Leadership, the alignment of the IT area with the business model and the empowerment of employees were pointed out as keys at the second CIO Council, held on February 22.
Most companies are facing a global IT Talent Acquisition Crisis, increased as a result of the pandemic, with an increase in investments in digital transformation that goes hand in hand with the scarcity of technological profiles in the labor market. This means that many positions in the IT areas remain unfilled, which makes it increasingly important to be able to attract and retain talent in organizations.
This was the initial idea of the second edition of the CIO Council, organized by AUSIA and AUSAPE on February 22, this time with the “Challenges in IT talent management” as the main theme. How to deal with this shortage of talent, knowing the characteristics that make an organization attractive to candidates and the key factors for retaining employees, was the main objective of the debate.
CIO Council, organized by AUSIA and AUSAPE, had as its main theme the “Challenges in IT talent management”
The meeting, presented and moderated by Joan Torres, president and international member of AUSAPE and CIO of TransGourmet Ibérica, was attended by a group of top-tier CIOs and technology managers, representing companies associated with different groups of SAP users in Latin America. For ASUG Argentina, Gabriel Gil, IT Manager at the Andreani logistics group, participated. From ASUG Colombia, Elena María Jaramillo, leader of Innovation and New Technologies at Servicios Nutresa, which belongs to the leading company in processed foods in Colombia, intervened; while Rubén Recalde, IT Director and CIO at the food products production and distribution company Pronaca, represented ASUG Ecuador.
The CIO Council was divided into a first part of a round table discussion, followed by a second part of questions from the attendees. In the discussion, participating IT managers first shared their experiences and the main challenges they face in attracting and retaining talent.
In this sense, Gabriel Gil advocated being actively involved in both attraction and retention, by the IT and Human Resources departments. In the attraction, Andreani works a lot on the company’s techie brand, a leader in the logistics sector. In retention, he tries to offer benefits in aspects such as conciliation and, above all, encourage the entrepreneurial gene of his team and have high-level technology leaders.
For her part, Elena Jaramillo pointed out that it is more critical for her company to retain talent and stressed that leaders must exercise personalized leadership over their team. This should include managers and focus on retaining not all employees, but key collaborators. To do this, Nutresa is committed to creating its own IT culture within the organization, identifying core knowledge and skills, developing talent and working on the collaborator experience. From Pronaca, Rubén Recalde influenced the socioeconomic environment in which the people who belong to the company operate. For Recalde, once talent is attracted, the challenge is to retain it by knowing the motivations of the collaborators, taking into account their specialization and empowering them by giving them control over their projects.
How has the pandemic affected?
Regarding the impact of the pandemic on the human landscape of the IT sector, Jaramillo explained that in Colombia the pandemic was faced with an economic recovery initiative, in which he participated
your company with the Futuro Nutresa Program, aimed at recently graduated professionals without work experience. “It is evident that the pandemic changed the way we work, with remote work, flexi-work, digital nomadism, work by objectives… There, leaders must be aware that they can carry out their role without having people by their side; it is important to change the leadership style and lead remotely,” she commented. In addition, he highlighted the rise in the salaries of IT experts and the need to strengthen the bonds of camaraderie. Gabriel Gil also spoke about the home office, which has opened up the labor market beyond the country itself, “a paradigm shift that is here to stay”. For this reason, Gil believes, this home office must be offered as a bonus for retention.
Rubén Recalde assured that the IT areas do know what kind of talent they need. Or what types: the one that is developing and the one that is executing business projects. The first has independence as its main motivation and the second wants more empowerment and decision-making. “The big challenge for IT is identifying those types of talent,” he said.
Speaking of the search for internal talent, Gabriel Gil considered it very important, not only to cover this personnel deficit, but also to integrate technology with the business. Something that in his company is giving very good results. Jaramillo agreed on the importance of internal talent, who knows the company well, but pointed out the barriers of technical knowledge and the use of data, as well as the lack of habit when it comes to experimenting and making prototypes. Recalde, for his part, recommended attracting these people to the IT area by offering them that they are not going to program but to model the business.
To conclude, Gil opined that, to some extent, IT departments feel differently about managing talent. “We have some peculiarities that the context helps us to enhance”, he explained, but without forgetting that “the company’s strategy and the IT culture must go hand in hand”. Recalde agreed that this alignment is vital, for which it is useful to take advantage of the similarities of points of view with other departments such as production: “Every time we are getting more involved in the company’s culture.” Jaramillo pointed out that the IT areas are promoting the culture of innovation in a scenario of digital transformation of organizations, “but we still need more support from the Human Resources areas.”
In the second part of the CIO Council, some of the 70 attendees raised issues such as the usefulness of reorganizing the IT area to make it more attractive, how to reduce or manage the turnover rate, hiring and retention actions for profiles over 50 years of age, restrictions on recruiting talent from other countries and the challenge of incorporating female talent. “It is not so much the gap between men and women that exists in the Technology area, as the glass ceilings that women put on for the family, the children…” Elena Jaramillo concluded.
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