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A strong IT workforce starts with training

Diana Bersohn | Sept. 30, 2015
As CIOs lead the charge for developing technology acumen across the entire organization, their talent strategy must include training as a priority, in addition to recruiting new talent, writes Accenture’s Diana Bersohn.

CIO.com: What innovative training do you offer new and existing employees?

Oral: As we started to think about how we needed to reshape our training programs, there was a natural tendency to look at the schools that we worked with, and the interns. We actually used some of our interns and rotational employees to help us understand what we needed to do. In the end, we put some very specific programs in place in terms of the kind of rotations that were done, to the point where some of the employees that had been here for five, 10, 15 or 20 years said, “why can’t we do that, too?”                                              

CIO.com: How did you respond to that level of interest?

Oral: You know, it was one of those aha moments. We really didn’t mean to leave anyone out, we just hadn’t thought about training that way. So in response, many of the programs we’ve put in place for the new employees that are coming in from the outside, we’ve also put in place for our existing workforce.    

CIO.com: How is your thinking on talent management evolving?

Oral: I think about it in the context of what is it that we’re trying to do as a business, what capabilities are we trying to involve or evolve, and whether there is something different that we can do to gain an advantage. Now, I feel there’s much more focus and alignment in our training and development curriculum.

CIO.com: Has the way you include employees in the process changed?

Oral: Now, more than ever, we look internally to our people to give us ideas about how we can better train them. They’ve got the receptors, and they know what they feel comfortable with. We’re constantly updating what’s out there for our people, and a lot of it is based on the feedback that we get from our people. There’s nothing like being able to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Four ways to begin winning the war for talent

CIOs like Ray Oral are already taking steps to ready the IT workforce for the future, but some companies are just getting started. Below are some ideas for bridging the talent gap by training current and future employees.

Get granular. Taking a targeted approach to upskilling provides an opportunity to gain resources with the required skills faster, or have a quick uplift in specific skills for a particular area of the business. There are a number of sources for online training which companies can access, such as Udacity, to jumpstart their upskilling through certifications or even a “nanodegree” in a specific area, such as a data analyst or full-stack web developer.

 

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