Resiliency over retention: Gartner insights on talent strategy

By Kelly Wenzel, Andela’s Chief Marketing Officer

October 18, 2023

Talent is a hot topic at Gartner IT Symposium/ Xpo 2023. It is certainly nowhere near the dominance of #GenAI, but talent is a recurring theme across sessions on digital transformation, cost optimization, business delivery and more. Here’s why:

  • 78% of CEOs surveyed by Gartner believe talent scarcity is reaching crisis proportions.  
  • The rate of hiring borderless technology staff has doubled in the last three years. 
  • Increasing retention and hiring is now the number three priority for CEOs in 2023. 

According to Miles Gibson, VP of Research at Gartner, the belief that a global recession would serve as a catalyst to cool tech hiring or salary gains has simply not materialized. The demand for tech talent remains fierce – whether driven by the need to accelerate innovation, increase capacity or address key skill gaps. 

Source: Gartner

This is why I loved the premise of Miles’ presentation at Gartner Symposium. Miles asserted that organizations would be better served by talent strategy that prioritized resiliency over retention. Drawing on case studies by Tetra Pak an Procter & Gamble, here are some key takeaways:

  • Hire in anticipation of a need and recruit talent that can grow with you. 
  • Build teams with overlapping skills and create paths for continuous upskilling. 
  • Make learning part of the job, not in addition to. 
Source: Gartner

“No one is ever more than 70% qualified for a new role. We don’t expect it. We expect people to grow and learn new capabilities through their work”, said Craig Bierman, Director, Technical Infrastructure at Tetra Pak. The company hires entry-level employees that they “embed, augment, and scale”. Leadership intentionally plans time for training, self-directed learning, and established team-based learning programs to create growth opportunities. 

Similarly, P&G created a learning organization by design. Even more than aptitude, they are prioritizing specific behaviors they want to propagate through their organization: lead with courage, innovate for growth, champion for productivity, execute with excellence, and bring out your best. For P&G, these five behaviors reflect the ability to learn and adapt to the changing nature of tech work, influenced by ever-evolving customer needs and products. This resulted in 90% of entry-level IT staff delivering the expected business impact within 12 months, and a 50% increase in the number of entry-level staff in product teams.

While Andela doesn’t typically focus on entry-level talent, we are enabling a new approach to building tech teams that is:

  • Resilient: Andela operates the world’s largest private talent marketplace for skilled technologists. This makes it easy for organizations to adapt quickly as new skill sets emerge. More, tapping talent in emerging geographies like Africa and Latin America helps bring fresh perspective and diversity of thought. 
  • Intelligent: Powerful AI-matching algorithms learn from thousands of touch points in the hiring journey to pinpoint the best talent for the roles and skills required.
  • Elastic: Offers more flexibility in lean times and rapid scaling capabilities in periods of heavy investment. Dial up or down quickly and easily as business conditions change.
  • Borderless: Today, the market is global, and location is fluid. Market leaders gain competitive advantage by tapping into new talent pools in emerging geographies.

The theme of this year’s Gartner Symposium is “Unleash Possibility” and it’s a fantastic call to action for tech leaders. There are better ways to meet the rising demand for tech talent. Now is the time to rewrite workforce strategies – so we can improve resilience, yes, but also drive growth and business impact. 

If you are interested in learning more about embracing adaptive talent strategies with Andela, get started here.

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