Tech jobs are in more demand than ever, but the talent pool is growing at a much slower rate. Especially as remote working becomes more commonplace, the shortage of IT talent is hitting businesses hard as they seek to find the skills needed to enable the necessary technologies, from cloud and edge to desktop. automation and continuous delivery.
This increase in demand for tech talent is only expected to grow in the coming years. Unfortunately, universities, the source of supply for most corporate hires, simply cannot meet the need for skilled employees. According to a recent study by Gartner, 64% of IT leaders rated talent shortages as the biggest barrier to adopting emerging technologies in 2021. This is a major challenge for companies looking to stay innovative, reduce costs and build resilience in an ever-changing ecosystem. And on top of this stark lack of qualified applicants, STEM fields still face a noticeable lack of gender, race, and class diversity. The question: Technology is constantly changing — so why aren’t hiring strategies?
With an overwhelming need for technical skills, software giant SAP is betting its ecosystem can rethink its hiring practices and succeed for it. By equipping workers of all backgrounds and skills with the tools they need to thrive in today’s marketplace.
Companies typically rely on top universities to nurture incoming tech talent. But as industries become increasingly digital and the demand for tech employees grows exponentially, it’s clear that companies need to look beyond their proven hiring practices. A traditional college degree can be a signal of ability, but these expensive degrees are often obsolete as soon as they are issued. Fortunately, employers are beginning to recognize that code assessments, badges, and certifications can offer more insight into a candidate’s abilities than the institution they attended.
Focusing on non-traditional degrees is a game-changer for job seekers. To do its part, SAP has invested in expanding the recruiting pool of its customers. By granting trusted credentials, such as certifications in high-demand fields SAP integration suite, and support from placement partners, the technology provider offers an on-ramp for members across the company to land one of tens of thousands of open positions in the SAP ecosystem. If software companies around the world follow suit, this focus on critical skills certification could be the solution to employing millions of people.
The traditional approach to hiring isn’t just an unsustainable way to meet growing technology demands. This also contributes to a lack of diversity in the field. Today, only 18% of computer science degrees in the United States are earned by women, and STEM is notorious for its top-of-funnel bias toward a predominantly white male population. And relying on universities for talent puts marginalized groups of race, gender, and class at a disadvantage when it comes to entering the tech workforce.
Technology leaders have the opportunity to take ownership of their hiring practices – and that starts with training. Accessible education is an equalizer and gives everyone the opportunity to learn tech skills, not just people who were told they could excel in STEM from elementary or high school. With flexible in-person and virtual learning, as well as alternative certification options, students at all levels can learn new technology skills and showcase their abilities, regardless of their educational background and educational constraints. hourly.
To prove the opportunity, more than 400,000 displaced workers in Europe have completed SAP’s short-term educational programs for the unemployed with an 80% job placement rate. In the United States, their programs support unemployed veterans and more than 99% of their graduates find employment. Max Wessel, executive vice president of SAP Learning, argued that more tech companies should follow suit. His argument: “Fixing access to quality employment is not a zero-sum game. By changing the way we educate, we all win.
Finally, Wessel argues that companies need to think differently about training. SAP is betting they can combat rising developer costs in their ecosystem by training different types of employees. Leaders can look for new ways to train existing employees to become developers instead of hiring outside talent. Companies can turn previously overlooked candidates and current team members into software developers. SAP is among those investing heavily here with learning paths aimed at non-technical users who build fundamental concepts for application development, even for those with little or no experience writing code.
And these offerings aren’t just for newcomers: seasoned pros can easily upskill with new courses and certifications rather than waste time or money going back to school. From beginner courses that allow more people to become citizen developers, to advanced courses for professionals looking to expand their skills, SAP learning offers an alternative to a traditional university education.
Between the talent shortage and an ever-changing tech ecosystem, companies must adapt in order to hire the tech talent they need to keep pace. Fortunately, there is no longer just one way to find talent. With easy access to student training and essential resources, SAP Learning expands the talent pool and gives companies a competitive edge by helping them hire people well-equipped to successfully transform their digital infrastructures.