The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the hunt for local talent.
According to SHRM, practitioners at the recent 2020 Talent42 Digital conference say recruiters are increasingly looking for local candidates in a globally connected world.
Vanessa Raath, global talent sourcing trainer at the Talent Hunter in Johannesburg, says for years South Africa has seen a skills shortage, but the Covid-19 pandemic has brought local talent back into the marketplace. “Top-tier talent that stayed in South Africa is now being scooped up by international big brands” and working remotely, she said.
“It's an incredible time right now in talent acquisition,” said Noelle Hunt Bennett, senior leader of global sourcing plans at Uber in Seattle.
In central and eastern European countries such as Poland and Hungary, there is an emphasis on cultivating local talent. Meanwhile, the rapid growth of coding bootcamps has paved the way for more skilled tech workers to enter the workforce.
Challenges of remote work
After eight months of working remotely, global talent acquisition leaders are still weighing the pros and cons of working from a home office.
Vanessa said, “South Africa has a wonderful lifestyle, it's a great place to live. Now many people can stay here in paradise and work from home in their pyjamas. Covid-19 is making a small pool of tech talent in South Africa even smaller.”
However, working remotely isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. For instance, in south-east Asia, some of the developing countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia have connectivity challenges that make working remotely difficult.
Diversifying the tech talent pool
Global talent acquisition leaders said they are focused on bringing more women into the tech world. “Covid19 has opened up an opportunity for women to bring fresh ideas to the table,” Uber’s Bennett said.
Correcting the gender imbalance in tech is also important in Singapore and Australia, the experts pointed out, citing a survey that found that while there are 20,000 tech engineers currently in Australia, only five percent of them are women.
In Europe, more companies are adding women to the talent pipeline, looking for talent beyond gender and considering the candidate's race, ethnicity, class and educational background.