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The war for tech talent: Understanding the dynamics and crafting a winning strategy

Jun 17,2023 - Last updated at Jun 17,2023

The current war for talent in the field of information and communication technology is witnessing fierce competition worldwide. With companies increasingly relying on digital transformation and technological advancements, there is significant demand for skilled professionals in the field of information technology and communications.

In this article, I will attempt to explain the reasons behind the ongoing war for talent, shed light on examples of battles between companies, and provide recommendations to alleviate this war and promote a more collaborative environment. Additionally, I will discuss how Jordan can leverage this war to its advantage.

One of the main reasons for the war for talent is rapid technological evolution. The accelerated pace of technological development has created a continuous need for new skills and expertise. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data science, blockchain and others require highly skilled and specialised talent, leading to a scarcity of highly qualified individuals in these fields.

Furthermore, as companies expand their operations globally, they are not only competing to attract customers and secure deals but also competing to recruit exceptional talent. Multinational companies and technology giants attract talent from all over the world, intensifying the competition for highly skilled individuals. Moreover, educational institutions and training programmes struggle to graduate a sufficient number of students with the required skills, making quality education an urgent necessity. Certifications and academic degrees are no longer the primary criteria for distinguishing outstanding graduates.

Here are some examples of fierce competition between companies for talent: technology giants like Google, Apple, Meta and others compete to attract top talent. These companies offer high salaries and attractive incentives, a wide range of benefits, and privileges to attract professionals and retain their loyalty. Similarly, many other companies around the world compete to hire global talent. For example, technology companies in the United States often compete with their European and Asian counterparts to secure the services of the most skilled professionals, leading to a talent war that extends beyond borders.

In regard to the competition between startups and well-established companies, startups face specific challenges in attracting talent due to limited financial resources and lesser reputation. On the other hand, well-established companies enjoy stability and a good reputation, making them attractive to highly qualified professionals. This generates fierce competition between startups and established companies for the most talented individuals.

To mitigate the intensity of the war for talent, governments, companies, educational institutions, and training organisations should work together to bridge the skills gap. This can be achieved through establishing partnerships, offering training courses, guidance programmes, and educational initiatives to nurture and develop the required talent.

Additionally, providing opportunities for continuous learning and professional development for current employees can help retain and enhance talent. Governments and companies should invest in training programmes, certifications and workshops to enhance the skills of their workforce.

Furthermore, diversity and inclusivity in the workplace can attract a broader range of talent. Companies should prioritise diversity in their hiring practices and foster an inclusive work culture that encourages innovation and creativity.

Early education and skill development can contribute to addressing the long-term talent shortage. Focus should be placed on early education programmes that encourage the development of information technology and communication skills. Collaboration between schools, governments and the industry can help develop relevant educational curricula and provide training opportunities for students.

Moreover, encouraging collaboration among competing companies rather than engaging in unjust talent poaching can be beneficial. Companies can collaborate through partnerships to share talent, establish networks for knowledge sharing, or through industry-wide initiatives. This will foster a collaborative and sustainable work environment that benefits all participants.

For Jordan, it can greatly benefit from this war for talent by opening up opportunities for companies operating in Jordan to fully and easily attract and employ talent from different nationalities based on their needs. This will result in knowledge transfer to the local workforce, thereby enhancing Jordan's position as a regional ICT hub. Additionally, there is a need to accelerate the development of local skills by providing high quality training and continuous education to enhance their professional capabilities, taking into consideration that the Digital Skills Association (DigiSkills) supported by Ministry of Digital Economy & Entrepreneurship and in cooperation with the ICT Association of Jordan (int@j) is putting great efforts in this regard. In addition, there are other parties who have been providing support and offering high quality programmes.

Moreover, allocating larger budgets by the government to improve the quality of education at all levels is essential, as education expenditure is a necessary investment that will yield tremendous returns on the national output and create numerous job opportunities.

Finally, based on the aforementioned, I advise the Jordanian youth to persevere, set their goals and achieve them by strategically utilising the available educational resources online and developing their skills in the field of information and communications technology, and not to depend or wait for any support from public nor private sector. By doing so, they will find broader opportunities for success and professional growth in this thriving field.

The writer is the Chief Executive Officer of the ICT Association of Jordan – int@j

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