Never mind the toilet paper shortage. What about Cloud talent shortages?!?

Still, to this day, I never understood why folks hoarded toilet paper during the pandemic and I’ve yet to hear an explanation from any scientist, psychologist, politician, or supply chain expert. Were that many people suddenly going potty more than before? Alas, thankfully we can now regularly find toilet paper in our stores!

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Cloud Technical talent. Pre-COVID demand was at all-time highs and have been exacerbated as companies scramble to find cloud talent to support remote-based workers and pivot or increase more of their operations and sales models online.

There are simply not enough trained and experienced humans on the planet to meet the demand. Unlike our TP scare, there is not a short-term, fix-it answer like cutting down and processing more trees faster. So, what do we do to address the problem?

Every day spent searching — unsuccessfully — for the right talent in a shrinking candidate pool, results in productivity and revenue loss. With demand for cloud talent at all time, and the talent pool as all-time lows, what are C-level executives to do? Hint: Look at your current technology team, there may be undeveloped cloud talent diamonds right under your nose!

The same old hiring practices will not yield results.

The human resources and talent acquisition response to the current environment goes one of two ways as companies grapple with the shallow cloud talent pool. Many invest in internal recruiting teams and increase online job advertising to attract attention and create “gravity” all in an attempt to draw a larger pool of candidates, and, hopefully, find the proverbial “needle in the haystack.” The problem with this model is twofold.

First, most corporate recruiters don’t recruit, or source to find net new candidates from competing companies, but rather “catch and sort” resumes that come inbound from corporate websites and job boards.

Second, if they’re lucky enough to receive a qualified candidate on paper (note the essential distinction between what’s listed on paper versus relevant experience and applicable skills), the recruiter has to be able to sell the company, and more importantly, the position. This task is not easy to do. The best technical talent wants — and has earned the right to — pick and choose which companies and projects are of most interest.

I’m not suggesting companies stop looking. And I’m certainly not suggesting to not use cloud marketing and creative recruiting firms, like Ursus, that specialize in finding cloud talent. What I am suggesting is in addition to the ongoing search, look for alternative methods and programs to fill the creative and technical talent gaps. One solution is to offer training on the job in the form of apprenticeships; that is, providing employees training that is relevant to the work needed by the company or the work the employee aspires to ultimately do within the organization. The benefits include not only filling positions that cannot be found outside of the company as well as employee retention and loyalty and an increase in the company’s bottom line.

Rather than continue to bang our heads against the wall we decided to do something that we believe provides an alternative solution to this problem. Introducing Ursus Certify U! Cloud Apprenticeship! The launch of our apprenticeship program helps our clients develop high-potential technology professionals via a proprietary program that merges hands-on 1:1 training and mentorship combined with self-paced online training, course work, and real-world projects. Certify U! is not a technical Bootcamp designed to cram information down a learner’s throat to simply pass a certification exam. Certify U! is an apprenticeship program designed specifically for talent with a substantial baseline of technology experience and success that are poised to migrate to cloud-based positions within their current employer organization or elsewhere as they advance their careers.