Intelligent Data Centres Issue 45 | Page 21


The data centre skills shortage and how to rectify it

The skills shortage across the data centre space has long been considered one of the biggest challenges for the industry . Adelle Desouza – DCA Advisory Board and Founder HireHigher , offers her best practice advice for taking action to close the skills gap , whilst introducing The Rising Stars
Programme of which The DCA is a supporting force .

When it comes to the talent shortage , the data centre industry needs to transition from talking to taking action . However , there is something preventing the industry from doing so and I can ’ t seem to place my finger on it .

Firstly , I question whether we actually like being a ‘ well-kept secret ’ at an exclusive ‘ invite only ’ party – and whether this boosts our ego ? Or is it the fact that the ‘ old boys network ’ helps to keep our jobs safe ? It ’ s ok to explore this angle , because of course , there is the downside to exposing our industry to the masses . Simple supply and demand economics – maybe it ’ s the fear that with so much talent we will be questioned , compared or worst of all ousted . The cost of living is no joke and while we must help those who seek to get on the ladder , we know and read things like , ‘ In mature data centre markets , such as North America and Western Europe , much of the existing workforce is aging and many professionals expect to retire around the same time , leaving data centres with a shortfall on both headcount and experience ’. Is it really something we can add to our plate ? Our small pool of talent keeps salaries high for those of us who made the right choice all those years ago . We have mortgages to pay , mouths to feed and a career to protect , so on this occasion perhaps a call to arms to fight the war for talent is just one that suits us or our individual needs .
Alternatively , does it fall to the inherent fact that quite frankly it ’ s the role of the HR teams – each of us ‘ like ’, ‘ comment ’ and ‘ share ’ what we choose to on socials but really it comes down to the people and talent team . What will happen when you need to recruit in your own team ? Many employers are not drafting a job description with realistic expectations , whether it ’ s multiple years of experience required for entry-level roles , or at times arbitrary inclusions i . e ., ‘ Degree preferred ’. Our unconscious biases creep in when we draft job descriptions and there is no doubt that our talent teams know better , so if it ’ s solely their role to find a solution to the talent shortage then why do we simultaneously reject their feedback when they tell us the market has changed ? We must amend our expectations when it comes to recruitment . In fact , in the recent Uptime Institute report on the global data centre market , it stated : ‘ The most successful employers in the sector take multiple steps to attract and retain top talent , including revisiting advertised job requirements , implementing training and mentoring programmes and ensuring adequate diversity efforts ’. www . intelligentdatacentres . com