Businesses around the world are dealing with an IoT skills gap. The numbers speak for themselves. According to a report by Inmarstat, 76% of companies surveyed need additional senior, strategic level staff with skills in IoT, and 80% did not even have the IoT skills required to ensure their IoT solutions work as intended. But there are ways to close the IoT skills gap.
A study by CMO Council found that one-third of respondents noted their organization faced a “major skills gap” in their IoT readiness. While the skills gap in IoT increases, so does investment in the technology, which IDC predicts to reach over $1 trillion by 2020.
From smart home technology to commuting challenges, the Internet of Things is set to revolutionize how we live. However, for this to happen, we need more qualified candidates that can work in this industry.
The problematic IoT skills gap.
The implications of what IoT can do will soon far exceed the realities of the technology. As more devices become connected and more data generated, the more possibilities open up. The skills gap will become even more apparent as development in IoT slows. While ideas surrounding IoT innovation will likely soar, practicalities of the technology will stagnate.
Of course, companies expectations must also be held accountable in this case. However, the facts show that there simply are not enough trained IoT professionals for positions that are open.
How to solve the IoT skills gap.
Executives have to curb their expectations of the technology first and foremost. While the Internet of Things has the potential to make massive changes to daily life and there are many ideas stemming from this technology, the IT and business sides of companies must align first. From there, organizations have a few different options to close the skills gap internally.
Upskilling current employees.
Upskilling is a popular tactic for companies that want trusted employees to take on more senior or more technical roles. With the surge of bootcamps and online courses, businesses have the option to train already high-performing employees. IoT specialists need a wide range of skills, which is partly why it’s so hard to find these candidates. Organizations around the world are trying to help fill this need through courses in data analytics, mobile, hardware engineering, IT security, cloud computing, and more.
Network with industry professionals and educators.
Creating relationships with institutions that teach IoT-related skill sets means recruitment opportunities on campus. Staying in touch with educators at universities with strong STEM programs or bootcamps and even guest lecturing or offering business development opportunities builds this relationship. While this may not be a way to find seasoned IoT developers, it can help find junior candidates that can continually improve in-house. Furthermore, staying in contact with industry professionals can help spread the word when it’s time to recruit. Maintaining a credible reputation in the field might mean more qualified candidates apply to openings.
Some companies choose to completely outsource their IoT work instead of searching for candidates to come on full time. There are pros and cons to this system, namely that while it’s cheaper there is sometimes less control. Outsourcing is a good option for companies that may not need IoT work done on a continual basis or for businesses that don’t have a robust HR team that can recruit for technical positions.
Hire part-time or contract employees.
Businesses needing to fill IoT positions can also look to hiring part-time or contract workers. More and more employees want flexible work schedules with remote possibilities. Companies can hire part-time employees that only need to be in the office on certain days or during specific parts of a project. Offering more flexibility with the position may be a way to gain access to IoT candidates that do not want a traditional full-time job.
Re-examine recruitment methods.
Lastly, businesses that are finding but not securing IoT candidates should look at what is happening during the recruitment process. Maybe HR does not accurately explain the position or interviewers on the team are intimidating applicants. Or there could be different perks, such as remote work, that the company could offer to attract employees. Of course, many candidates may not accept a position because of salary, but with the changing workforce, there could be other attractive perks to offer.
Pushing IoT innovation forward.
The IoT has the possibility to change the world, but only if more people are trained in this technology. Companies around the world are struggling to find or train qualified individuals to continue advancing their capabilities. These five ways that help close the IoT skills gap are likely to change as more universities and bootcamps develop strategic programs for training. Until those programs emerge and candidates filter through them, businesses will have to use these strategies to fill the IoT skills gap.