In closing our series on the “war for talent”, in which we had the pleasure of talking to representatives from very different companies, we are seeking the answer a critical question: in the context of a scarcity of digital resources, what are the alternatives available?

In our opinion, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, but there are at least two points of consistency. The first step is to move from a reactive to a proactive approach. It will be necessary to hire resources thinking about the company’s medium-term objectives, rather than a specific role in a project or function. Finding “plug and play” resources with the required skills will be increasingly difficult. It will be vital to value the resources’ potential and ability to adapt to this evolving context. Companies will have to invest more in a lifelong training model to upskill and reskill resources through internal academies and on-the-job training. Secondly, the development of employment proposals for candidates and existing talent must be much broader than merely the salary on offer.

To attract talent and retain employees, it is crucial to invest in the company’s brand, in universities, in social networks, and in advertising to better communicate the values of the company culture to the new generations. It will also be necessary to rethink workplaces and transform them into enablers of a different way of working, more flexible, collaborative, and inclusive.

However, the digital resources gap is so vast that often companies can’t spend years in closing it. For this reason, lately, we have been working with companies to evaluate alternative paths to organic growth: acquiring a technological company, creating a joint venture with a technology player, developing a medium-term partnership with one or more partners for the provision of digital resources and skills available globally, outsourcing the management of digital activities to a specialized third party. Each of these alternatives differs in terms of speed of implementation, return on investment, protection of intellectual capital, agility of execution, scalability, and risk management.

There is no silver bullet here, but every company has an obligation to address this issue structurally, defining a development strategy that best fits its culture and competitive positioning in the market.

At the highest level, this is an issue that must be addressed globally, and in doing so reviewing a company holistically – not simply responding only to the need for resources with digital skills. The digitalization of business is, first and foremost, a change of culture, not a purely technological issue, and one that touches every part of an organization, irrespective of geography or specific business activity.

Here are the links to the previous articles in this series if you missed them: