To Find IT Talent, Think Differently – and Move Quickly
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Technology and InnovationTransformation InnovationTechnology, Data, and DigitalInnovation, Research, and DevelopmentExecutive Search
The InformationWeek article, “To Find IT Talent, Think Differently – and Move Quickly," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant David Finke about the demand for IT talent with specialized skill sets. The article is excerpted below. 


You might not be able to compete with the behemoths, but there are some things you can do to find great talent. Think about partnering with other companies and how multi-disciplinary teams can help fill gaps. 

The quest for quality IT talent may be at its fiercest. That's largely because of the explosive growth in technologies used to support Internet of Things projects and the complex systems behind emerging tech like autonomic vehicles, smart cities, and robotics. 

In 2018 and beyond, there will be a premium placed on jobs related to AI, machine learning, and data analytics. Observers also predict a huge, continuing demand for cybersecurity professionals who will guard data and networks as cloud computing hits its stride. Mobile developers also remain in demand. 


David Finke, a consultant at search and advisory firm Russell Reynolds, said that a startup may help fill a critical mass of needed talent. For example, Finke said, Ford partnered with Argo, an AI company, to help build self-driving cars. 

"I would submit that if you are not already building an AI team or hiring AI experts, it's too late now," he said. "There's just not enough talent available. Companies like Google and Facebook and Amazon are fighting for these people and giving them huge compensation packages." 


Companies also need to focus more carefully on the actual technology they will need — everything from databases to IoT microcontrollers, Finke said. A CTO must help figure out who the lieutenants will be to oversee such technology, then determine where the company will invest and which back-end infrastructure and other technology are needed. 

More broadly, companies need leaders at the highest levels – not only CIOs – who understand business trends and the context and implications of potential technology disruption. 

"CEOs and general managers need to be strategic-minded and not put their heads in the sand," he said. "Technology can be used by companies to win or defend their flank. It starts at the top; the board and CEO have to believe this stuff is real. Lip service doesn’t work." 


Strategic questions to address before your talent hunt 

Who has the required digital DNA to take the company forward? Ensure that the opportunities and risks created by technology convergence are at the core, the DNA, of the company. 

David Finke, a consultant at Russell Reynolds, said organizations need to start with strategy brainstorming that maps to customer needs. "Understand how the ongoing advent of new technology changes the value you bring customers and opens new doors," he said. "Know what business you are in, and be open-minded and don’t have your head in the sand." 

The examples of Uber and Lyft and their dramatic impact on traditional taxi companies, and even on car makers, show how new thinking is required, he said. "Technology changes require a company to be willing to recognize the potential for fundamental changes in its industry. Not all companies are waking up to this reality," Finke added. 

To read the full article​​, click here.