skip to Main Content

How to Build Your Digital Talent

digital Talent - JUMP
Author : Rich Bowers
Building Digital Talent Better

What we are seeing across industries today is a war for talent. Organizations are vying to hire the best people using attractive packages, flexible work schedules and remote working. But while they may be winning some battles, they are losing the war – and wars are costly.  Wages for digital skills have increased exponentially, attrition is at an all-time high, and organizations are running over their budgets. In this chaotic labor market, how do you ramp up your workforce to keep pace with accelerated digital transformation?

The Harvard Business Review found the fundamental distinction between companies filling their digital talent needs easily and those struggling to do so is not better compensation or even training opportunities. It’s the willingness to go beyond conventional practices of recruiting from the best schools and poaching from competitors. Instead, they hire people who can develop the skills they need and then incentivize them to do so. There lies the solution – to build rather than buy. Leading organizations understand the importance of people and culture. If they can invest in building their products and platforms, then why not also invest in building their workforce?

A new hiring trend, commonly known as Hire-Train-Deploy (HTD), is fast emerging as a quick, effective solution for building digital talent. It encompasses the merits of direct hiring, internal university programs, and contingent labor. It is fast and cost effective. It also targets specific roles, requires minimal upfront costs or commitment and provides control over the talent pipeline, including the incorporation of diversity goals.

Here’s how it works. First, talent firms hire high-potential (HiPOs) talent with typically 0-3 years of experience. Second,

the HiPOs are put through an immersive custom talent development program. It equips them with platform, professional and domain skills, as well as initial experience needed for targeted roles. Third, clients initially absorb them as contractors before converting them into full-time employees (think ‘Lease and Buy’)

While the HTD model is witnessing significant growth and success, it is not a panacea for all your talent-related woes. Rather, it must be implemented the right way and in the right places. Here are some key elements on how to make it successful:

Building Digital Talent Better

Consult relevant stakeholders

This is perhaps the most critical element. Involve the team leads under whom the resources will work directly since they will play a critical role in building your organization’s talent.

Know what to expect
Your HTD partner should set the right expectations for you and your teams. It is important to understand the candidate’s persona, the screening process, the curriculum, the assessments framework, the graduation criteria, and the proof of quality. These factors will help you visualize the right solution for your hiring requirements.

Understand its long-term value

Too often, line managers take short-term or tactical hiring decisions only to struggle for talent the following year. This model is not for critical roles where project deliverables are required within the next two to four weeks. It is important to understand its long-term value.

Invest time and effort

Just like building anything else, implementing an HTD solution requires the investment of time and effort from your team. New recruits need to be nurtured and your HTD partner should guide you through this process.

Consider your recruit’s career progression
Resources coming through an HTD program are conditioned to learn fast. They should be on a continuous learning path to accelerate their progression to a mid-tier level and to keep them in sync with your evolving technology environment.


An HTD solution can reduce your costs by 15 to 20 percent. What do these savings translate to when you adopt this as a ‘talent strategy’ across your enterprise? That’s how you win the war for talent.

Back To Top