Article by Schneider Electric Global Marketing Strategy vice president Abby Gabriel
In Gartner’s Emerging Risk Report, talent shortage landed in the #3 spot out of the top 10 emerging market risks.
“In this strong economic environment of significant business growth and record-low unemployment levels, the battle for talent is heating up as employees now have more bargaining power,” said Matthew Shinkman, practice leader at Gartner.
While that is great news for individuals seeking a new position, employers face quite a challenge.
The situation is particularly acute for businesses like colocation data centre providers who are seeking expert technicians to run their operations.
In fact, the colocation industry has one of the lowest unemployment numbers across industries (a rate of less than ½ of a percent), making talent acquisition – an already difficult task – even harder.
To get a deeper understanding of this current employment landscape, I reached out to Betsy Joyce-Koch, Assistant Vice President and Director of Perm Services at Robert Half Technology.
Her firm is well respected in the talent acquisition industry and they even specialise in IT and data centre recruitment. She shared that organisations are prompted to be more creative in their hiring approaches.
“Colocation data centre hiring managers need to challenge themselves to stretch,” said Joyce-Koch.
“Don’t make your list of ‘must haves’ inflexible or have everything depend on a specific skill. You have to be more creative when in a constrained market. Think out-of-the-box.”
Five key strategies for broadening the colocation data centre talent pool
Joyce-Koch and I reviewed several new strategies that help to broaden the pool of potential job candidates:
Building a colocation talent plan for the future
Issues in this current period of high employment also require longer term solutions that involve the gradual development of a broader talent pool.
This effort requires the engagement and encouragement of more female candidates to apply, for example.
In heavily male-dominated industries, such as colocation data centre environments, steps that stress and prioritise equal opportunity employment are often differentiating factors.
Joyce-Koch noted that many of her clients are seeking diversity. One key to accomplishing the diversity goal is for corporations to sponsor training programs or formal internships that expose young, diverse groups of people to their industry and job culture at an early age.
Such programs increase the odds that more individuals embrace information management as a future career choice.
Lastly, if data centre operators need help recruiting qualified staff and are also looking for ways to increase performance, reliability and efficiency, out-tasking data centre facility operations may be the best solution.
Hiring specialised, well trained on-site data centre technicians, armed with a program based on industry best practices is a threat-proof approach to eliminating complexities of day-to-day operations and minimising risk.
Let me know what you think! Are these actions you’re already taking at your colocation site? Are you finding the low unemployment rate a challenge to hiring top talent? I’m curious to hear about your experiences.