Delaware is currently facing an intense talent war for skilled tech professionals state-wide. With a rising need for mid- to high-skilled workers to fill tech positions in Delaware, recruiters and hiring managers are facing fierce competition for a limited supply of qualified candidates.
Despite the intensity surrounding the need for tech workers, organizations throughout the state are working to develop strong talent pipelines. Here’s what we know so far, according to a 2019 report from Tech Impact:
There is a sizable pool of talent, ranging from entry- to mid-level.
The present-day talent pipeline in Delaware produces many skilled individuals through its schools and programs, such as ITWorks and Zip Code Wilmington. Both programs aim to prepare the youth of Delaware to become job-ready applicants for entry-level positions in tech. To date, ITWorks has produced approximately 500 graduates, 75% of whom found employment just six months after graduation. This just shows that the state already has a strong pool of entry- to mid-level tech talent.
The pool for higher-skilled tech talent isn’t as strong.
While the applicant pool is strong for entry- to mid-level candidates, this is not exactly the case for high-skilled talent — a group that is in high demand for many employers. Since the candidate pool for higher-skilled workers isn’t as large as the pool for entry-level, many companies are competing for the same candidates. This is especially true in cybersecurity, data analytics, and cloud infrastructure.
In Delaware, IT jobs have grown significantly in the past few years. From 2010 to 2018, IT jobs in Delaware grew by 6.5%. By 2020, IT jobs in Delaware are expected to reach a 12.6% rate of growth. In a constantly fast-growing field like technology, it can become difficult for candidates to keep up with in-demand technical skills and training and expedite their mastery of the profession.
Many employers are turning to in-house training.
To keep their employees up to date on their growing needs and requirements, many employers are training their employees in-house. While this helps develop entry-level talent for more senior-level positions down the line, it doesn’t necessarily help employers with immediate needs. Along with the tight applicant pool among high-skilled candidates, many business owners and hiring managers are still seeing the need for more dedicated training programs that will help develop a more solid group of mid- to high-level talent across the state.
What Hiring Managers Can do to Create a Thriving Tech Workforce
Out of the 524,912 tech business establishments in the United States, 2,704 of them reside in Delaware. With 13,938 tech occupation job postings and a median annual wage of $89,405, which is above the national average, there are many opportunities for Delaware to overcome its current challenges and build a thriving tech sector.
Take an apprenticeship approach.
The apprenticeship model has been an effective approach for mid-level candidates seeking new skills to either advance their careers or change careers altogether. It’s a win-win situation for employers, employees, and the economy.
The model is as follows: Employers provide employees with training that is specific to their company’s needs. Employees or apprentices continue to earn wages as they learn new skills that will allow them to move up in their careers. The local economy then sees results as the newly skilled apprentices are placed into positions within their industry.
This approach could benefit Delaware if employers are willing to reevaluate their hiring practices to cater to not-too-specific backgrounds. This would allow apprentices to learn as they go, gain new skills, and be placed in companies with varying needs.
Train programmers in high-demand areas.
Another beneficial approach is training skilled programmers in high-demand areas like cybersecurity, Java, and other IT-based tracks where employers often have specific needs to fill. Providing these types of training programs would allow for smoother alignment of highly skilled tech workers and companies that are looking for their specific skill set.
Put an industry council in place.
A leadership council would be in charge of creating a strategic plan, developing programs, and measuring results. Ideally, an IT industry council would be made up of local employers across industries, ranging from healthcare to finance and beyond. This will allow for inclusivity across the board as the majority of industries will be represented.
Are you looking for skilled talent to add to your team? While the competition for candidates may be tough, ICS is here to help. Begin your search with us today to meet new talents that will lead your company to more successes!