9 skills that could be essential for growing your tech business in 2021

27 November 2020
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As we prepare to enter a new year, it’s natural to look ahead and think about future hiring plans. In a scaling business, you may have ambitious plans for growth in 2021, and in the tech sector, particular skillsets are coming to light as the most in-demand for the year ahead.

To help you stay one step ahead of your recruitment process and to plan for future hires, we’ve collated some of the skills which are the most in-demand. These are the skills which we expect to see high competition for in the jobs market over the next year but also those that will be imperative to the rebuilding, continuity and growth of tech businesses across the globe.

Whether you’re hoping to reskill some of your existing talented people or make strategic hires, these are just some of the skills that you should be considering for your tech company in the new year.

Cybersecurity

It’s undeniable that 2020 has been the year of remote work, and employers across the globe are expected to continue this trend going into 2021. However, working from home means that your systems are much more vulnerable to attack. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for better cybersecurity amongst businesses almost instantly. Think about how many networks your businesses computers are connected to; you can’t guarantee they’re all secure. Having a cybersecurity expert as part of your team protects your employees and your data.

Cybersecurity Ventures states that by 2021, 100% of large companies worldwide will have a CISO position. With the increasing threat from cybercrimes, cybersecurity experts will be indispensable. However, there is currently a shortage of Cybersecurity skills among IT professionals. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for those with cybersecurity, information security, network security and vulnerability assessment skills. The more businesses are at risk from digital attacks, the more essential these skills will be, and the more competitive the jobs market for these individuals will become. Therefore, it’s wise to reskill your existing IT professionals or think about hiring a cybersecurity expert sooner rather than later.

Cloud Computing

Again, thanks to remote working more businesses (both inside and outside of the world of tech) now rely on cloud computing. It’s how they’ve ensured business continuity throughout this crazy year. More and more businesses are moving away from the traditional server structure, so having tech talent that understand cloud computing should be a priority for any scaling business. Cloud computing has become such an integral part of business, that by the end of 2020, the global cloud adoption market is set to exceed $330 billion. With a growing number of millennial and tech-savvy employees in the workforce, as well as the rise of remote work, cloud computing is becoming as essential to a business as electricity.

DevOps

As we’re all spending more time online and using software-based products, DevOps professionals are in high demand and are becoming crucial hires for almost any business. While some may believe DevOps professionals is merely another term for developers; they actually bridge the gap between developers and operations, streamlining the entire process.

Every individual involved in the software delivery process can speed up or slow down the whole system; DevOps engineers can help you to manage the overall process by collaborating with developers, system admins, and the general IT department. They help to oversee projects and minimise the risk of error in systems which could prove critical to scaling tech businesses. DevOps engineers improve the way that software is delivered and allow companies to gain a competitive advantage by adapting to changing markets, innovating faster, and becoming more efficient. Hiring a DevOps engineer or reskilling your existing developers to manage the overall process will help your business to avoid critical mistakes and to become more streamlined in 2021.

Developers

Just like DevOps engineers, hiring developers is expected to be a priority for many businesses in 2021. Knowing coding languages like Python, HTML, C and JavaScript within your business means that you can improve your online processes from email marketing through to app development. Demand for good developers continues to grow as more and more companies realise how vital their website and online efforts are to their business. In the last year, demand for front-end and back-end developers has grown by 17%. This is because having in house developers means that you can fix errors quickly, make changes and save costs in outsourcing your website maintenance. As a scaling tech business, a developer should be very high on your list of future hires.

AI & Machine Learning

Experts say that AI and machine learning are a driving force of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. AI and machine learning will change the way that we work forever; helping us to deal with repetitive tasks quicker and with more precision than humans can deliver. Individuals who can develop and implement artificial intelligence systems will be in high demand from employers and entrepreneurs looking to revolutionise and streamline the way we work and live.

For many scaling tech businesses, AI is already a crucial part of the business model. However, for those that don’t already have a grip on AI and machine learning; it could help to improve business operations drastically, make life easier for employees and improve your employer brand.

Data Analytics

Big data is not going away; in fact, data remains the most valuable resource in the world. As we all become more reliant on technology, the scope and range of data available is only going to increase and become more valuable to businesses.

 Therefore, for business success in 2021, tech businesses must use the data available to them to their advantage. Research from PwC shows that  69% of employers will demand data skills from employees by 2021, while at the moment only 17% of the UK workforce are data literate. Companies lose 43 hours of productivity per employee every year because of a lack of data literacy.

Having people that understand data working for your business is going to be vital. Data analysts and data scientists can ensure that large amounts of data from numerous sources can be understood and interpreted in a way that fuels innovation and new business ideas as well as spotting your weaknesses. Hiring data analytics professionals can help your scaling business to spot industry trends and opportunities, improve your overall product and service as well as be used internally to enhance the employee experience and your employer brand.

Soft Skills

One thing that this year has taught us, though is the value of soft skills. Because most tech businesses have had to switch to working remotely at some point during 2020, employers have begun to realise the value in skills such as communication, organisation and teamwork. While on the surface these may not seem like the skills which will catapult your scaling business to the next level, don’t underestimate their value. If you’re going to be embracing remote work more frequently or are looking for your leaders of tomorrow; these skills could become essential in the future.

Project Management

As with soft skills, project management skills are going to be invaluable in the world of remote work. Whatever your industry, when workers aren’t all able to work in the same shared space, someone needs to step up and be able to manage projects seamlessly to enable business continuity. As 2020 has initiated a surge in demand for tech products and scaling tech businesses have seen high levels of growth, 2021 is expected to be busy. Avoid losing control by training your team or hiring an expert in project management.

Emotional Intelligence

So many articles this year have told us about the benefits of emotional intelligence in the workplace. We’ve been told that the future of leadership is empathy countless times, and we know that being a sympathetic and supportive employer has enhanced employer brand efforts throughout 2020. The need for emotional intelligence is not going away. Having a high level of emotional intelligence makes for better leaders and managers, a happier and less stressed workforce but also paves the way for diversity and inclusion. There are specific courses to improve emotional intelligence; however, it’s less likely to be a skill that is learned; it’s more a natural ability that should come across in the interview process.

Talent Works is experienced in helping scaling tech companies connect with the brightest tech talent. We understand the skills and qualities businesses should be looking out for to achieve significant growth whilst maintaining their company culture, values and employer brand. If you’d like help sourcing talented individuals for your growing business, contact us to start a conversation with our recruitment experts.

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