At the moment there are four million open positions for developers globally and approximately 1.2 mln. of those are in Europe. These figures clearly show the scale of the problem and motivate organizations to find an effective long-term solution.
Svetoslav Spasov, CEO of KMPG IT Service. Earlier this month both companies announced expansion of their partnership in the region, which will help them to grow their businesses further and to overcome together the difficulties the world encounters right now.
"All businesses which we know and see in the region are disrupted, not only in one way at the moment, but in many ways. We see supply chain crisis, financial crisis, geopolitical crisis, wars, even. We see aging societies, so we have a demographic crisis and although it is one of the slowest, it is a crisis that ties to the talent", says Kempkes. And if we have to summarise the existing situation with the IT labour market, we can say that the war for talent is over and the talent has won.
Actually, in the last 20 years sales and gaining bigger market share were the main concerns for most companies, but now it is not about lack of projects, but it is about who will carry them out.
The Pond with IT fish is empty
In this context both experts agree that organizations cannot afford to look for tech workers only in the IT sector, they also have to look at other economic spheres and focus their efforts on reskilling. In this way not only will the problem with IT shortage be solved, but also it will offer those specialists room for career development as many of them probably will lose their current jobs because of automation in the next 10 to 15 years.
"As an industry I think we have the mandate to reskill more people who are not coming from the IT domain because at the moment all sourcing strategies are about fishing in the same 'pond'. We are all looking for IT fish, but that pond is empty, it is absolutely empty'', states Kempkes. According to him this situation is a threat for the growth of the whole IT and software industry, but it is also a big opportunity for companies like KPMG IT Service and ServiceNow.
For example, accelerated digitalization calls for experts with consulting skills, who can remodel processes, put them in some systems, customize and integrate them with existing company platforms. That is what the future of software development will look like and here is the niche for specialists, who can think out of the box. This type of job will be ideal for people with analytical skills, from whatever domain they worked before.
"In ServiceNow, when we hire people, we look for the so-called growth mindset which is one of the most important criteria. This means to be willing to learn and to extend your own borders. And then we look not so much for the cultural fit but for the cultural add. So we really look for people who are adding to our culture and bringing more", explains Kempkes. He notes that this approach is already used in KPMG IT Service, which attracts talent not only from Bulgaria, but also from the whole region and world. In this way the company achieves two goals - importing needed talent from abroad and enriching the organizational environment with people from different countries.
KPMG IT Service's example for talеnt building
Finding the right talent is only the first step towards overcoming IT specialist's shortage. Subsequently, they need to be trained and Bulgarian company KPMG IT Service is working hard exactly in this direction. In the next few years its main focus and investments will be internal training and certifying. Spasov underlines that building the specialists in the organisation is the key to success as the needed combination of technology and consulting skills in effect is not present on Bulgarian market.
"We are looking for smart, talented people that are technology aware. They don't have to have an engineering background; they just need to be technically savvy and they need to have good business analysis skills and a good understanding of process engineering. So those could be university graduates or those could be professionals coming from different industries - such as banking, insurance, manufacturing, etc. - that want to make a career change", says Spasov. The CEO adds that the perfect candidate is someone who is always looking for building up knowledge and upskilling. Moreover, language and communication skills are also important, especially for those future employees who will be facing the clients.
After finding the appropriate candidates, the company plans in collaboration with ITCE and ServiceNow to launch a very well-structured training program this autumn, for implementing the ServiceNow products, which will help in building a few hundred IT specialists in the following three years. Svetoslav Spasov is joking that this step is unlikely to solve the 1.2 mln. talent shortage problem in Europe, but the partnership between the two companies has the ambition to contribute to this goal. And maybe even more important is the fact that the company is giving a good example and ideas for other organizations in the sector on how they can deal with the lack of talents in the technology sphere. In fact, KPMG IT Service has already extensive experience in the developing of a lifelong learning culture, investing more than BGN 1.6 mln in its other two academies - ERP and Cloud&DevOps and training over 100 qualified junior specialists.