As a part of the tech leadership in any organisation, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) needs to lead this digital imperative. And for this, he/she needs to work in a more cross-functional way than ever before. The CIO must build a tech team that can catalyse the organisation’s digital transformation journey in 2021, writes Gaurav Chattur, MD APAC, Catenon.
Technology teams have become elemental to organisations as a result of the pandemic. If one doesn’t have the right talent in place to help an organisation pivot, it’s unlikely that the IT strategy will ever successfully get off the ground.
As a part of the tech leadership in any organisation, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) needs to lead this digital imperative. And for this, he/she needs to work in a more cross-functional way than ever before. The CIO must build a tech team that can catalyse the organisation’s digital transformation journey in 2021.
Here are 5 tips for new CIOs setting up tech teams this year-
1) Unlearn and Update
A lot of assumptions that used to hold true in the past are not relevant today. The way in which organisations have functioned and team structures have been designed until now needs to change. Assumptions like ‘talent will be attracted by large brands only’ and ‘contractual workers are easy to acquire’ should be thrown out of the window. With tech talent being sought after more than ever before, the employee needs are taking centre stage as the new workforce has started thinking ‘beyond traditional’.
With tech talent being sought after more than ever before, the employee needs are taking centre stage as the new workforce has started thinking ‘beyond traditional’.
2) Understand the Latest Trends in the Talent Landscape
Once you understand what talent is needed for your business goal, mapping becomes essential. This must include what organisations house your target talent, what location can this talent be found in, what does it cost to get this talent and what are the related triggers that will make them switch. Even before recruitment begins, one needs to understand all about the talent. Even internally, this research can be used to understand if expanding to a location where this talent is present, do your plans allow you to hire.
3) Build a Future Ready Team
Recruiters and Talent Acquisition teams will need to factor in how the switch to digital will change the skills new professionals will need to succeed. In the current scenario, talent with legacy skills may not be desirable. As the CIO, you will want people who are at the forefront of technology, the people who have an outlook to provide world class products & services. And for such a team to thrive, the organisation’s tech leader must provide a conducive environment, with the right culture and services around. This means that tech teams may be at times given leeway beyond operational teams, like flexible working. All in all, one needs to be aligned with what the new tech world is now used to, even if “this is not how things work around here” holds true!
4) Build your Employer Brand
Everyone knows that the top available talent is being wooed by multiple employers. As such, organisations must be self aware to understand why people would want to work with them. Build on your brand by taking into consideration what your existing team thinks, and test your hypothesis once you have arrived at an attractive Employer Value Proposition in an unbiased way. This can consist of elements like your brand; culture; stability of job etc. Also, do not think that just because a company is a preferred employer of choice in a particular industry, its attractiveness will extend to technology professionals also. Many large companies of repute are seen faltering and baffled due to this assumption when it comes to technology. Drop the ego!
The Employee Value Proposition needs to be at par with the available talent out there i.e. what is important to you should also be important to the workforce.
5) Ensure a good Tech Hiring Team
As a new CIO who is building a tech team from ground level, your existing Talent Acquisition team may not be geared up for the challenge. They will not be able to evaluate tech candidates, or offer insightful feedback on why the desired candidate is not joining leading to unwanted delays and opportunity cost!
In such a scenario, do not cut corners. Get specialists in tech hiring to help you. Apart from getting the right tech hiring team, one must also be humble enough to let them take a lead and accept that internal teams do not understand tech hiring as much as the external specialists. The specialist’s inputs are highly valuable, hence they must be acted upon to position the organisation as a leader. Humility across all functions in the organization will ensure that the organization is able to adjust to the new digital paradigm! Falling in love with the sound of one’s own voice, no matter how mighty it may be, is a recipe for disaster. CIO must ensure that the organisation understands this and steer it away from it’s usual modus operandi when it comes to building a tech team.
Organizations need to fundamentally rethink the way they work, and the CIO as the tech leader must be at the helm of this rigorous digital transformation journey that awaits. Pandering to the old ways will simply not cut it.