The hidden key to finding skilled tech workers

  • Careers
  • Solutions
  • 2023
  • Natalli Amato
04 April 2023

Skilled tech workers: female typing on laptop with feet on desk where two computer monitors display code

It’s no secret that we’re experiencing a talent shortage in the tech industry. At the same time, the automation of many jobs is near. It’s easy to assume these two realities mitigate each other, but the situation is much more complex.

Although automation may replace millions of low-skill jobs, it will create millions of jobs that require skilled tech workers, according to a report by consulting company BCG. Thus, the talent shortage remains a threat, and investing in employees and candidates is more important than ever.

Times like these force the hard hand of change. For leaders in the tech industry, it’s imperative to step into the change-maker role now instead of struggling to play catch-up once it’s too late.

“Governments and corporate leaders need to understand the specific demographic challenges they face, where the biggest impact of automation will be, and how they can help individuals remain employable by maintaining their skills,” BCG suggests.

Finding a way forward

Building up the workforce is the way forward through this time of change. Skills training is no longer a bonus—it’s a must.

At the same time, the hiring process has never been so fragmented and disembodied. Applicants are often rejected before a human being ever lays eyes on their CVs, thanks to keyword-screening bots. Recruiters are given unrealistically high caseloads that spread their attention paper-thin.

Given this level of dysfunction, it’s no wonder that even today’s leading tech companies aren’t securing the talent they need. At least in part, that’s because C-suite executives often undervalue the importance of human resources (HR).

“A lot of people think about HR as a box to check versus a strategic partner in building the business,” says Karine Shahar, founder of Strategic Global Talent, who has more than two decades of experience as an HR strategic adviser.

In order to weather the talent shortage, tech leaders must start seeing HR as the valuable strategic partner it truly is.


Hiring managers must set aside preconceived notions about who the “right” person for a role is and actually spend time with the human being behind the CV.

From talent shortage to opportunity

Instead of blaming long-vacant roles on an unprepared workforce, companies need to examine the part they play in the crisis.

“There's a talent shortage, but that's because people don't want to go work for companies that don't treat them well through the interview process,” Shahar says. “That's already a sign of what it's going to be like when you go work full time.”

Fortunately, the inverse is true. “People are going to want to work with people who make them feel good, right?” she adds.

Therein lies the pathway out of this predicament. By making people feel seen and valued during the interview process, recruiters are much more likely to fill open positions.

This sounds simple. In practice, it involves a great deal of mindfulness in action. Hiring managers must set aside preconceived notions about who the “right” person for a role is and actually spend time with the human being behind the CV. That means assessing a person’s potential—not just their accolades.

A holistic approach to talent

The RiseUp with ServiceNow program puts this concept into action. The program empowers people who have the drive to learn and grow their skills to build meaningful careers in the tech industry—even if they have no tech background. The result is job-ready talent to help fill open roles.

Working from this holistic point of view, an applicant’s demonstrated ability to learn and adapt becomes just as valuable as three to five years of experience in a similar role.

Crucially, this potential-oriented recruitment process has to be matched with a genuine investment in employees once candidates are hired. “It’s about thinking about the entire employee lifecycle,” Shahar says. “Once they get in, what are we doing for them?”

When companies invest in their new hires, they no longer have to waste time searching for the elusive “perfect candidate.” Instead, they can cultivate the perfect talent match in-house.

With this framework in place, these companies will weather the talent crisis and be prepared for whatever challenge comes next.

Find out more about RiseUp with ServiceNow.

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