According to Canalys, the worldwide cloud infrastructure services spending by enterprises has continued to surge in Q2 2020, growing 31% year-on-year with total expenditure more than US$3.5 billion higher than the previous quarter. However, as companies migrate to cloud, they are challenged by a lack of skilled personnel. A research conducted by the Hong Kong Productivity Council last year revealed that shortage of talents is one of main barriers to digital transformation in Hong Kong businesses, with over 40% of respondents indicating management and employees’ insufficient awareness of transformation.
This is not only the case for Hong Kong. Around the globe, business leaders are struggling to find talented developers, architects, and business leaders to help them make the most out of cloud. The problem, however, is that it is simply not possible for an industry to suddenly create a large number of highly-qualified cloud professionals with profound experience. Rather than chasing for a limited number of highly-experienced professionals, employers should surround their most experienced employees with highly motivated, entry-level talent with strong foundational cloud skills.
Cloud providers, governments, and training organizations are working hard to populate the global IT ecosystem with entry-level cloud talent. Tens of thousands of individuals have already acquired hands-on cloud training, and many are eager to start their cloud careers around the world.
Here are four reasons why you should hire entry-level cloud talents.
1. Entry-level talent is “cloud-native,” principled, and ready to learn.
Today’s entry-level cloud talent won’t come with a decade of on-the-job experience, but they won’t possess a decade’s worth of legacy thinking either. These individuals can help your company challenge outdated approaches and embrace change in the digital age, without the conscious need to unlearn old habits and ways of working on obsolete technologies.
Many individuals who are just starting their cloud careers are also digital natives. This new generation grew up with mobile devices and thus have a deep understanding of advanced technology and virtual working model. They think differently about data and devices, likely espousing modern and innovative notions about technology and what it can do. They are ready to bring new energy and reach high standards for your teams of solutions architects and developers.
2. Hiring entry-level talent help utilize the full potential of the whole team
Building teams comprised of individuals with various levels of experience will help ensure they are complementing and learning from each other. This way, those new to the cloud will be able to grow their skills in a supportive environment from mentorship.
By having skilled, entry-level talents in the team, companies can also free experienced cloud experts up to take on the more high-value aspects of their projects. Tenured employees will appreciate this arrangement and tend to be more loyal to the organization if they work on tasks more closely aligned to their abilities. In a 2020 survey by Deloitte, respondents who said their companies use their skills effectively are more likely to say they plan to stay with their current employer.
Skills gaps are more than just an inconvenience; it can cause grave financial and business repercussions. The IDC anticipates that in 2020, 90 percent of all organizations will have adjusted project plans, delayed product/service releases, incurred costs or lost revenue because of a lack of IT skills. By hiring entry-level talent, companies can bridge IT skills gap, supporting organizations achieve business objectives and meet demands on time.
In addition to recruiting new members, investment in training is equally important in narrowing the gap. Global Knowledge revealed in research that only 59% of IT decision-makers approved training in 2019 and explained that a lack of training investment is a major cause of skill gaps. Research from the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resources Management also pointed out that the average training hours last year dropped to a 10-year record low of 14.1 hours.
To keep the skills they need, companies need to ensure sufficient support and resources for its workforce.
4. A team of diverse talent is smarter and more stable.
Having a mix of talent and experience across the organization can also help create stability. Instead of counting on one or two highly experienced individuals, companies should build strong and resilient teams to ensure business continuity and financial stability.
Hiring individuals with a range of skills, backgrounds, and experience will benefit business decision-making and innovation. As research shows, diverse teams are smarter and more innovative.
Turning scarcity into opportunity
While it looks like an unsolvable challenge, the scarcity of highly experienced cloud talent is actually an invitation for businesses to adopt a different way to hire, train, and retain talent. Instead of searching for tenured individuals alone, it is worthwhile for companies to also invest in entry-level talent with strong foundational cloud skills.
Around the world, individuals with great capabilities and huge potential are emerging from universities, training programs, and internships with hands-on experience and eagerness to work in the industry. They are key to bridging the skills gap and helping businesses thrive.