Four reasons to invest in entry-level cloud talent

According to the Australian Computer Society’s Australian Digital Pulse 2019 report, 100,000 skilled IT workers will be needed by 2024. With current supply projected to fall sort of the demand, the challenge this creates is particularly acute when you consider LinkedIn’s 2019 research that found the two most valuable hard skills companies struggled to find were cloud computing and machine learning.

To navigate this issue, businesses need to rethink who they hire and how they train and retain them. Rather than chasing and competing for a limited number of highly-experienced professionals, employers should surround their most experienced employees with motivated, entry-level talent with strong foundational cloud skills.

Cloud providers, governments, and training organisations are working hard to populate the Australian IT ecosystem with entry-level cloud talent. Here are four reasons why you should hire them.

1. Entry-level talent is often “cloud-native,” principled, and ready to learn

Today’s entry-level cloud talent won’t come with a decade of on-the-job experience, but they won’t come on board with a decade’s worth of legacy thinking either. Rather than needing to unlearn old habits and ways of working on now-defunct technologies, these digital natives can help your company challenge outdated approaches and embrace change in the digital age.

2. Get the best out of your employees

How can you get the best out of your most valuable employees? Give them a team to train, mentor, and work with. Building teams comprised of individuals with various levels of experience will help ensure that they are complementing and learning from one another.

By surrounding your experienced cloud talent with skilled, entry-level talent, you’ll also free them up to take on the more high-value aspects of their projects. Their team can do some of the building, and they can focus on more complex tasks, strategy, and design, helping thme feel more fulfilled by their work.

3. Investing in entry-level talent will save you time, money, and resources

Skills gaps are more than just an inconvenience; the financial and business repercussions can be grave. By hiring entry-level talent, you can bridge your IT skills gap, helping your company achieve its business objectives and meet demands on time.

Research suggests that investing in your employees can help with your company’s retention rates. According to a 2018 LinkedIn Learning report, 94 per cent of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.

4. Your team of diverse talent will be smarter and more stable

Having a mix of talent and experience across your organisation can also help create stability. If you have one or two highly experienced individuals, what happens when one of them leaves? You can help ensure business continuity and financial stability by building strong, supported, and resilient teams, teams that don’t depend on a small number of irreplaceable employees. 

Turning scarcity into opportunity

The scarcity of highly experienced cloud talent is a major concern for many businesses. But this scarcity is also an invitation to hire, train, and retain talent differently.

Companies large and small can tackle the current skills shortage by building and investing in diverse, resilient teams with a mix of experience levels. Rather than searching for hard-to-find, and difficult to keep, tenured individuals alone, companies should also invest in entry-level talent with strong foundational cloud skills.

Around the world, individuals are emerging from universities, training programs, and internships with hands-on experience in the cloud and an eagerness to launch their careers. Some of them will even hold industry-recognised cloud certifications. And they are key to bridging the skills gap and helping your business thrive.

Melanie Botha, Head of Training and Certification – Australia and New Zealand, Amazon Web Services

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