Battle For Talent – An IT Industry Perspective


“ Is the world of highs for the IT professional slowly coming to an end “, “ have we finally reached a pleatue in this high growth story “, Questions that seem to be confronting  all the HR professionals who’ve service the Information Technology sector in the IT world.

But in simple terms, the answer lies in the statement that many business leaders make when such a question is asked – “ we’re always looking for good people “.

Truth be told, the only true asset that one sees in the IT Organization is the “ People Asset “, it’s so valuable to the IT organization that its close to invaluable. And so, we clearly see “The Battle for Talent in the IT Industry continues and for years to come, will continue to rage on “.

Lest we limit it to a Talent Acquisition story, we must realize that this war is multifaceted. Let’s start with the obvious one:

Talent Acquisition: The hiring function, seems to have its bar raised higher and higher as time passes by. From looking at number of resources with a given skillset, clearly the requirement is moving to the Quality of resources, the employability of a professional being hired while keeping an eye on the moving target that’s numbers. This really and truly makes the job of the Hiring Professional even more challenging, today, speed of acclimatization, meeting custom demands and ability to learn seems to occupy pride of place when it comes to “ Candidate assessment “. Truth is, that those who possess such capability literally cause a war for hiring when the opportunity presents itself.

Moving on:

Talent Development: For years, considered a retention and growth strategy, Talent Development is quickly growing to be an attraction mechanism. An organization which encourages learning, which places high premium on the quality of work provided, today – is an attractive proposition to not just work and be engaged with but also to be hired into. That quite literally means that today An Organization can literally make a hand off between compensation and benefits (to a certain degree) with the learning opportunities provided. What one foresees is that as the Industry stabilizes further, more associates looking for long term careers would value their own development higher and higher and would clearly see it as an attractive proposition to continue or join a given organization.

So as we see this evolution, we can clearly say that any organization, especially a knowledge intensive organization must envelope a comprehensive strategy, the lines which divided Attraction, Retention and Engagement seem to be blurring.

Clearly All strategies lead to “ALL “or“MANY OF THE ABOVE “.

So, the only obvious question remains, what does an organization which is winning the Talent War look like:

- Continuous Improvement: Clearly there is a focus on Continuous Improvement, not just in delivery and business processes but also people processes.

-Continuous Learning: There is a stated reinforcement of encouraging continuous learning, not just are platforms provided but those who learn well are recognized and encouraged to spread such initiative amongst their colleagues.

-Strong Work Environment: the Work environment, the business processes, the policies, the career progression opportunities, successor identification etc. are all a strong conduit for those who show initiative to grow in their careers.

-Well defined Mentoring / Coaching frameworks: This component is applicable based on the Organization’s business reality, but one thing is clearly, Acquisition or Pedagogy are both one aspect of the Talent War, the other aspect is grooming and behavioral development!!!!!  An organization which provides a strong platform for such opportunities is on the path to getting the best talent both from within and from the market.

Finally, winning the Talent War isn’t a destination, it’s a journey, an almost endless journey where the milestones above tell you about the progress in that journey.

The key to progress is to always keep a “LOOK OUT.”