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Almost 40% of firms seeking cloud skills find it hard to recruit

Most orgainsations agree that cloud skills are important for the future, but those involved in recruitment are finding it difficult to hire talent

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Technical recruitment managers are finding it difficult to find candidates with appropriate cloud skills, research has found.

A report by Microsoft revealed that 38% of technical leaders who have been looking for staff with cloud skills over the past year have found it difficult to find the right candidates.

But cloud skills are becoming increasingly important for companies, with 80% of technical managers saying that having people with the right skills will be important for their firms to achieve digital transformation.

The report described the lack of skilled workers in cloud as a “skills chasm” and said: “It is to be expected that with the dawn of any new industrial revolution, it will take time to ensure that there is a sufficiently skilled workforce to meet the demand for people with those [skills], but in an era of mass globalisation, lower barriers to entry and customers who are less loyal than ever before, it has never been more critical to evolve business models, and do so quickly. Organisations that are forced to stall their transformational journeys due to a lack of skills will find themselves facing significant challenges.”

The UK is currently suffering from a skills gap, with a lack of people with the appropriate skills to fill technology roles and a widespread lack of digital skills, which is costing the economy an estimated £63bn a year.

Almost half of technology leaders think that in two years’ time it will be easier to find candidates with the appropriate cloud-based skills, but 30% think the situation will remain the same. The industry is predicting that the gap between the number of skilled workers and empty roles will only grow in the future.

Upskilling current employees to meet a firm’s needs for talent is a common way for firms to tackle the cloud skills shortage, and 60% of technical managers said they had done this.

More than half of tech managers also plan to use external partners to obtain skilled workers in the future, and 46% hope to recruit new staff with cloud skills.

Read more about cloud skills

Cloud skills are not the only in-demand tech expertise the industry is looking for – the increase in high-profile security breaches has led firms to seek more cyber security professionals, and as firms collect more information, data scientists are increasingly in demand.

Many firms complain that technology graduates who are filtering through the pipeline are not leaving higher education with the skills needed to take up vacant roles.

But formal qualifications are still important for staff with cloud skills, and 35% of tech leaders said a formal cloud certification was desirable or essential when selecting candidates.

The technology industry is a male-dominated environment and the number of women in the industry has remained steady over the past 10 years.

Microsoft’s research showed that the average gender split for technical IT staff is 20% women and 80% men.

But 35% said there were no specific diversity targets or initiatives in place to increase the number of women in IT teams, and 23% were unaware if there were formal targets and diversity policies or whether recruitment of women was being encouraged as part of a wider employment policy.

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