Capgemini, in conjunction with LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, today released a new global report on the digital talent gap, which analyses the demand and supply of talent with specific digital skills and the availability of digital roles across multiple industries and countries. The report, “The Digital Talent Gap—Are Companies Doing Enough?” reveals the concerns felt by employees when assessing their own digital skills and the lack of training resources currently available to them within their workplace. Highlights include the fact that nearly 50% of employees (close to 60% for digitally talented employees) are investing their own money and additional time beyond office hours to develop digital skills on their own.
The digital talent gap is widening
Every other organisation surveyed acknowledged that the digital gap is widening. Over half (54%) of the organisations agreed that the digital talent gap is hampering their digital transformation programs and that their organisation has lost competitive advantage because of a shortage of digital talent.
Even though the talent gap has widened, budgets for training digital talent have remained flat or decreased in more than half (52%) of the organisations, and 50% said they keep talking about the digital talent gap but not doing much to bridge it.
Skill redundancy concerns could drive attrition
Many of today’s employees are concerned that their skills are either already redundant or soon to become so. Overall, 29% of employees believe their skill set is redundant now or will be in the next one to two years, while more than a third (38%) consider their skill set will be redundant in the next four to five years. Specifically, almost half (47%) of Generation Y and Z employees believe that their current skill set will be redundant in the next four to five years.
From an industry perspective, 48% of employees in the automotive sector think that their skill set will be redundant in the next four to five years, followed by the banking sector (44%), utilities (42%), telecom and insurance (both 39%), according to the report.
Employees also feel organisations’ training programs are not hugely effective. More than half of today’s digital talent say that training programs are not helpful or that they are not given time to attend. Close to half (45%) describe their organisation’s training programs as “useless and boring.”
Skill redundancy concerns and lack of faith in an organisation’s upskilling efforts have the potential to trigger attrition. More than half of digitally talented employees (55%) say they are willing to move to another organisation if they feel their digital skills are stagnating at their current employer, while close to half of employees (47%) are likely to gravitate towards organisations that offer better digital skill development. However, employers noted they are also worried about attrition of upskilled staff. Just over half of employers (51%) believe their employees will leave their organisation after they receive training and half (50%) say their digital skills training sessions are not well attended.
Claudia Crummenerl, Head of Executive Leadership and Change at Capgemini said, “Organisations face a mammoth task in terms of digital upskilling. Given that skill redundancy is a key concern among our employee respondents, ensuring a clear development path is essential to address this. In the future, the digital talent gap will continue to widen and no company can sit back and be comfortable. Organisations need to be consistently innovating and planning their workforce evolution.”
The talent gap in soft digital skills is more pronounced than in hard digital skills
The report identified that people with experience in hard digital skills, in areas such as advanced analytics, automation, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, are in high demand. However, soft digital skills, such as customer-centricity and passion for learning are most in demand by organisations, and are an increasingly important characteristic of a well-rounded digital professional. The greatest gap in soft digital skills exists for comfort with ambiguity and collaboration.
Further findings show that:
- Although 51% of employers identified an absence of hard digital skills in their organisation, 59% recognised a lack of soft digital skills amongst employees
- Seven out of ten digitally talented employees (72%) prefer to join organisations that have an entrepreneurial, start-up like culture that promotes agility and flexibility
- Digital talent is unlikely to thrive in an environment that lacks freedom to experiment and fail. Innovation will also suffer if a culture of experimentation does not exist
The must-have digital roles
Based on the analysis from LinkedIn’s data within the report, on average Data Scientist and Full Stack Developers have had the highest demand over the past year. Below shows a list of the top 10 digital roles that are set to gain the most prominence in the next two to three years, in order of position:
- Information Security/Privacy Consultant
- Chief Digital Officer/Chief Digital Information Officer
- Data Architect
- Digital Project Manager
- Data Engineer
- Chief Customer Officer
- Personal Web Manager
- Chief Internet of Things Officer
- Data Scientist
- Chief Analytics Officer/Chief Data Officer
Tuck Rickards, Managing Director at Russell Reynolds, an executive search firm advised, “Businesses need to recognise that digital talent is a small pool of people who have a lot of good offers competing for their attention. Companies may not be able to engage these people in the same manner as a typical employee base; they need to be clever in their approach.”
 For purposes of this research, LinkedIn defined “digital” broadly to include a long list of digital hard and soft skills and digital job titles that LinkedIn and Capgemini believe represent [nearly] all technology innovation-related activities.
 A Digitally Talented employee is someone who is proficient in at least one of the 24 hard digital skills and in at least four of the eight soft digital skills included in the survey.
 Generation Y and Z refer to those between the ages of 18 – 36