Bridging the tech skills gap in a small business

Posted in Business and entrepreneurship.

Technology is evolving at a rapid rate. It’s proving tricky for many people to keep up with, but the challenge is, perhaps, greater for educational establishments such as universities, colleges, and schools.

Research suggests that it can take 12 months — or even more — for higher learning institutions to implement a new course. That’s because there is a need to assess both demand and commercial feasibility before designing the curriculum, and having this validated by the institution. A year is a long time in terms of technology standards; long enough for one tech trend to evolve into another.

Due to the constant advancement of technology, universities and colleges can often be lagging behind, and may be unable to offer students the opportunity to learn the latest in-demand skills. That’s why we have a skills gap.

Addressing the Skills Gap

Larger corporations are addressing this notable skills gap by conducting tailored training for their employees, to ensure they’re able to stay on top of the latest technological trends. However, this isn’t always an option for smaller businesses, particularly for those with fewer internal resources and more limited budgets. So just how can small businesses work to bridge this growing technological skills gap?

Adapting the Recruitment Process

Although small businesses may already have a solid recruitment plan in place, the rapid changes that we’re seeing in the world of technology mean that some adaptations to the process may be needed. These changes can make it easier for small businesses to derive true value from their employees.

Traditionally, the task of shortlisting candidates for a job role has been undertaken by looking at on-paper skills; degrees, certifications, and other academic achievements. However, more and more businesses are not looking at CVs and resumes. Instead, there is a growing trend for businesses to look more at the candidate themselves, rather than placing the main focus on their academic qualifications.

Why? Firstly, CVs and resumes aren’t always a good indication of actual knowledge. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 85% of CVs and resumes include a few lies. Secondly, at this time of great technological change, individual skill can prove to be more valuable than formal qualifications and achievements.

Small businesses should be transforming their processes, and looking for candidates that have made the effort to learn new, in-demand skills in their own time. These are skills that could be instrumental in terms of business growth and development, enabling small businesses to keep up with the competition.