While the tech sector in general bemoans the lack of technology-proficient workers available to them, it continues to engage in hiring practices that exacerbate the problem.
It is an all-too-common refrain through the halls of any software, hardware or other company today that IT skills simply aren't where the business economy needs them to be. A combination of unfriendly hiring decisions, institutional blindness when it comes to hiring outside of white males, and other problems are making the issue of finding technical knowledge in the labor pool worse. In order to combat this, companies need to examine their hiring structures and make sure that they are on the right track for hiring.
Tom Leung, CEO of Poachable, said to Network World in an interview that the problem with tech hiring is, "If you are looking for a three-star Mediterranean restaurant that serves excellent baklava and also has an area for al fresco dining, well, your options are going to be much more limited than if you said, 'I want an upscale restaurant with great food.'"
Training and outreach is key
This problem with finding exactly the right worker can be remedied by investing in education. When many modern facets of technology require most employees to work with at least a little bit of training to understand, like a cloud phone system, a little bit of extra training for those who are expected to do technical heavy lifting shouldn't be considered an unbearable drain on resources. Using high-quality resources in order to develop talent from within an organization, or to even mold a hire into a more acceptable version of what a company wants, should be a default consideration when looking for new applicants, otherwise it will always be difficult to find people who are able to deliver on exactly the kinds of skills an organization needs.
Technology companies should also examine those that they do choose to hire. According to InfoWorld, African-American and Hispanic computer science graduates are not hired at the same rates as Asian and white graduates. This is despite the fact that computer science degrees have greatly increased in terms of profitability. Institutional bias within organizations can crush their ability to hire workers who understand the systems these companies desperately need to have built, which can prove to be a major stumbling block down the road.
Examining alternate routes to find tech-savvy workers may be the best options that Silicon Valley companies have.