What Great Resignation? IT channel confident on recruitment, despite challenges

How to attract and retain talent in the IT channel is a crucial, ongoing conversation thanks to the perfect storm of factors impacting recruitment in recent years.

Between ‘The Great Resignation’ and the continued skills shortage, channel firms are forced to navigate the competitive recruitment market where the level of open vacancies is the highest on record.

However, all hope is not lost. Last week, channel firm Agilitas released its EVOLVE for YourPeople’ report, which examined how the channel can become more people-centric while still continuing to drive profits and achieve net zero targets.

Promisingly, the report indicated that business leaders have strong confidence in the channel’s ability to attract and retain talent, ranking at 7.8 out of 10, with 64 percent scoring 8 or above on Agilitas’ measurement scale for confidence.

IT channel recruitment: there’s still room for improvement

Although confidence across the sector remains strong, there are still improvements to be made — especially for smaller organisations that have limited resources, noted the report. Bev Markland, chief people officer at Agilitas, told us that employees who feel like they belong to a team or organisation will not only perform better but will experience higher levels of engagement and well-being.

Consequently, smaller channel firms need to foster a sense of belonging, with leadership acting as the advocates for the business to drive real change. Organisations also need to consider how to maintain a culture in line with hybrid working, by encouraging more collaborative and in-person interactions.

By fostering a better culture, smaller channel firms will begin to benefit from employee advocacy, which is the promotion of a business by those who work within it. This creates huge opportunities to boost brand awareness and increase engagement with partners, but it also enables companies to discover new potential hires.

“The employee advocacy process gives channel leaders the platform to communicate with candidates, sharing the team’s experience in a consistent, relevant and personalised way. Ultimately, getting support from the workforce can help increase talent acquisition, reduce recruitment costs and improve market visibility,” said Markland.

Interestingly, when asking channel decision makers which factors positively impacted workplace culture, the following ranked highest:

  • Hybrid and remote working (39.2 percent)
  • Diversity and inclusion (32.4 percent)
  • Team building or social activities (31.2 percent)
  • Company-wide communication (30 percent)
  • Responding to employee feedback (29 percent) 

Combat the skills shortage by appealing to a wide talent pool

The report also noted that many companies have shifted their recruitment strategies in line with their own transformation. As such, they appeal to a larger pool of diversely-skilled candidates who can fill emerging technology-based roles and meet customer needs. 

In today’s candidate-driven market, the key to attracting new recruits is all about appealing to the widest talent pool possible,” explained Markland. “The channel industry is currently facing a skills shortage with the lack of digital talent negatively impacting businesses and the wider economy. With the help of emerging technologies, businesses will be able to cast their net wider by hiring candidates from outside the local business community, with the option to work remotely. This gives them the freedom to embrace talent from different backgrounds, who have a variety of experiences and new points of view.”

“The Great Resignation poses new challenges for channel leaders, in relation to keeping staff and finding new talent in a fiercely competitive environment. The technology channel, however, is extremely open to change, with many companies working hard to ensure they strengthen their companies while prioritising their most valuable assets — their people. Therefore, positioning teams as a business' greatest asset, creating a sense of community and building a sustainable culture will be a top priority moving forward.”

As the number of tech layoffs continue to rise, leaving hundreds of thousands of skilled professionals open to new opportunities, now may be the perfect time for channel firms to cast the recruitment net wide.

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