Leaders need to hire more a tech-savvy workforce - here’s why

By Robert Half 11 November 2019

The workplace has changed considerably in recent years, with technology being a key disruptor.

Every business now uses some level of technology, from machine learning and artificial intelligence, to virtual reality, business intelligence and much more. This level of digitisation is also increasing, with little signs of slowing down.

With more and more business functions rapidly upgrading towards workplace automation and digital solutions, the demand for candidates who are technology-savvy is becoming a prevalent topic in recruitment across all sectors.

This article aims to explore the importance of having a more tech-savvy workforce and how you can recruit a team ready to embrace current technologies and adapt to future change in the workplace.

The search for digital talent

Hiring managers are facing digitisation challenges on two fronts: keeping up with rapid technological advancements of key business functions, and meeting technology expectations as more tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z candidates join the workforce.

Leaders can no longer afford to ignore digital transformation and it’s no longer enough to solely rely on IT teams to handle digital solutions. Employees across all industries and departments now need to have a good level of computer literacy in order to do their job effectively and ensure the business can keep up with the competition.

According to ‘The new work order’ report by The Foundation for Young Australians, more than 90% of Australia’s workforce needs at least a basic level of digital understanding in order to perform their current role. This is expected to increase further in the future, with high digital literacy needs in the next two to five years, with over 50% of jobs requiring ‘significant’ digital skills.

If you’re reviewing the digital readiness of your workforce, here are five reasons for why having tech-savvy employees is important:

1. Achieve more

By adapting to change and ensuring staff are embracing the latest technologies, you can have a more efficient work process. Technology can help employees be more productive, communicate and collaborate better, accomplish improved outcomes and even generate higher profits.

2. Serve customers better

Employees can embrace technology to provide better services to customers. Services can become faster, more accessible and tailored to bespoke needs. This added value can lead to happier and more loyal customers.

3. Competitor advantage

By having a workforce that is embracing technology, you can keep up and even stay ahead of your competitors. If your workforce has poor digital skills, you could find yourself falling behind other businesses.

4. Future-proof your workers

Ensuring your employees have the relevant technical skills and soft skills now will ensure they carry out their job efficiently. It can also enable and encourage them to become more agile and adaptable to technological changes in the future.

5. Attract top talent

More job candidates are looking for businesses who are embracing technology. By creating a company culture where technology is a key focus, you’re more likely to attract top talent, whilst retaining existing workers.

How to develop a more tech-savvy workforce

Here are some steps you could take to transition your workforce towards becoming more tech-savvy:

Create an effective culture

Build a culture in your business where employees understand the importance of adaptability. Encourage employees to learn and adapt to technology changes over time. Ensure this culture is adopted by everyone throughout the business, even leaders.

Encourage upskilling

Remember that technology will be overwhelming to some people so it’s important to provide encouragement and support. Whilst continuous self-learning should be encouraged, support employees by investing in training. There may even be opportunities for internal skill swaps, where those confident with technology can teach other “tech-shy” employees.

Develop your future recruitment process

As well as developing the skills of your existing workforce, you could adapt your recruitment strategy. Continue to seek out digital natives or those with high levels of digital literacy to support your business.

Traits to look for in tech-savvy candidates

Being ‘tech-savvy’ is not isolated to only those who know how to write code or upgrade software programs. The soft skills of adaptability, collaboration and eagerness to learn are key traits to look for when hiring tech-savvy candidates.

When recruiting new staff, look for candidates who understand the value of technology, for both employees and businesses. They should be confident in their skills and ability to apply it to their everyday tasks.

Other skills such as analytics can be crucial to look out for too, because as big data grows, employees may be required to analyse data and utilise it in effective ways.

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