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Posted By Julie
How small businesses can bridge the tech skills gap

The world of technology seems to have two speeds – fast and faster. Every day there are new advances and the industry is constantly evolving. For that reason, it can feel as though it is impossible to keep up even if you’re doing whatever it takes to ensure your company is on top of its game. When it comes to technology, it’s no mystery that there is a wide skills gap with small businesses and startups getting hit the hardest. The problem is, however, University degrees are not offering the vocational knowledge or technical skills needed in business, which is causing digital skills to take a back seat in the enterprise setting. Take computer science, for instance, Universities only review the course syllabuses every four years and to implement a new one takes two years. This is not a good timeline for technology and is seriously complicating the problem while growing the gap. Students are graduating, yet already behind and lacking the necessary skills businesses are seeking for their tech-based positions.

Unfortunately, this issue isn’t just affecting small businesses in the tech sector, but presents itself as a problem for small businesses in numerous industries. Any business hiring new graduates is tasked with the huge burden of investing time and money to train and retain their new hires. But what company can take their senior developers off important projects to teach new hires? Very few, if any. In many ways, hiring these newly graduated students would set a small business back even further. Luckily, with a clever approach, business can bridge the tech skills gap. Here are some tactics you can adopt to successfully close the gap.

Start by recruiting smarter
It is in your company’s best interest to ignore recruitment agencies and instead focus on your competition. Doing so allows you to take a look at who other businesses in your sector are hiring. Everything from skills to personality are important when it comes to determining if they are a good fit. For you to make the most of available recruits out there, you may need to take a less traditional approach including looking beyond the typical CV and formal interviews. In many cases, you may find that the right person for the job is already happily in another. This is a great way to get around the gap, because they are already trained and successfully doing the job. You are looking for the best candidate to fit into the company, so there’s no better way than to immerse them into it. Go for informal chats and tours of your business to express your specific needs.  If they are leaving their current job to come over to your businesses they need to know everything. Although it takes a lot of planning, time and strategy, this form of smart recruiting allows you to get the very best people for the job.

Outsource the staff
This option may not be as appealing but there are many tech companies, right in your own neighborhood, that can take care of all the tech for your small business. Essentially, they become an extension of your team and give you the support, recommendations, and guidance you need to deliver the best solutions. They will work towards your goals and within your budget and requirements. These tech companies have your best interest at heart and have the knowledge to implement the strategy. While it may not be ideal, it could be a viable and the most cost-effective option for your small business until you get big enough to recruit on your own.

While the tech gap isn’t getting any smaller any time soon, you can successfully bridge it by implementing the above solutions. Your small businesses doesn’t have to get left behind, you simply need to get a shrewd and viable approach to get the right staff onboard.

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