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Get the best of the tech talent crisis: Collaborate with the business

Finding first-rate talent isn't solely the IT department's job -- and it shouldn't be. Learn how to work with the business to tackle the tech talent crisis.

Staying ahead of the tech talent crisis doesn't just entail developing and empowering the talent your organization already has. It's also important to seek out "hybrid talent," or candidates with both technology and business skills, to fill the gaps in your company's existing talent pool.

But in this hunt for top-notch talent, IT can't go it alone, participants in SearchCIO's recent tweet chat on the IT hiring crisis agreed. It's crucial that IT teams observe, openly communicate and collaborate with the business on recruiting, as well as stake their claim on the business process planning table.

In this #CIOChat recap, consultant Shawn Banerji of Russell Reynolds Associates and other tweet jammers weighed in on how IT can communicate with the business to fight the tech talent crisis; plus, find out how the skills gap varies across industries.

How can IT and the business work together to bridge the tech talent gap?

Before diving into hiring, the first step for IT managers is to observe and take stock of the experts they already have -- which is also a good way to pin down what skill sets they're lacking:

Because IT departments today are no longer just enablers of technology but also strategic to the business, it's crucial that individuals outside IT play a role in talent recruitment. Two ways IT can get that message across to the business and the rest of the organization, tweet jammers said, is through communication and collaboration:

Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski brought up a real-world example of successful IT-business collaboration, citing her video interview with Andi Karaboutis, Dell's former CIO, who collaborates by "futuring." She doesn't just ask the business what their requirements are -- she insists that her IT team spend time with internal business colleagues to observe how they work and the challenges they face:

How is the IT hiring crisis affecting various industries?

While different industries need different skill sets, Denise Dubie speculated that cloud and mobile skills top organizations' talent wish lists regardless of industry. And industries that rely heavily on data analytics, such as finance and healthcare, face the challenge of hiring from a small pool of specialized data scientists, tweeted Senior Managing Editor Rachel Lebeaux:

Indeed, this scarcity of big data talent is becoming increasingly problematic as enterprises' data requirements grow: An article in Forbes pointed to recent forecasts that the big data market will reach $16.1 billion this year, growing at a pace six times faster than the rest of the IT market. At the same time, 33% of respondents in a 2013 survey said that one of their greatest big data hurdles is the "lack of sufficiently skilled big data and analytics IT staff."

As noted by Dubie, cloud skills are among IT organizations' top requirements. Today's cloud reality, Laskowski and Banerji pointed out, has transformed the way IT functions:

What other technology talent and skill sets are you hunting for? Tell us in the comments section below.

This tweet recap is part of our #CIOChat on IT tech hiring, hosted by SearchCIO. For more recaps or information about our next tweet jam, follow @SearchCIO on Twitter.

Next Steps

Check out our tweet recap on how to combat the IT talent shortage. Then, read this CIO Chatter to get our readers' two cents on the IT hiring crisis. Finally, get some startups' take on how to hire and retain tech talent.

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