Is there a skills shortage – or are you just looking in the wrong places?
The government website updated its skilled worker visa list in February 2022.
According to this list, the UK’s skills shortage is deep; everyone from senior care workers to dancers is in demand, and visas are on offer to those who can fill those roles.
One of the most surprising fields to see in the list is “IT business analysts, architects and systems designers” – solution-makers, DevOps practitioners, tooling specialists, developers…
And we’re surprised because, as far as we can tell – there’s no shortage at all.
In fact, our cup runneth over with Software Architects, Cloud infrastructure specialists, freelance DevOps engineers and freelance Atlassian experts. Some of these people are the best in the world at what they do.
So, why are we talking about a skills shortage in the UK?
Is it really a skills shortage – or are you trying to fill “roles”?
We believe that there’s an abundance of skills, but employers are either unwilling to look beyond the superficial metrics of skills, or are blind to the possibilities of recruiting outside the box.
Sometimes, people in a completely different role can display all the skills and competencies that your open roles require. But they fly under the radar, because their job title doesn’t match.
Or they’re not experienced enough.
Or they don’t have the certifications, or the degree, or the technical chops.
Here’s a thought; an inexperienced individual with the right attitude is a better choice than an experienced person in it for the wrong reasons.
People who are driven and proactive enough to take responsibility for their own learning and development will become experienced. They’ll earn their technical ability. They will not rest on their laurels, or chase a salary or title, or get bored waiting for a promotion.
They’ll want to learn and evolve, and will actively fill your skills gaps.
Contractors, full-time employees, interns or CEOs – it makes no difference. Finding people who will level up and gain skills is fundamental to tackling the skills shortage; not attempting to marry up prior experience and job titles to vacant roles.
Look for skills, not job titles.
Widen the net – let them work from the place that suits them best
There’s also the fact that WFH has completely transformed the way people want to work – and yet, so many employers are seeking to end it.
Overseas recruitment, accommodating accessibility requirements and allowing remote working can potentially turn a candidate pool of ten amazing people into a pool of thousands.
The shortsighted push for an end to WFH, shutting down remote work in the process, is going to harm employers in the long run; especially when you take into consideration the sheer volume of freelance talent emerging from the rubble of the pandemic.
Creative recruitment: embrace contractors
One of the positive consequences of the Great Resignation is a larger pool of freelance talent. Freelancing exploded during lockdowns, and then again as offices took away the option of WFH. Some of the UK’s (and the world’s) best talent went solo, operating as specialist contractors.
Freelance talent is highly skilled, confident, and experienced. It carries a different set of risks – but overall, the benefits are truly worthwhile.
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Innovation, imparting their knowledge, opening their methodologies and practices to your business – contractors can do it all. Plus – as long as they have the tools and project brief to do so – contractors don’t need hand-holding or pulling up to speed. They’re self-sufficient, business-minded and capable.
Just give them a clearly defined task, and off they go to do it.
Hiring contractors is an excellent yet often overlooked recruitment channel; it can feed the short-term hunger that a skill gap instils, but can also lead to long standing work relationships, and even full-time hires where the cultural fit is just right.
Working with a mix of full-time staff and contractors does pose challenges, that’s for sure – but most problems can be avoided with effective communication:
- Great briefs and project goals
- Introductions and integrations with the team
- Giving them access to assets and tools
What about the risks?
Well, contractors can terminate a project if it’s not working out – and that’s up to them. IT could be for a million reasons, but poor fit, feedback or communication is usually top of their list.
And it’s rare – but sometimes, freelancers don’t have the skills they’ve advertised. And that can be much more difficult to navigate.
ClearHub offers a solution to that problem – by finding technical contractors who are vetted, tested and fully qualified. We bridge the IT skills shortages in your company, while making sure your contractor is a great fit for your team – and go the extra mile by continuing to assist you and your freelancer, with a combination of dedicated project management and technical support.
Our goal is to make your skills gap disappear, and we’ll do anything we can to make it a success.
So, maybe it’s time you started looking for skills in a new place?
Hire a freelance Atlassian expert
ClearHub specialises in finding the best Atlassian contractors in the world; vetted, skills-checked and ready to maximise your productivity.