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5 Places You Should Look for Digital Talent

Data can help companies uncover hidden sources of digital talent

As digitalization disrupts business models and thrusts new requirements onto the labor market, organizations across diverse industries and geographies require access to digital skills.

Today, a health insurer, a car maker and a bank require many of the same people — people with skills that, until recently, were only on an IT recruiter’s radar.

Those skills, such as AI, virtual reality, IoT, machine learning, and big data are necessary for companies to pursue digital opportunities, from product enhancements to disruptive business transformations. For example, auto makers who want to develop self-driving cars, need a wide range of IT capabilities, from artificial intelligence engineers to software developers and machine learning specialists.

Simply put, it is even harder today — than say 3-4 years ago — to plan for, find and hire the talent companies need. In fact, 47% of all jobs posted by S&P 100 companies in 2017 were for the same 37 roles, according to analysis of data from CEB TalentNeuron, now offered by Gartner.

In this scenario, labor market data can reveal untapped opportunities to find and recruit digital talent. Laying different datasets over one another provides clarity and insight with which companies can make real decisions about sourcing and hiring strategies.

5 Ways Data Can Help Locate Digital Talent

Here are just five examples of opportunities you might not have considered, but data can reveal:

  1. Tap locations with less of a talent squeeze: Most companies target locations with huge talent pools when they want to recruit candidates. This is an obvious approach, but places with a lot of talent are also hotbeds of demand, especially for new roles sought across industries. By analyzing data on both supply and demand, you can get a clearer picture of which locations to target. If, for example, you have only a few people to hire, you can target a location where there may be slightly less talent available, but demand is nowhere near as strong.

  2. Mine adjacent companies and industries: In searching for digital talent, organizations are increasingly bumping up against adjacent industries and companies looking for the same people. This can be seen as both an opportunity and threat. Data can show which companies are actively hiring for the talent you want, and add these less obvious sectors to your own sourcing criteria to build a larger, more viable candidate pool.

  3. Check out cities with emerging talent pools: Digital talent searches inevitably target established hubs, but data can identify the next tier of cities where digital talent pools are still nascent. In these locations, companies can stretch limited recruiting resources and pull specific HR levers like recruitment advertising or relocation packages to expand their pipeline of suitable candidates and build a talent pool.

  4. Analyze roles internally to fill the talent pipeline: Companies can also use labor market data to help identify potential internal capabilities for high-growth digital roles. For example, HR professionals can look at what jobs or titles were previously held by the professionals currently employed in key roles. By looking back at how people typically progressed to a given role, it is possible to identify people in the organization who might be good candidates for grooming into key digital roles.

  5. Search untapped graduate talent pools: Given the hypercompetition for mature and emerging digital roles, it’s important to target entry-level talent pipelines that are the foundation of future capability growth. Recruiters are always keen to build relationships with flagship schools well-known for producing certain IT capabilities, but data can identify other potential pools of skills, such as career or technical institutes, that are producing IT talent for certain job families such as software engineering. These schools offer an ancillary but potentially lucrative role in campus hiring programs.

More On…

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One Response

  • You are overlooking the biggest talent pool. The freelance workforce is the fastest growing segment of the workforce at 5-6%/year, while the workforce overall is growing at .5%/year.

    Our literature review found that 11% of the U.S. workforce is full-time freelance. As a group, “self employed” is larger than any single employer, including Walmart, the federal government and the standing military. As a sector, it’s one of the 4-5 largest sector’s in the U.S., comparable to manufacturing and education. 1 in 9 of your former colleagues and 1 in 9 of your alma mater’s alumni are full-time freelance.

    More than 80% of the full-time freelance workforce says they strongly prefer this way of working, and more than 50% say they wouldn’t consider a W2 role at any pay. If you are looking for talent among job hunters looking for W2 roles, your talent pool is 11% smaller than it could be.

    This is especially important to companies looking for highly-skilled technical talent as you are discussing. A variety of surveys have found that full-time freelancers compared to the workforce in general are on average more engaged in their work, more tech savvy, more business savvy, better educated and more active in maintaining their skills.

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