Globally, 54% of companies are reporting talent shortages which is the highest rate in more than 10 years. In the United States, more than 69% of employers are struggling to fill open positions. The talent shortage is real and it is growing.

It is growing despite the ending of federal unemployment benefits and companies opening for business as the nation continues to recover economically from last year’s lockdowns.

The pandemic forced companies to embrace technology to enable work from home for their employees. These changes require more qualified workers and IT leaders are finding that they are just not available. Some companies are delaying the rollout of new technology because they don’t have staff who can implement and maintain it.

How can my company deal with the shortage?

Getting creative and planning ahead can make managing the gap in available skills less daunting. Companies in the planning phases of their IT strategy can begin to hire and train workers for the skills that they will need in the future.

Organizations can also create a plan to re-skill their present workforce to move into new technology roles. According to CompTIA’s Workforce and Learning Trends 2021 report, 42% of employers expect to upskill and reskill their current workforce to meet future needs.

Eliminating the requirement for a four-year degree is under consideration, as many HR professionals question the need for a four-year degree for roles such as cybersecurity and other tech positions. Community colleges could offer two-year degree programs that emphasize specialized, skills-based knowledge, then those workers can then get additional training from the companies that hire them. Tech apprenticeships are gaining traction in Europe and could also work in the United States.

Women left the workforce in much higher numbers during the pandemic. While the stresses of the pandemic and figuring out how to stay employed hit everyone, the lack of childcare options and homeschooling students falls mainly on women. Offering benefits like onsite childcare, before and after school programs, or tutoring for remote learners will go a long way to luring women back to the workforce.

Tapping the global workforce is another trend that may help, although the tech talent shortage is not just a phenomenon in the United States. Google and other large tech organizations are adding their voices to help shape immigration policies to enable tech talent to move here with their families.

Recruiters who specialize in technology recruiting can be a valuable resource if your company is struggling to fill open tech positions. A specialist will understand the market and competitive compensation packages, as well as what the deal breakers are for top talent. They will be able to help your hiring personnel define the skills your company needs to move forward with your tech initiative.

Every company is a tech company since the pandemic lockdowns. Competition is high and job seekers hold the cards. Offering competitive pay, flexibility, remote or hybrid work, and taking care of employees will make your organization a more attractive destination for job seekers.