on the traditional idea of consuming talent (going to the marketplace and hiring someone with the necessary skills). But that isn’t the only way. You don’t have to consume tech talent—you can create it.

A tech fluency program gives you the opportunity to develop internal talent to fill open roles and close skills gaps. By assessing skill proficiency, you can identify potential candidates to upskill and/or reskill for tech roles. As a result, you bypass the challenges associated with the tech talent shortage and situate your organization for success.

4 benefits of using tech fluency to solve the tech talent shortage

Tech fluency helps you develop the tech talent you need from within your organization. An organization-wide tech fluency program prepares your organization for digital transformation and builds the resilience needed to weather any economic environment. 

Here are some of the other benefits of using tech fluency to overcome the tech talent shortage:

1. Reduce hiring costs

Hiring tech talent, especially highly qualified candidates, can be a costly process. In addition to compensation and benefits, you need to account for the cost of various items and services:

  • Job posting fees

  • External recruiters

  • Background checks

  • Aptitude testing and other screens

  • Equipment and credentials

Developing talent from within allows you to reduce spending associated with recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new employees.

2. Empower employees to follow new career paths

Tech fluency disrupts traditional career paths—in a good way. Tech fluency gives employees the opportunity to develop tech skills and uncover new career interests that they may have never discovered otherwise.

The 2022 State of Upskilling report found that 91% of technologists wanted to improve their tech skills to fulfill personal career goals. And 86% wanted their tech skills to align with their organization’s overall strategy. When you give employees these learning and development opportunities through a tech fluency program, you empower them to pursue career changes while strengthening their connection to your company.

3. Improve organizational resilience

When the economy fluctuates, resilient organizations typically emerge on top. Why? They aren’t afraid to explore untraditional avenues to meet their goals. 

In the case of hiring tech talent, resilient organizations tend to look externally and internally. They don’t depend solely on wider economic conditions and external factors to find the right people with the right skills. Instead, they focus on upskilling and reskilling existing employees.

With potential hiring freezes and layoffs on the horizon for many organizations, tech fluency gives everyone key technical knowledge, allowing employees to step into new roles without significant drops in productivity, velocity, or organizational knowledge.

4. Create a culture of continuous learning

While tech fluency often involves learning key tech skills like cloud computing, data, and AI, it’s mainly about creating a continuous culture of learning. When your organization becomes tech fluent, they possess the knowledge needed to evolve your organization, take advantage of new technologies, and speed ahead of the competition.

A successful tech fluency program should impact everyone in an organization, regardless of department, seniority, or tenure. Build tech fluency into your organization as early on as the hiring process. When you interview candidates, look for learning mindsets, not just tech skills. Do they have a basic understanding of the technology? If not, are they able, and willing, to learn?

Establish a tech fluency program

Hiring tech talent? A tech fluency program can help you solve the tech talent shortage and identify potential internal candidates to fill roles and skills gaps. It’s a win-win: your organization and your people advance.

Create internal tech talent with tech fluency.