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Tech workers continue to be laid off at rates not seen for decades. Yet, IT leaders across the economy are clamoring for more resources to drive IT and digital initiatives, which remain a high priority for businesses looking to grow. And despite the wave of talent hitting the market, hiring managers are struggling to find and retain talent.  

Something is amiss. But what? From our perspective, it's a matter of quality over quantity

Business leaders we engage with are no longer thinking of talent strategy as a numbers game. Yes, they have big needs — like migrating from 20 data centers down to two and moving workloads to the cloud; or designing and implementing a comprehensive cyber program that can simplify their identity architecture while lowering their risk profile. But the talent needed to see these types of projects through to completion in many cases is simply too costly to keep on the payroll after the fact.  

It's about finding the right talent — at the right time — and inserting them into the right scenarios based on demand to meet your fluid short- and long-term business objectives. 

Clients we're dealing with want to ramp up and scale up and down very quickly. 

Plug-and-play IT 

As an IT or hiring leader, your focus should be making sure you have the right talent who can build things the right way with an evolving architecture. 

Given the constant and rapidly accelerating pace of change in the technology landscape, it's nearly impossible for any organization to have the right mix of talent at the ready. It's just not feasible to hire and train fast enough.  

But the business isn't waiting. Few — if any — organizations are halting IT modernization or digital strategies. They may be slowing their spend or reprioritizing, but everyone still realizes the importance of transformation and driving toward outcomes. 

This is placing a premium on tech talent who can come in, get the job done and get out — a plug-and-play model that affords organizations the flexibility to scale up and down their IT teams on the fly without having to add full-time headcount. 

Don't be caught flat footed 

Today's challenging economy has put many organizations in wait-and-see mode. But wait too long and you may find yourself in an even more precarious situation.  

Top-end, premium talent is already being gobbled up by organizations working now to drive strategic initiatives. And when this wait-and-see approach softens — we expect it to begin thawing toward the end of the year — even the less experienced yet highly capable talent will be hard to come by.  

You need to be in a position to act fast when the time is right.  

WWT CEO Jim Kavanaugh recently wrote on this topic and recommended organizations take the following proactive steps to make sure they're ready when the time comes to add talent:  

  • Take inventory of your current talent base and compare it against current demand by specialty and skillset. 
  • Determine if there are specialty teams with current lags or gaps that would benefit from upskilling or exposure to other areas of the business. 
  • Connect with HR personnel and business leaders to understand criteria for filling specific skillsets to ensure alignment with current and future demand. 


As companies of all kinds grapple with a confounding labor market, particularly in the high-end tech space, they'll likely find themselves in need of help to procure, identify and, ultimately, onboard talent.  

They should be looking for partners that can address their needs in the short- and long-term and have technical chops of their own to verify the potential resources they're lining up for you can get the job done.  

Specifically, you should be leveraging a partner that has expertise in the areas in which you have gaps. Broadly, we are seeing the most common gaps in:  

Experience across vertical markets and customer bases is a plus, too. If you can't act decisively right now, make sure you understand what your current and future-state needs are and begin formulating a talent plan that gets you there.  

The idea of adding 100 people to consolidate data centers or migrate to the cloud is understandably daunting but remember there's likely three months' worth of design work needed that can be taken care of by two or three strategically placed resources.  

Above all, remember this: Don't let the current talent climate keep you from achieving your growth initiatives. Identify gaps that exist today and begin making incremental progress toward plugging those gaps. 

If you wait too long, you'll be behind the curve before you even start.