Tech Talent continues to be important to driving business growth. However, demand still outstrips supply. In this piece we will look at hidden talent pools. Read more below on How to win the talent war by tapping into hidden talent pools.

In the UK there were a whopping 870,000 open tech vacancies from January to May 2022. This is a 10 year high and is causing projects to delay and even fail resulting in revenue loss. Traditionally talent acquisition teams target active and passive job seekers to fill contract and permanent positions. So far in 2022 supply is less than demand so it creates the perfect storm. However, the pandemic and changes to how we work has created hidden talent pools that are often overlooked. Below is an overview of 6 hidden talent pools that are worth exploring:

Looking internally before you go external seems so obvious. However, it is easier said than done. With distributed remote teams around the globe it is hard to see what talent and skills you have internally. Also, tech talent is picking up new skills all the time through side-gigs and self funded training (Web3 is a great example of this). Gartner advises companies to deploy an Internal Talent Marketplace and describes the benefits below:

An internal talent marketplace (ITM) fundamentally transforms how employees are connected to work assignments, how they can utilise work assignments for development purposes, and who gets to post work opportunities. Properly deployed, it can also transform how internal and external talent is utilised to deliver on an enterprise’s strategy.

Deploying internal talent onto projects can have the following benefits:

The dreaded CV gap is so 2009. The Great Resignation has led more people to take time out of the traditional career. That may be to raise a family, build a house or travel the world. 

Historically, return to work talent was overlooked if they had a gap of over 3 months. This is a huge untapped talent pool. Many start-ups founders (myself included) use this as a critical way to add amazing talent that large enterprises may overlook.

Tapping into freelance talent pools is an easy way to tap into highly skilled tech talent from across the world. Platforms such as Gigged.AI can help quickly source and onboard skills such as Software Developers and Data Scientists. Traditionally this would be an expensive day rate contractor or consultant from the big four.

Fractional talent will have multiple other projects (some even have full time jobs) and will not work 9-5. However, for certain skills this can be really effective. The key is to define work packages very clearly.

This is a growing talent pool that can be turned on rapidly for short, sharp projects.

Another interesting model is role sharing. Described by Harvard Business Review as:

Splitting a full-time position into two part-time jobs

This can attract some of the hidden talent mentioned above and is a great way to boost innovation. Role Share are worth checking out further as they are leading the way in this space.

As many roles are replaced with automation there is a growing trend of people who retrain to become a Software Developer, Data Analyst or a UX Designer through initiatives such as Northcoders. Partnering with these organisations to proactively meet talent that is retraining can add amazing talent who have great soft skills from previous careers.

With the rise of remote work many companies tap into tech talent from other countries. This can be on a permanent basis using companies such as Omipresent or Deel. Some of the top countries that are being tapped into include:

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About the author

Rich Wilson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Gigged.AI which is a pioneering HRtech company. Prior to founding Gigged.AI in 2021 Rich spent 12 years at US staffing firm Allegis Group and 3 years as a C-level advisor at Gartner. Rich can be contacted at [email protected] to discuss key recommendations further.