Digital talent is essential to competitiveness and growth, but our Capital Region continues to face a critical shortage. It is estimated that ~60% of Capital Region tech and tech-adjacent positions will be unfilled by 2025, leaving our region with a serious workforce issue.
What is digital talent? Digital talent is the human capital needed to accelerate and deliver on an organization's digital capabilities and strategy. Almost all companies require digital talent in the form of data scientists, software programmers, cybersecurity professionals, product managers, UX designers, and more. It's not an understatement to say digital talent is critical to our business future.
To identify strategies to help build our region's digital talent pipeline, the Chamber, together with The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Foundation and our knowledge partner, McKinsey & Company, developed an integrated perspective based on input from regional digital technology and talent leaders plus a comprehensive set of sources, including assets, research, and data. We compiled this data into our annual report, "Building the Capital Region’s Digital Talent Pipeline."
Our study found that while organizations are optimistic that they can address talent shortages quickly, they do not have high confidence in their existing strategies. We took this concern to heart and detailed the following recommendations and steps to take for sourcing, hiring, and retaining digital talent within the report:
- Treat talent attraction as a team sport
- Prioritize skills, not just degrees
- Lead with your mission and connect to individual purpose
- Bring rigor to diversity and inclusion
- Treat prospective employees like your customers
- Diversify incentives to retain digital talent
- Improve retention by investing in upskilling
- Move beyond traditional management career paths.