|By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President Strategic Accounts & Client Solutions, Western Canada at Eagle
Eagle collects, compiles and analyzes labour market statistics on an ongoing basis. Keeping our finger on the pulse of market movements and trends is a full-time job. In these Talent Development Centre posts, we often share general data points on market demand and indicators that we feel would be directly pertinent to our contractor partners… after all, building value through education is the driving purpose of this blog site! I thought I’d take a bit of a detour on this post, sharing some ideas/statistics that we’ve collected that would typically be of value to the companies that hire contractors for their operations and projects. Sometimes there’s value to be found in reviewing what your customers are thinking about or are concerned with.
With that said, here are 5 research findings that reflect your customers’ intentions/beliefs/experiences:
1. The Challenges in Finding Tech Talent
The CompTIA IT Industry Outlook for 2019 showed that 50% of Canadian companies (and 53% of US companies) are finding it either more difficult or significantly more difficult to hire the Tech- People they need.
- They are hiring to support company expansion (58%), for new skills (52%), and as replacements for departures (43%)
- Top hiring challenges include: Finding workers with the skill/experience in emerging areas, Finding workers with the needed soft-skills, intense competition for tech talent, rising salary/rate expectations, and having a limited pool of available workers in their “local” region.
2. Discouraged from Using More Contract Workers
Per an Okta Digital Enterprise Report, the Top 5 reasons that discourage a company from using more contract workers include:
- Security Concerns — over 40% of companies report having significant concerns that contractors increase the threat profile for their companies.
- Efficiency Concerns — they are not set up to manage contractors effectively and doubt whether they can make proper use of contingent labour
- Regulatory Concerns — both south of the border and here, in Canada, increasing government legislation/involvement are raising risk factors for businesses. It is increasingly challenging to stay on top of legal requirements and stay on-side of CRA expectations
- Collaboration Concerns — related to efficiency concerns, about a third of companies surveyed aren’t convinced that they know how to manage contingent workers to the degree needed to ensure a successful engagement
- Budget Concerns — IT departments are continually under pressure to “do more with less”. Over 30% sited this constraint as a limitation to using more contract workers despite having a robust project list
3. Sought-After Soft Skills
A survey completed by CareerBuilder in March of this year identifies the 3 most sought-after soft skills that they look for when completing their hiring – Team-Oriented Mindset, Attention to Detail, and Customer Service Orientation. Companies are taking on highly-complex undertakings such as “Digital Transformation”, Cloud, and ERP projects and these impact entire organizations, crossing boundaries between IT and other business units. As hard skills in brand-new areas are still relatively thin, soft skills have never been more important. In a LinkedIn Global Talent Trends report companies claim that, when looking at bad hires, they are 4X more likely to be a result of people lacking soft skills vs hard skills.
4. Remote Work Allowed by Industry
LinkedIn’s recent survey shows that Software and IT, Finance, and Corporate Services are most likely to allow/encourage remote working environments. Healthcare and Manufacturing were least likely. The companies surveyed believe that work flexibility (remote work) provide the following benefits (top 5):
- Improves work-life balance
- Encourages retention
- Attracts candidates
- Increases productivity
- Expands the available talent pool.
5. Digital Transformation Projects Abound
Constellation Research completed a survey late last year to gauge companies’ readiness to implement their digital transformation plans. They found that an astounding 94% of respondents need to hire additional human capital to implement Digital Transformation solutions.
Themes in these 5 questions include such things as companies’ sensitivity to security/risk, applicants’ needs to demonstrate strong soft skills when applying, companies’ various internal and external challenges finding (and landing) the talent that they need, and the pervasiveness of digital transformation (however DT might be defined by companies surveyed). Perhaps these data points will provide you with some insights as to other non-skills-related experience that you may want to include in your discussions during interviews. The data points shared were common for the vast number of respondents and they are likely to be on the minds of your next interviewer as well!