The World Economic Forum predicts that over a third of skills that are considered important today will have changed over the next five years. According to the Future of Jobs report, two ofthe top five drivers of change in South Africa over the past five years are technology related – big data and mobile internet/cloud technology. Career Junction’s latest jobs index shows that the Information Technology sector in general has a demand for skills that far outweighs the supply, which is at 50% of demand.

But what does this mean for companies looking to hire technical skills in a highly competitive market?

“There are a number of implications for HR professionals and the companies they work for – some are challenges, while others are opportunities,” explains Michelle Baron-Williamson, Chief Transformation Officer at Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE). “One of the biggest opportunities is for companies to focus on developing skills in-house, and in turn, creating and growing workplace skills programmes that have the benefit of not only adding to the general technology skills pool in the country, but thatcan be tailored to the specific requirements of the organization.”

“On the other hand, one of the big challenges that this skills shortage presents to organisations is the risk of hiring candidates who do not have the correct technical skills,” says Baron-Williamson.“Candidates could either misrepresent their skills in a demand-heavy market, or the companies themselves might not have the expertise required to effectively evaluate the competence of these candidates. Hiring strategies will need to change to keep up with the type of technology skills that are in demand, especially if HR professionals have very little knowledge about these areas of specialization themselves.”

It is imperative that companies implement talent acquisition solutions that enable sound assessment practices to identify the right candidates from the application pool. Making better people decisions not only ensures that the right skills are hired into the business, but comprehensive assessment tools can also help avoid performance issues and unwanted behaviours in the future.

Assessing talent correctly upfront will increase an organisation’s overall performance, align with best practice in terms of talent acquisition, andhelp position the organization as an employer of choice – a highly valued attribute, especially in the technology space where differentiators are critical in the race to hire scarce talent.

About MIE

MIE specialises in background screening, vetting and assessments. With a wide-reaching footprint across Sub-Saharan Africa, MIE offers in-country services in over 30 African countries. The company's wide range of talent identification and risk management solutions make the brand the partner of choice, to advise on the suitability of candidates. MIE Assessments provide outsourced assessment services and expert advice that allows clients to make well informed talent decisions related to recruitment, talent management and development. For more information, visit: