Kevin Walker, Senior Director, Employer Insights, Indeed, discussed how the internet is transforming the way that businesses compete for top talent in his presentation to Argyle’s CIO membership at the 2017 Chief Information Officer Leadership Forum in Los Angeles on April 25. In his presentation, “Future of Work: How the Internet Economy Is Reshaping Markets for Talent,” Walker explored various U.S. labor market trends.
According to Walker, technology has revolutionized how businesses and job seekers connect with one another. In fact, many companies – regardless of industry – define themselves as technology businesses due in large part to their commitment to leveraging state-of-the-art tools and software.
“Every company is becoming a tech company, not just the ones in the tech or software space,” Walker said.
Meanwhile, a talent shortage plagues businesses across the United States, particularly in the technology space. This shortage ultimately may impact a company’s ability to increase its revenues and bolster its brand reputation.
“A lack of talent is going to slow our economic growth,” Walker stated. “We just can’t find enough talent to do the jobs that we need them to do … The roles that tend to be most chronically unfilled are tech roles.”
How companies define technology talent may determine whether these businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition, Walker pointed out.
Technology innovations are ongoing, and businesses must be willing to invest in the latest and greatest tools to drive consistent growth. Furthermore, companies must use online job boards, social networks and other internet-based tools to find and retain talented professionals.
“Flexibility is extremely important … think about flexibility in terms of your expectations for a role and see if there is room to add flexibility. Because you’re going to be able to compete more effectively if that is the case.”
As technology roles continue to evolve, companies will be forced to adapt accordingly. Otherwise, these businesses may miss out on opportunities to add top talent and could fall behind rivals.
“Roles that were traditionally non-technical are becoming technical,” Walker indicated. “There is a high degree of specialization in [the tech] space.”
Although talent is limited in all industries, the amount of talent within the technology space appears to be shrinking quickly, Walker noted.
Many technology businesses want talented professionals to join their teams. However, these companies frequently search for prospects who possess specialized skills, which limits their ability to find top talent.
“There isn’t a giant pool of technical talent in the tech space,” Walker said. “There’s actually a lot of little pools that you’re competing for within a very specific skill set.”
Companies must do whatever they can to stand out to job seekers in a highly competitive U.S. economic climate.
Walker recommended companies provide flexible work options to top talent. By doing so, these companies can provide talented professionals with the flexibility they want and boost their chances of attracting and retaining top talent consistently.
“The traditional jobs are being replaced by more flexible alternatives,” Walker pointed out. “Flexibility is extremely important … think about flexibility in terms of your expectations for a role and see if there is room to add flexibility. Because you’re going to be able to compete more effectively if that is the case.”
Moreover, Walker pointed out that businesses must recognize the true value of top talent.
“Wherever the people are, the companies are going to have to go.”
If companies understand the immediate and long-lasting support that top talent provides, they may be better equipped than rivals to drive innovation. That way, businesses can take advantage of a valuable “national resource,” Walker said, that may help them extend their global reach.
“Skilled labor is a national resource,” Walker stated. “Our ability to compete in the international and global space has a lot to do with our technical talent … and there’s a direct correlation to this talent, and it should be viewed as gold or oil like people had as a national resource in the past.”
Today’s companies also must maintain agility and be willing to adjust to the needs of the global marketplace.
“Wherever the people are, the companies are going to have to go,” Walker stated. “It used to be that the natural resources dictated where people went … Now, it’s where the people are that determines where companies are going to go.”
Overall, the internet is changing the way that job seekers respond to labor market trends, and this likely will continue in the foreseeable future.
Many U.S. job seekers actively pursue new opportunities regularly, Walker stated, and these individuals are younger and more educated than ever before. At the same time, the job search is never-ending for many talented professionals.
Companies must be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to attract and retain talented professionals. If businesses are successful, the can improve their chances of building successful brands. In addition, these companies can foster employee engagement and retention, developing strong workforces that are committed to helping their respective organizations thrive.
As Senior Director of Field Marketing, Kevin Walker leads a global organization that works directly with employers to deliver actionable insights through recruitment data analysis, best practice sharing and industry trend exploration.
Prior to joining Indeed, Kevin spend time int he hospitality and technology industries. He holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Washington and a Masters of Business Administration from the Booth School of Business at The University of Chicago.