Six tips for creating a winning talent strategy

Talent may not be the only factor for transforming IT for the digital era, but it’s one of the most critical.

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Acquiring and developing technical talent is among the biggest obstacles in the digital era: In Deloitte’s forthcoming 2018 global CIO survey, 97 percent of global CIOs identified it as a challenge. To win the war for talent, CIOs can’t rely only on HR or ad hoc talent initiatives. Instead, they need to develop a cohesive talent strategy with the long view in mind.

Here are six ways CIOs can revamp their approach to finding, recruiting, hiring and developing the best talent. 

1. Curate the organization’s talent brand. Every organization has a talent brand. If that brand is strong and actively curated, the organization can attract top talent. Digital talent platforms and exchanges propagate talent brand across the globe and provide insights into your working environment: Potential hires are quickly able to ascertain what current and past employees say about your company’s culture, management and existing talent, and top talent can quickly determine their value and demand higher pay and additional benefits. Without workplace experiences that foster a positive talent brand, CIOs may find themselves on the losing side of the talent war.

A focused effort on curating a talent brand can pay dividends quickly. It took less than six months for one organization to create marketplace buzz by focusing on three aspects of brand building: building a strong pitch for how technology is changing the organization and its industry, actively curating its presence on online talent platforms, and presenting its vision at industry conferences. This effort can be especially powerful for large incumbents if CIOs can link the IT talent brand with corporate branding/rebranding efforts. On the flip side, if IT culture and practices do not support the brand promise, be prepared to be called out on those same talent platforms.

2. Hire for a balance of technical and soft skills. In Deloitte’s 2018 global CIO survey, respondents identified finding the right mix of technical and soft skills as their top recruiting challenge. Creativity, cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence and other soft skills will be key in elevating IT from back-office service provider to front-line business partner. IT’s heavy bias toward STEM skills means soft skills are often overlooked. But hiring someone with cognitive flexibility can ensure the ability to learn new skills quickly — essential in the digital age. Emotional intelligence may allow IT talent to better connect with customers and stakeholders; creativity can help staff address thorny business challenges in non-traditional ways.

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