Software eats the world, and Covid-19 accelerates that. Businesses now realize even more that digital transformation is key to survival and growth. In order to move the journey of traditional interaction with existing customers onto the mobile app and web platform, a business is required to think and act like a tech company.
Tech initiatives need one or more squads of product owners, backend/frontend/mobile programmers, UI/UX designers, business analysts, and quality assurance testers. Many businesses are already aware of the theory of agile, which enables faster delivery with greater quality.
However, completing the agile team is a challenge. The tech talent shortage is still true, even in the midst of the pandemic. So how should businesses solve the tech capacity and capability issues?
Through more than a decade of experience, we come up with what we call the W tech talent framework, which is a set of four complementary methods, described below.
- Academy + Farm.
You set up your own academy with a custom curriculum that fits your tech stack. Instead of competitive and time-consuming headhunting effort, you can ‘farm’ fresh graduates from scratch. We’ve seen many cases of young people with no IT background can pass rigorous programming tests after 2-3 months of intensive training. This method is a blue ocean in terms of talent sourcing.
You want the assistance from third-party professionals to do the selection, hiring, training, payroll, office space provisioning, and project supervisory, but you also want the option to hire some of the team members to become your employees in the future. This method reduces your initial risks while providing you with future flexibility.
- In-house + Extended.
You set up a dedicated center for software engineering within your premise, and perform recruitment to fill in positions. The personnel can be your fulltime employees, freelancers, or even outsourced team from third-party companies. This method requires strong screening and filtering of candidates, the good onboarding process for any new hire, and an experienced product manager.
- Offsite + Managed.
You set up an offsite center in an area where competition for talent is less fierce (thus more pool, lower wage). This center can be established by your own company or can be owned and operated by third-party companies (eg. co-working space), but still dedicated for you complete with modern communication facilities. This method can consist of your own employees and third-party personnel within the offsite center.
When businesses talk about tech talents, those are mostly geared towards consumer-facing applications, whose goals are to sustain market share or grab a new growth. However, tech talents are also increasingly needed to customize or build back-office applications, whose objectives are to enable Work-From-Home, improve productivity, and increase efficiency.
Be clear of your end goals to come up with the right mix of methods of the W framework. You can choose to do this entirely on your own, or with assistance from my company. Good luck!