Google yielded 1.2 million results when I typed “talent shortage” just before writing this post. The IT sector is currently complaining about a “shortage of tech talent” which, even if available, is seen to be “expensive.” Really? What are all our ICT graduates doing, then?
When I actually started reading a few posts and articles highlighting this “tech talent shortage”, they all seemed to say, mostly toward the end of their posts, that it wasn’t really a shortage of skills, but a dearth of desirable behaviours. Of course, we know that a dearth of desirable behaviours is primarily the result of a poverty of good character. However, that is not something people like to hear. So we continue to skirt the issue and talk about “talent shortage”, “lack of fit” and other so-called “politically correct” phrases. And employers continue to complain about the shortage and lobby politicians to change labour laws so that “foreign talent” can be more easily obtained. Utterly ridiculous when local talent is available all around you! Then again, local talent is often seen as “expensive.” Which is likely true because they probably are. There is a great deal of difference between “expensive” and “high value.” If you’re being described as “expensive”, that’s not a good thing. Start moving yourself towards “high value” instead. People are willing to pay for high value. If you’re not seen as “high value” and yet demand higher remuneration, you’ll be seen as “too expensive” and therefore not worth hiring. Your value is not the IT or whatever certification you have. It is not the level of experience you have in the field, make no mistake about that. Employers and manpower companies are constantly barking up the wrong tree of “experience.” It’s not experience. It’s a good grasp of basic fundamentals in both character qualities AND IT skills, and the diligence, determination and flexibility to acquire more skills IN ADDITION to what you already have! STOP this nonsense of “out with the old, in with the new”! If it’s new it needs to be integrated, and if it’s old, it needs to be pruned and refreshed.
All this hoopla about a tech talent shortage is really just a lot of noise. Consider this – make IT more ergonomic, more intuitive. Which means think in terms of IT supporting human endeavour, not make people go through certifications just to learn what IT is about. Think GOOD DESIGN, not layers of complicated convolutions. THAT’S what makes for good IT! Conceptual breakthrough for many people, I know, but it’s worth getting there.
Now, if you’re an IT person or someone with a talent or skill and you’re still looking to get hired, or landing that “dream job”, I will say this to you – STOP IT! Start looking at developing some character qualities, which is what “lifelong learning” really is, developing great people skills, great communicating skills and great leadership skills as well. Contact me if that’s you. Go well!