By Christa Boffa
The digital skills gap has plagued the tech industry for long—and yet, the pandemic has widened this pre-existing gap even further. With more organizations looking at digital solutions to sustain their business and fuel their growth, the competition for tech workers, including Microsoft Dynamics professionals, is at an all-time high.
This rapid digital acceleration has made finding the right tech talent an increasingly difficult feat for most businesses. And with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting a growth of 13% in computer and information technology occupations from 2020 to 2030 in the US alone, the demand for tech workers is likely to continue expanding in the coming future, too.
But if there are so many opportunities for professionals across the entire tech industry, why is it still so difficult to find the talent to plug this demand-supply gap? The answer to this question stems from a myriad of factors—but the effects this talent shortage is having on the industry are quite universal. In fact, in our latest Nigel Frank Careers and Hiring Guide: Microsoft Business Applications Edition, almost half (48%) of Microsoft Dynamics users surveyed cited lack of appropriate skills as the biggest hurdle to Microsoft Dynamics implementation.
With this in mind, let’s look at the reasons why it’s difficult to find Microsoft Dynamics professionals right now, and what you can realistically do about it as an employer.
Microsoft Dynamics is currently expanding at an unprecedented rate—growing by 25% in FY21, and 27% in the nine months ended March 31, 2022 when compared to the same period ended March 31 in the previous year. The company’s reach of both its CRM and ERP products is continuously growing—as more organizations switch to digital solutions to handle all sorts of sales and administrative operations.
The advantages Microsoft Dynamics brings to its users need no introduction—it’s easy to use and deploy, customizable, and fully integrates with other Microsoft products, including the full Office 365 suite. Plus, its scalability and efficiency make it an easy win for organizations of all sizes.
This is all great news—however, this exponential growth also means the industry needs more professionals to cover both the growing number and type of roles that are developing over the years—making the current qualified professionals worth their weight in gold.
As an employer, there’s now even more pressure now to understand how to attract and retain the talent have already, and the one you’ll fulfill your business goals and dreams—now and in the future. We’ll be delving into more detail about this throughout this post—but essentially, with less talent available, employees now have the upper hand as the demands for Microsoft professionals continues to soar. This means adapting your talent strategy to the needs of today’s hiring market has become imperative, now more than ever.
Technology evolves at an overwhelmingly accelerated pace—so much so that it can be difficult to keep up with the latest updates, changes, and trends. It comes to no surprise that 78% of IT decision makers surveyed by a 2020 study by Global Knowledge said their teams aren’t up to speed with the skills they need to meet present and future needs.
Similarly, in our own Careers and Hiring Guide: Microsoft Business Applications Edition 2022, we found that 36% of Business Applications go-live delays were caused by a lack of staff training, with a further 33% caused by staff shortage.
A robust learning and development plan isn’t just crucial for companies to ensure employees have the right tools and knowledge turn their business problems into solutions. Plus, with career progression, the ability to pursue new challenges, and accelerate personal development ranking among the top reasons that encourage Dynamics candidates to take a new role, according to our latest Microsoft Business Applications Careers and Hiring Guide, offering a robust learning and development strategy has become a key incentive in trying to both attract and retain talent. After all, you wouldn’t want your teams to look at the exit door over something so remediable, and that when done correctly, can also improve your overall business health and productivity. Not to mention that a focus on upskilling and life-long learning makes the Dynamics ecosystem a better, and more productive one too.
There are many ways you can help your employees’ learning and development journey—some of which require little investment too. For instance, setting aside some time for your employees every week for them to work on upskilling, or so that they can take on an online course is one way of doing this. You can even organize team training sessions, hosted by some of the subject matter experts within your teams. It makes for an excellent team-building activity, while championing learning and development, and collaboration too.
One other popular way of supporting your employees in their pursuit of knowledge and skills is by financing certifications and training, even if just partially. Naturally, not all organizations have the same budgets, so if the costs aren’t something you can bear at the moment, you can try offering paid time during working hours, or paid time off to your employees for them to complete any learning and development opportunities. Not only will they feel more valued, and supported in the workplace, but it’s way of motivating employees to get certified too which can help your business be more profitable in the long run—half (50%) of the professionals surveyed in our Careers and Hiring Guide, who don’t currently hold a certification, said their employer funding for their studies would encourage them to take a certification.
With more diversity practices in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem, as well as increased awareness around inclusivity, the tech industry has come a long way when it comes to ED&I. What was once considered a male-dominated field, has gradually started to open to a more diverse workforce—but there’s still a long way to go. According to Deloitte Global, women make up just 33% of the workforce in 2022—which is still far behind the ideal. And, although the stats were bleak way before 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has widened gender disparity in the workforce even further. In fact reports indicate that the employment-to-population gender gap ratios increased in 2020, with young women bearing the worst of this phenomenon.
We’re now seemingly coming out the other end of the worst of the pandemic, and yet, although most job markets seem to be recovering, the gender gap within the tech industry is still ever-present—with the roots of this disparity stemming from far deeper issues than the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Not only is creating a diverse and inclusive the right thing to do as an employer—but studies show that investing in diversity can increase profitability too. And although every effort towards making the industry a more equitable one is welcome and applauded, there’s still a lot of potential for employers to do better. Our latest Business Applications Careers and Hiring Guide has revealed that just over half of organizations in the ecosystem have a D&I statement or policy, and perhaps even more worryingly, only 60% of our latest Business Apps Careers and Hiring Guide respondents—including less than half (47%) of the women interviewed believe their employers are providing equal pay for equal work.
And this is just the gender inequality issue. If we look at the diversity from an underrepresented minorities perspective for instance, studies show that while white workers make up 62% of the high-tech industry, Asian employees form just 20% of it, while the same figure for Hispanic and Latino employees is at 8%, and Black employees 7%. But even this doesn’t touch the surface of all the other diversity and inclusion issues we must simultaneously tackle to make the tech industry, and our own businesses, a fairer and more inclusive place.
We all want to feel like we’re treated fairly, and that we’re valued and celebrated for who we are, and what we bring to the workplace. And as an employer, there’s a lot you can do to ensure your diversity efforts are having this desired effect on your team. Conducting regular diversity training and implementing inclusive workplace policies such as flexible and remote work can be a great starting point. But if you’re looking for an in-depth guide on how to improve your organization’s diversity and inclusion, we’ve compiled our expert tips in this blog here.
The approach organizations take when seeking talent can sometimes be the reason why they can’t find any. This is where inclusive hiring strategies, and their importance come in. The truth is the right candidate for you might be somewhere out there—they’re simply not making it to or through the hiring process.
This is just one other reason why inclusive hiring strategies are imperative to secure the best talent. For instance, those companies not offering remote work options, and/or flexible hours, are eliminating their chances of reaching out to those people, who for one reason or another might be unable to travel to the office every day—such as those with childcare responsibilities or people with disabilities.
Similarly, the way a job ad is structured and worded can impact the number and type of candidates that apply. Altering the job requirements to what is actually needed to do the job, for instance, means candidates with backgrounds that vary from that of the traditional candidate profile are likelier to apply.
Take degrees as an example. It’s extremely common to find degrees among the top needed requirements for a role, but is it truly needed for the job? If the answer is no, removing it from your list of applicant requirements means those who haven’t had the opportunity or wanted to get a degree, but still have the skills and experience needed for the role, are more probable to apply.
Finding Microsoft Dynamics talent can be a tough feat right now—so those businesses that have secured the best professionals are trying their absolute best to hold on to them. This means that your ideal candidate might never even be on the hiring market at all—and if they are, you’ll need to compete with a myriad of companies, including their current employer to entice them to join. Plus, considering studies show top candidates are often on the market for just 10 days, you’ll need to be fast to win their hearts over.
One other factor weighing heavily on the competition within the hiring market is the Great Resignation. The Dynamics ecosystem is not immune to the reshuffle of work preferences and priorities the pandemic has driven. The factors professionals take into consideration when looking for a new job just aren’t the same as they used to be—and although financial rewards and PTO still tend to be among the most sought-after benefits, Microsoft Dynamics candidates are looking for much more than just that. In our Careers and Hiring Guide, home working, flexible working hours, and training and development opportunities ranked among the top ten benefits that can entice them to accept or consider a new role (32%, 22% 10% respectively). And, luckily for employers and employees alike, these are rather quick, and cost-effective changes for workplaces to implement.
There isn’t much you can do about the nature of the hiring market as an employer, but as we’ve seen in this post, there’s plenty of initiatives you can implement, or ways you can improve, to ensure you’re riding the wave of change, rather than succumbing to it. Standing out from the competition with your perks, and ethics and having a deep understanding of what truly matters to Dynamics candidates is essential now more than ever to find the right talent—and if you’re still overlooking this shift, securing the professionals you need to fulfill your business goals and dreams will be an uphill struggle.
Whether you’re looking for Dynamics talent right now, or you’re planning to do so soon—there’s still a lot you can do to maximize your chances of landing the best candidates out there. Understanding what truly matters to Microsoft Dynamics professionals is a great starting point, and you can learn more about this on our post how to attract and retain Microsoft Dynamics professionals. This way, you can ensure you’re casting a wide enough net to reach to secure, and keep the best Dynamics talent.
Having the right talent on board can be the make or break to achieving your business goals and dreams. And this is where we can help. Let us know your recruitment needs via our contact form, or browse our extensive list of professionals to find your dream Dynamics candidate now.
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