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Q&A | March 14, 2023 | 1 min read

Finding talent close to home

Companies unable to fill tech roles need to help their existing employees get things done, learn new skills, and grow into new roles.

Overwhelmingly, executives cite the talent gap, the difference between open tech jobs and the number of skilled tech workers who can fill them—as a major barrier to their digital transformation. As the problem grows, it has gotten harder for organizations to attract and retain the talent they need to innovate. Today’s rough economic environment adds complexity but also offers an opportunity for companies to make the most of the workforce they already have.

According to the 2022 KPMG U.S. Technology Survey Report, the top three challenges facing companies when it comes to digital transformation all involve talent. To learn more about how companies are bridging the talent gap, Workflow contacted two KPMG specialists who focus on digital transformation in HR Chris Lynch and Mark Bower. They shared advice on how executives can best bridge the talent gap by mining the talent they already employ.

Chris Lynch: Most companies have moved to a more self-service or on-demand model for HR services. As a consequence, employees may find that they just don’t know where to get information, whether it’s HR information like pay or benefits or how to grow their careers within their organizations. That creates a lot of problems, a lot of frustrations, and lower satisfaction. When we look at career growth, it’s a similar story. Oftentimes we hear that it’s easier to find a job elsewhere than to connect with opportunities at your current employer. On the flip side, organizations have openings and can’t find the right people to fill them. Bridging that gap requires that organizations tear down process and technology silos to create consumer-grade experiences for their employees.

Mark Bower: Right now, the balance of power is with job seekers and employees. They have their pick of where they want to work and live. Companies need to create employee experiences that people want to seek out and build careers around. But even that isn’t enough. They also have to focus on “re-recruiting” their existing talent. That means creating the best onboarding experience, providing great career coaching, offering interesting and rewarding growth opportunities, and so on.

Bower: The gig economy has brought a new level of work flexibility. It’s interesting to think about how a more traditional organization could create an internal gig culture that lets employees explore different challenges and evolve their careers without feeling they need to switch jobs. The flipside is whether organizations have a clear line of sight into the untapped skills they have internally when they need to plug talent needs. They must grasp what skills are already within the organization and be able to connect employees with those skills with opportunities aligned with their career goals.

Lynch: We are starting to see leading organizations embrace an internal gig approach. The challenge then becomes how do organizations create a great experience for their employees to find gigs and leverage them to grow their careers in multiple directions?

Lynch: It’s definitely more imperative now. To keep up with the changing environment, organizations must continuously be ready to pivot and change the products and services they’re offering. That’s why it’s so critical that they maximize the talent they have. By doing so, they can decrease the time to value and save substantial costs versus going to the labor market. Even with current economic conditions, the top talent with the hottest skills is in high demand. The other piece of this is technology It’s much easier to use your current technology to get the outcomes you want than to seek out something completely new. People need to look at their technology and see if there are opportunities to use those tools a little differently.

Bower: Executives are responding to a lot all right now and all at the same time. We need to get to a place where organizations are proactive—where they’re bringing opportunities to employees, predicting what their people might need, providing great hybrid work experiences, and allowing workers to self-serve. Fortunately, companies are seeing the value in employee experience and are making those investments.

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Chris is a principal in KPMG’s Enterprise Solution practices. He specializes in leading digital strategy, cloud-led transformations, and technology selection initiatives across industries.

Mark Bower is a director in the KPMG Advisory, Digital Lighthouse practice. He brings 15 years of progressive experience in technology-enabled transformations, helping clients optimize their processes and platforms that drives business forward.

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