Oktet News Feed

The war for talent is not over...it is just beginning!

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash
In this blog post, we will explore how organisations can successfully attract and retain top talent in the age of data and AI. We will provide insights and practical guidance for what to consider when fighting in the war for talent.

At a time where tech and data talent appear to be flooding the job market, you might have been fooled into thinking that the war for talent is over. It is not. To assume that the labour market is now overly abundant with digital talent would not only be a huge mistake, but you would also be missing the opportunity of a decade. Having the right people available only amplifies the importance of winning the talent war.

From one year to the next the demand for technical skills has always increased, and 2024 is no different. As the FT points out “there is a wealth of talent out there ready to be snapped up to work ”.

The talent is available, but can you attract it?

Deloitte’s Insight Driven Organisation survey indicated that 41 percent of organisations have a shortage of data science skills while 55 percent need more people with AI skills and are unable to source them.

Organisations now understand the value of being insight-driven -- augmenting C-suite decisions with data or providing visibility of performance with analytics -- but having the technical and business skills within the organisation to do this has remained an elusive fantasy for many.

McKinsey’s State of Organisations for 2023 stated that “40 percent of respondents cite a lack of digital analytics capabilities, 32 percent cite lacking software development capabilities, and 26 percent cite a lack of capability in generating customer insights.”

Which talent are we fighting for?

Better the question, better the insight. It’s not good enough to have the data wrangling skills if the individual or organisation is unable to interrogate the data and present the insights in a compelling way.

These skills may all be present in a very highly skilled individual or be complementary skills within a team; it is this blend of skills within a capability which is critical for success.

This unique breed of employees are the unicorns we seek.

Attracting the right quality of talent to your organisation is tough. Despite uncertainty in the UK economy, data and AI talent can still afford to be a little picky, and it’s not just about salaries.

Executive sponsorship, conducive organisational design, innovation culture and access to funding - all feature high on the agenda. Therefore, building a talent ecosystem to support your short and long-term analytics vision is key.

How can you maintain and manage your talent pipeline?

Getting the right motivational factors in play is fundamental to successful long-term retention. Luckily these motivational factors are no longer a mystery.

As set out in the most prominent models of human motivation, especially within the organisational and employment domain, self-determination theory outlines employees must feel that all three of these needs are met:

  • Autonomy - the ability to make free choices with responsibility
  • Competence – the need to master tasks and build towards having purpose
  • Relatedness – the need to feel connected with others
"Executive leaders worried about top talent leaving need to understand the factors that cause attrition, which are far more than solely limited to compensation. Aspects such as manager quality, location, remote working and work-life balance, and future career opportunities are all potential employee experience drivers for attrition."

Hugh Simpson, Co-founder of Oktet and Data & AI Product Specialist
In addition to talent, knowledge must also be maintained and managed as AI teams grow and work with an increasing breadth of data and deployed analytical models. Using centralised tools to manage knowledge helps retain and share knowledge amongst your analytics teams and more broadly across the organisation. It is vital that organisations can distribute and scale these tools enterprise wide

Enabling employees, stakeholders, and ecosystem partners to collaborate better and work more efficiently through powerful, user-driven enterprise tools is a core component in building insight capabilities. This often involves re-imagining enterprise user interfaces and engagement models to drive adoption, productivity, and stakeholder sentiment.

Developing and maintaining a winning strategy to attract, train, and retain the best talent available is central to becoming a data-driven organisation. Failing to keep up in the talent war may risk you being left unable to keep up with advances in data and AI.

At Oktet, we live and breathe data, AI and blockchain talent and over the last few years, we have developed a framework for how to attract and retain talent that leverages AI and data-driven methods and technologies to identify and evaluate potential candidates.

Our organisational psychologist designed approach makes sure we find the right mix of technical, business and soft skills for long term fit to the business. Read more here or reach out to see what our team can do to find top talent.