Addressing the talent famine – new research points the way

Addressing the talent famine – new research points the way

We spoke with Ashok Mysore, Vice President and Regional Head of Delivery and Operations across Australia & New Zealand at Infosys (lead international sponsor of GovHack).

Infosys recently published the “Infosys Talent Radar 2019” report based on their research in “how the best companies get the skills they need to thrive in the digital era”.

Over 1,000 senior management executives from organisations with revenues greater than 1 billion USD were interviewed for this global research, with ten per cent of the executives from Australia.

Is it easy to find technical talent?

“Technology is rapidly shaping every industry today, leading to high demand for talent with a STEM background ”

(STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

The latest Australian Computer Society digital pulse report suggests that the demand for technology workers will grow by 100,000 between 2018 and 2024, with the technology workforce increasing to 792,000 workers. (Reference: ACS)

While addressing the skill gap in Australia is a challenge, it’s also a tremendous opportunity.

“For an organisation to be successful along its digital transformation journey, it’s pivotal to effectively manage talent. Employers will need to enable their people to re-skill, while nurturing new sources of talent to address the shortage of technology workers today.”

As organisations focus on delivering a breakout customer experience — nurturing a workforce and workplace which can enable this is vital. Complementing technology skills with human centricity and creative confidence in a co-creation environment will help drive an innovation ecosystem.

“Technology employers need to hire for cognitive diversity. A cognitively diverse workforce will bring in different perspectives, challenge the status-quo — building a culture of collaborative innovation at the workplace”.

The gig-economy presents a tremendous opportunity in Australia. Recent research, by the Victorian Government suggests that seven per cent of working Australians are finding jobs through the gig-economy, signing up to more than 100 digital platforms. Enterprises which prepare to embrace gig workers will have an edge in their transformation journey. (Reference: The AFR)

Ashok Mysore suggests that people from different career backgrounds looking for a change in their career path like ex-service personnel could explore a technology career, citing that a good percentage of new recruits at Infosys come from diverse industries or backgrounds including music, hospitality, psychology et al. signalling a positive trend and highlighting the importance of learnability.

Co-developing learning programs or certifications jointly between technology companies and institutions like TAFE (Tertiary and Further Education) is a great avenue to nurture skills in Australia.

“Workplace and workforce transformation are key in building an organisation for the future, as work continues to evolve with technology”.

Infosys, in its talent radar research, categorises organisations based on the Talent Readiness Index (TRI) in three categories – followers, challengers and leaders. Followers have fewer approaches to develop talent and don’t measure their results or effectiveness. Challengers invest heavily in anywhere, anytime training, and still rely on traditional sources for talent acquisition. Leaders build a lifelong learning culture and use it to retain top talent.

What are the skills most in-demand this year?

Regardless of where enterprises are in their digital maturity, effectively managing data is at the centre of driving innovation and delivering tailored customer experience. Thus it should come as no surprise that analytics is sought after, followed by user-experience. The research also points that collaboration skills are more valued than individual skills – led by teamwork.

What skills do participants develop in a hackathon that are valuable in the workplace?

Hackathons are a safe environment that allows people to fail-fast, learn faster — nurturing a growth mindset. You meet like-minded people, share common interests, in a creative problem-solving environment.

“GovHack is a vehicle that builds trust between our community and policy makers. By leveraging open data, government agencies can crowdsource ideas while ensuring transparency. It’s a unique platform that nurtures in-demand skills, fostering a culture of continuous learning.”

“Infosys is proud to be a lead sponsor of GovHack”.

Ashok is looking forward to seeing what this year’s contestants have built.

Story by Peter Marks for GovHack.