Managing Talent Transitions During A Talent Crunch
Via Forbes : Managing Talent Transitions During A Talent Crunch
According to a report published by Korn Ferry, “By 2030, all countries except India will be gripped by [technology, media and telecommunications] talent deficits,” adding that “unless governments and organizations can develop enough highly skilled workers, a talent crunch threatens the rosy forecasts for technological progress and its accompanying economic growth.”
Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that almost 60% of employers have jobs that stay open for at least 12 weeks. Korn Ferry estimates that “by 2030, demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply, resulting in a global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people” and nearly $8.5 trillion of unrealized revenue.
The founders of my current organization were former early employees of one of the earliest large-scale efforts, Linio, to create a Mexican digital revolution. Since they experienced the need to develop talent to match the pressing business and technology requirements at hand, our company valued malleable talent at its core, a reason I shifted continents to grow my technical, management and team-building capabilities.
Our six-member company began looking for technology talent to solidify our technical offerings and processes in 2017. Talented software developers were easily available, but hiring talented software testers represented a challenge. We had previously worked with talented software testers in geographies such as the U.S. and expected the same level of expertise in areas such as automation testing when we began searching for talent.
Unexpectedly, we drew a blank even in the search for talented manual software testers after a yearlong search on online job search platforms such as LinkedIn and AngelList and a few private organizations providing software testing courses. Our software development team had grown to five individuals, but the absence of any software tester mitigating the risk of frequent software deployment represented a serious vulnerability.
The lack of strong software quality talent in our country of operations gave us the idea to look outside our industry for quality assurance talent since Mexico is otherwise known as a strong manufacturing destination, in part due to the work of quality assurance professionals. Based on my experience, here’s some advice on how you can manage talent during a shortage.
Look Outside Your Industry
The key when searching for talent outside of a company’s core industry is to go to the first principles and foundations of the expectations of what the particular talent pool brings to the table. In order to minimize the cost and risk of this strategy, find the most important set of these foundational characteristics that are represented in easily hirable and transformable talent. In order to determine the specific characteristics needed for bringing in the new trainable talent, separate what skills are trainable and what abilities are essential foundations for these skills.
Our primary aim was to have on-site software testing talent and then to look remotely for expanding our talent pool, but to tackle this serious talent shortage, we began to look for remote talent. In mid-2019, we managed to hire a talented lead tester in India through our network. To expand the testing team on-site in Mexico, we began to look strategically for talent with a strong testing mindset outside the internet technology industry, with the aim of porting their testing knowledge and processes to the software testing life cycle. We were able to hire strong quality testers from the manufacturing and chemical industries for our testing team and quickly transitioned these new joiners to think in terms of software flowcharts, user experience and software vulnerabilities over a one-month training period.
We distilled the core abilities of a good software tester and concluded that having a strong logical and deductive work background, even in a non-internet company setting, would suffice. We managed to hire mathematicians and statisticians who picked up the software testing skills quickly over a three-month training period. Seeing their quick absorption of manual software testing knowledge, we guided them to pick up automation testing concepts by organizing Java programming training in-house and saw these internally trained testers pick up coding of testing systems within a few more months.
Look Within Your Company
We envisioned searching within internal teams for similarly moldable talent following the success of our original talent transition and as our organization grew larger. The most stunning outcome of our talent transition program was moving a graphic designer in the organization to our testing team based on her performance, commitment to adapt and logical bend of mind. This employee eventually turned out to be the most driven and most appreciated peer within our software testing team.
Moving employees from one department to another within an organization can be a risky process since every department espouses a distinct cultural norm, such as a fast-moving technology team as opposed to the strategically evolving brand team. Attraction to other departments’ cultural inclination and the ability to gel with different personality types in a different department are important worker aspects to maximize if you hope to have a successful transition.
Misreading the abilities involved in realizing an opportunity and misunderstanding how different the post-skill-development destination is for someone undergoing a talent transition process are challenges managers could face during this talent transition process. To overcome these, it is essential to articulate expectations and give potential transitioners ample time around their future teams well before starting a transition.
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