Employees are investing their own time and money to remain competitive in the changing workplace

Capgemini and LinkedIn have published a new global report exploring 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? claims to reveal 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 percent of employees, rising to close to 60 percent for what the report calls digitally talented employees are investing their own money and additional time beyond office hours to develop digital skills on their own. Capgemini surveyed 753 employees and 501 executives at the director level or above, at large companies with reported revenue of more than $500 million for FY 2016 and more than 1,000 employees. The survey took place from June to July 2017, and covered nine countries – France, Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States and seven industry sectors.


Main findings:

The digital talent gap is widening

Over half (54 percent) 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 percent) of the organisations, and 50 percent 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 percent 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 percent) consider their skill set will be redundant in the next four to five years. Specifically, almost half (47 percent) 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 percent 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 percent), utilities (42 percent), telecom and insurance (both 39 percent), 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 percent) 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 percent) 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 percent) 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 percent) believe their employees will leave their organisation after they receive training and half (50 percent) say their digital skills training sessions are not well attended.


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.


Other findings:

  • Although 51 percent of employers identified an absence of hard digital skills in their organisation, 59 percent recognised a lack of soft digital skills amongst employees
  • Seven out of ten digitally talented employees (72 percent) 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