Aug 26,2019

Develop talent to retain talent

It’s essential that our partners compete effectively in this rapidly-evolving era of modern, intelligent cloud solutions.  Staffing teams for advanced technology roles has become one of the biggest challenges for matching the pace of innovation and delivering and managing transformative cloud services.

A recent Gartner survey confirms this, showing the talent shortfall is now the number one risk that organizations face. Globally, 68% of IT teams report a shortage of necessary skills in the talent market.

It is a universal problem but also an opportunity for partners who find smart ways to attract and retain individuals with modern technical skills. For help in this endeavor, download the Recruit, Hire, Onboard, and Retain Talent Partner playbook containing insights, strategies, and best practices gleaned from partners around the world. From the Gartner survey, we know the top reasons partners are challenged in hiring and retaining needed talent:

  1. A lack of investment in training
  2. Ineffectiveness in developing existing employees’ skills
  3. Difficulty attracting candidates with industry-specific skills
  4. Insufficient pay and compensation
  5. Not enough qualified candidates

That’s a daunting list, but most are under your control to fix. Aggressive recruiting tactics, competitive salaries and benefits aside, the answers may lie within. In the same way your business is transitioning customers from static to dynamic IT models, your mindset must evolve to become more agile and responsive, and that means accurately planning for talent requirements that are likely to shift much faster than in the past. Focus on developing talent from within and helping your best talent effectively manage their careers to grow with your organization.

“As the technologies have become more complex, we have had to get faster at the recruitment/hiring process and take some risks. The types of candidates we need are snapped up so quickly that we must be very agile.” – Heather Hisey, Human Resource, ProServeIT Corp.

Develop a culture of continuous learning

While most partners indicate that they do have a training strategy, our MDC Research study of 735 Microsoft partners shows room for improvement. It takes well-articulated career development paths and a culture of continuous learning and accreditation to effectively motivate and retain top talent. Our partner study highlights that employees who do not participate in development opportunities are at risk of leaving their companies in under two years.

Microsoft faces most of the same challenges and we continue to grow our partner skills initiative with new resources, guidance, and training options. One example is our new online Partner Training Center which provides simplified, role-specific learning paths to help technology professionals build skills with Microsoft products and solutions. Based on the selected role, individuals indicate the solution areas and products they want to cover, and their current skill level. We then present applicable learning paths.

Assessing your current skills

The key is balancing today’s talent challenges against tomorrow’s opportunities. A 2018 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report shows a misalignment between what executives consider important and what internal talent development is emphasizing.

So how do you assess where your team should enter a learning path based on their current skill level? For instance, should a solution architect be on the same learning path as a technical, pre-sales employee? Our self-guided Transformation Readiness Assessment helps you identify where your business and technical capabilities stand today to prioritize areas of focus and develop a training plan. It delivers customized resource recommendations and provides a structured approach to build supporting assets for all phases of cloud lifecycle management.

Evaluating your technical talent against today’s projects and your vision for growth is a complex formula. In the highly competitive IT skills market, retention becomes as crucial as hiring the right candidates. The Recruit, Hire, Onboard, and Retain Talent Partner Playbook mentioned above can assist your efforts to recruit talent for high-demand cloud engagements and ensure your current employees are growing the right skills for your practice. It presents a talent framework for inventorying roles and developing an agile hiring, onboarding and retention plan and has quickly become a trusted guide for our partners’ HR initiatives.

So pay attention: your next superstar may already be working for you, underutilized and just waiting to be developed. Your success may rest with your current workforce’s willingness to learn, apply and adapt new skills going forward. Check out the Recruit, Hire, Onboard, and Retain Talent Partner Playbook today.


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