We made the call from the start: COVID-19 would spike the need for cloud computing and cloud computing talent. IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker noted an increase in cloud spending with traditional infrastructure taking a dirt nap. The pandemic was the primary driver behind the shift in IT spending, with IDC noting that widespread remote work triggered demand for enterprise cloud-based services.

Of course, that was last quarter. The outlook for the remainder of the year is explosive cloud growth with funding and acceleration of cloud projects underway right now or about to begin. What currently hinders an enterprise’s movement to the cloud is the lack of cloud talent, including architects, security specialists, developers, operations, and secops engineers, to name just a few. 

So, how do you find talent in a seller’s market? Here are a few creative ideas:

  • Take relocation off the table. The days of driving to an office or moving because of a job should be pretty much over. Unless the employee needs to be physically present (and I can’t think of an example when it comes to cloud computing), an employee should be able to work from anywhere with a reliable Internet connection.
  • See who’s laying people off. The pandemic helped some companies, such as online sellers, and hurt others, such as the aviation industry. Companies that have cut staff, including those with cloud skills, should be targeted by recruiters. 
  • Hire to train. Hire someone with IT skills but few or no cloud skills. Provide the training needed to take on a cloud-related role. I like this approach because you need continuous learners anyway in the cloud space, and hiring someone who can quickly learn and adjust is typically more valuable than limiting the hunt to a candidate who already has the right certifications. 
  • Sponsor meet-ups. This may seem old school, but in the days when I had to hire a lot of people and had no budget for recruiters or advertising, I would host meetings for special interest groups in my office. Many of these groups already exist today; you can either start a new group or join an existing one. They are always looking for volunteers to provide meeting space. 

Of course, there are more traditional HR tricks to try. You’ll probably find one or two approaches that work best for your situation. Stick with what works to gather the talent you need. This is a time when the recruiting process can keep an enterprise on track or make it fail fast. 

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