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#HRTrending - Navigating the Acute Talent Shortage for Digital Transformation: Takeaways from U.S. Businesses

International enterprises are facing the talent “drought” issue during the digital transforming period. The U.S. – one of the 10 leading countries in digital transformation has been applying the “anti-drought measures” being various short-term and long-term human resources solutions, especially HR outsourcing services.

#HRTrending - Navigating the Acute Talent Shortage for Digital Transformation: Takeaways from U.S. Businesses

Enterprises in the US are in “thirst” for tech talents while making moves in digital transformation.

The inevitable “thirst” for talents in digital transformation: It’s everyone’s business 
According to the 2018 survey of the International Data Corporation (IDC), “digital transformation” is a must-have keyword in the development strategy of many businesses. Along with that, the COVID-19 breakout has become a catalyst that forces enterprises to step up their digital transforming applications as they had no other choices but to work, connect and manage workforce remotely. Numerous companies have reshaped their operation by implementing technology approaches in every department; getting used to the online data system; mastering the managing and evaluating apps… in order to cope with this new reality.
However, people all missed a crux of the whole problem – the pressure upon the IT department, in which the software and systems developers play a vital role in the smooth operation of businesses during digital transformation. That leads to escalation in the already high demand for talents in this field, turning it into a talent “thirst” in the HR system.

In the U.S., a survey of Gartner – a global research and advisory firm providing information, advice, and tools in IT industry showed that 40% of the firms are behind schedule with their digital transformation projects or haven’t started them yet due to the lack of in-house staff majored in IT. Business Insider took this acute talent shortage to be the “Achilles' heel” of the big names in cloud tech like Amazon, Microsoft, Google.
Meanwhile, in Vietnam, ever since 2020, the corporations were also struck by the talent “thirst” with failure in attempts to recruit employees, especially in the IT positions. Currently, in 2020, Vietnam was still in short of 400,000 IT workers but universities and colleges could only fill up to nearly 50,000 jobs annually.

Digital transformation is a challenge for both HR teams and businesses. For employees, in order not to be swept away by the flow of digital transformation, it is necessary to equip themselves with a “survival kit” of up-to-date skills and knowledge. For businesses, it's a matter of cost and speed to build a solid IT team. On the other hand, the constant transition in employees’ work, defined by the continuous advancement of technology and variation of time, poses a demand for businesses to take better care of both mental and physical well-being of employees.

Mrs. Ly Ngoc Tran - Executive Search & Selection Director of Talentnet.

Takeaways from big companies to live through the “drought” 
This July, in the latest HRO Today podcast of the global consulting firm Korn Ferry, several solutions to the problem of under-resourced U.S. enterprises were offered, notably:

Nurturing potential candidates: Instead of trying to scrutinize everywhere for a candidate who meets all criteria, U.S. businesses prioritize choosing the potential group of candidates having a good background with technology and are ready to apply digital transformation in their area of expertise. With this solution, enterprises need to invest in long-term training.

Optimizing in-house human resources: Many business leaders in the U.S. have realized the importance of reskilling and upskilling existing internal staff. Those who have accompanied the business for a long time and possess growth potential will be "strong knights" on the development chessboard. This move is seen as an assured solution while the “thirst” for talent is still lingering.

"Filling the hole" by outsourcing: A short-term solution to help U.S. businesses solve the employee shortage in the digital transformation process is to outsource. Top 5 health insurance company in the US – Health Care Service Corporation (HSCS), has hired a third party to provide staff to help manage performance, store data, administrate systems, and build IT “fences” for cybersecurity. Meanwhile, DVI Group – a U.S. video production agency – have chosen to use HR outsourcing services so as to assist them in managing employees, building most suitable benefits package and policies for their employees. After a short time using this service, DVI Group leaders have received numerous positive feedbacks from employees on operation process as well as other engagement activities.

Outsourced personnel acts as a "reinforcement" being rich in expertise in critical fields that helps business system operate smoothly, relives internal team from their excessive workload, which further improve satisfaction and enjoyment of the staff. Additionally, this service also helps save costs and shorten the time needed, compared to training a team or recruiting new people.

In the context that the digital transformation race is reaching a climax, it is likely that businesses will not be able to retrain or recruit suitable personnel in time. To avoid lagging behind, companies can consider outsourcing personnel as an immediate solution to remove operational bottlenecks, and spend the time saved on improving current workforce’s capability minimizing the human resources risk in the future.

Mrs. Ly Ngoc Tran - Executive Search & Selection Director of Talentnet.
Outsource IT experts to help businesses quickly implement digital transformation


The plans that U.S. businesses have successfully applied can be valuable lessons for Vietnamese companies. In the long term, adjusting recruitment criteria and optimizing organic human resources are two solutions for businesses to build an internal team with tech expertise. Meanwhile, outsourcing human resources can be an instant “anti-drought” measure to meet immediate needs so that businesses are not left behind in the digital transformation race.