How Are You Addressing Australia's IT Skills Gap?

Clare Anderson
16th February 2021

If you’re looking to grow or scale your tech team, being informed and understanding the most sought-after skills should be an important part of your business continuity planning.

According to Hays, the most in-demand skills within Australia’s IT jobs market in 2021 will be:-

  • Full Stack Developers with React, Microservices and Cloud (AWS or Azure) experience. Demand is due to increased traffic to businesses’ customer-facing systems.

  • Cloud Engineers in both AWS and Azure. Demand has increased because of COVID-19 and the resulting growth of virtual working models that require scalable, secure, reliable and cost-effective off-premises technologies;

  • Security Awareness Consultants who can effectively educate employees about online dangers when working remotely.

Hays’ research cites the top information technology skills needed as relating to rapidly evolving technologies - workplaces need to recognise the tech-forward future they are facing.

The National Skills Commission’s (NSC) has recently unveiled twenty-five new occupations in seven categories that are in high demand across Australia and New Zealand. These include the following five emerging skills under the DATA ANALYTICS umbrella: Data Analysts; Data Scientists; Data Engineers; Data Architects and Pricing Analysts. The NSC has developed a data-driven approach to identifying emerging occupations and how these will change existing jobs.

Technology Divisions further backs up the general consensus that Australia, like the entire world, is continuing to face a ‘massive gap’ between the demand and supply of IT talent and that this will remain a challenge going forward. It’s imperative that CIOs and CTOs respond to the need to address the local IT skills gap promptly.

So what exactly can your business do to address this urgent tech talent shortage? Forbes looks at a few options. IT leaders need to ensure their workforce are continually developing their tech skills. Companies that are more flexible in how people develop will also have more options. The technical skills learned in a CS program become much less relevant five years down the line. What matters much more is how an individual continually learns on their own. Businesses also need to look at backgrounds and educational pedigrees differently if they want the tech talent they need. If you insist on a computer science degree, you will be limiting your hiring options. There are now many ways for individuals to gain the technical skills they need.

Many professionals are upskilling to withstand the complicated tech trend curve but the talent required is rare - and when you do find it - expensive. So what other resources can you tap into to address your immediate need for tech talent? Consider hiring remote outsourced technical staff. If you limit yourself to looking for STEM or similar talent in a set location or country, you limit your hiring pool. Hiring remote staff will allow you access to the very best skills from around the world. Instead of settling on a candidate who merely meets the job requirements (if you’re lucky), give yourself the opportunity of finding someone who shares your company’s values and will go above and beyond if hired. If you are able to find the right offshore outsourcing partner, they will assist you in accessing a team of remote STEM or technical staff who are well qualified, knowledgeable, skilful, motivated and experienced. They’ll utilise best practices and achieve time-sensitive delivery of products or services. Not being bound by geographical location means you will access talent a traditional in-house role would never get you.

Also bear in mind the substantial cost-savings to be made from taking advantage of the economic arbitrage when hiring remote staff in developing countries. Outsourced super-smart and equivalent talent in places like the Philippines and Vietnam comes at a fraction of the cost in Australia and the savings made can often be as high as 70%. Office real estate costs in traditional business hubs like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane are significantly higher than taking on an offshored team somewhere like the Philippines or Vietnam. Working with an offshore outsourcing partner will save you in real estate, office management and maintenance, IT and HR and other costs related to hosting staff locally. A leaner operating model will create a competitive advantage and can be a well-thought-out part of an efficient scaling and BCP plan.

Also consider that hiring remote tech talent will significantly increase the diversity of your workforce. According to Forbes, McKinsey and Harvard Business School workforce diversity is a key driver of internal innovation and business growth and multicultural networks promote creativity. Different perspectives and fresh approaches can help reach a broader audience than you usually do. Having a team of employees that includes remote tech staff from varying backgrounds results in truly great ideas and tangible business returns.

Since the onset of the pandemic, remote working experience has proved that the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Fast-moving, agile businesses will seize new opportunities and thrive now and into the future. With many organizations in Australia returning to growth and looking to protect their future, you need to be sure that your business is able to build the skilled, resilient and adaptable workforce that is needed now and well into the future.

If you’re looking for an offshore outsourcing partner who can provide super-smart, cost-efficient and diverse tech talent, Sharesource could be the answer you’re looking for. Download our eBook, '30 Essential Questions to Ask a Provider Before You Outsource’ to ensure you're informed and have the right questions to ask when considering the next step.


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