You Can Find Digital Skills in Non-IT Functions

May 16, 2022

Contributor: Jordan Turner

To get ahead in a tight labor market, reexamine candidates with diverse backgrounds.

With digital transformation initiatives accelerating for most organizations, competition for digital skills will only intensify.

“The demand for digital skills continues to surge in IT, but the fastest growth is occurring in nontraditional functions like marketing, finance and sales,” says Kenneth Pyle, Senior Director, Advisory at Gartner. “And it’s not just happening in Silicon Valley tech companies but across all industries and regions.”

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According to a Gartner TalentNeuron™ analysis of job postings in the U.S. in 2021, the top five non-IT functions account for nearly 75% of the demand for digital skills: marketing/PR, finance/accounting, sales/business development, science/R&D and engineering/QA. 

“New challenges often require new solutions, but fortunately, the answer is one that talent acquisition has been championing for years: explore adjacent talent. This requires thinking about talent differently and looking at sources you’ve never considered,” says Pyle. “This is a win for both companies and underrepresented groups who have not been given enough attention in the past.”

Download now: Do More With Data to Close Critical Skill Gaps

To ensure you are successfully meeting demand for critical skills needed for digital initiatives, you must broaden your sourcing criteria to include talent with more diverse backgrounds. The data shows there is a sizable pool of digital talent that sits outside of IT.  Consider the following recommendations:

  • Reexamine sourcing criteria for digital talent and include more candidates with non-IT backgrounds.
  • Keep track of internal talent with key digital skills across functions, especially non-IT functions.
  • Use labor market data-backed evidence to raise awareness among hiring managers and leaders about the availability of digital talent with non-IT backgrounds.


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