Planning Technical Staffing for a Future Pandemic
The global pandemic that struck in 2020 highlighted clear issues in technical staffing. Many organizations found it difficult to maintain the level of necessary technical staff due to higher demands in certain fields and sick employees.
In this article we examine how to ensure your company is prepared for a future event like that which we have experienced this year.
Your company will have likely done a lot of contingency planning in the past. Your executives have probably strategized about all sorts of scenarios and how to deal with them in a way that will keep your company successful, including disaster recovery measures.
The COVID-19 outbreak has proven that traditional planning does not do enough in the face of a pandemic. You may have struggled to keep your technical staff at necessary levels to meet the demands of your business.
Many technical staffing positions saw their demand rise during the pandemic. For example, according to Vaughn College, cybersecurity engineering job postings surged by 20% during February and March 2020.
In many businesses, technical staffing shortages present clear risks. It becomes more of a struggle to maintain networks and security as well as meet the demands of clients.
When creating a contingency plan for your technical staffing during a pandemic, you should:
- Plan for sick employees and surges in demand based on CDC projections for individual regions
- Look to limit the spread of disease in your workplace environment and keep employees healthy
- Find ways to maintain and stretch your current workforce
- Allocate resources in a rational way to ensure your organization is as productive as possible
Assessing What Is in Demand
To help you plan for a future pandemic, you should examine the current pandemic for an idea of what to expect. During the COVID-19 outbreak, across the United States we have seen a demand for several technical jobs.
Often underestimated ‘blue collar’ jobs such as mechanics and transport technicians are in high demand and have been crucial to the US economy in this time. These jobs often require a high level of skill with fluency in digital engineering and can be difficult to recruit for at short notice.
The demand for technology in engineering surged over the pandemic. This highlighted a large and growing skills gap. However, due to the bright job outlook for the future, we can be optimistic that many young people will enter the field in coming years to help meet demands and make staffing easier in the coming decade.
Invest in Technology to Support Remote Work
A key takeaway from this pandemic is that many technical staffing jobs can be done remotely. Organizations that already had the technology and process in place for remote work found dealing with social distancing and stay-at-home orders much easier than those that did not.
To ensure you are prepared for a future pandemic, now is the time to invest in the technology your staff needs to work successfully from home. This includes software and hardware that your technical staff can use to work and collaborate virtually. It is also a good idea to assess the current bandwidth in their home and perform periodic network testing.
Consulting a Technical Staffing Agency
Even with great contingency planning in place, it is likely that you will need additional technical staffing should a pandemic occur.
With high competition for talent during a pandemic and under the burden of an already overstretched technology capacity, you should consider partnering with a technical staffing agency. They will be able to help by filling your shortfall with quality contractors in short-term roles.
This will save your staff a huge amount of time in hiring, help you to maintain focus, and improve morale in your technical department. You will also benefit from rapid access to pre-screened candidates with the skillset you need.
To Sum Up
No one was expecting a pandemic of this proportion in 2020. Many businesses found the contingencies they had in place were not enough to ensure their technical staffing levels were maintained at the level needed.
By following the above advice, you can create a contingency plan that, in the event of another pandemic or similar event, ensures you are able to meet your staffing needs at all times.
For help recruiting technical staff, contact LoyalSource.