How to Avoid the Crisis of Tech Talent Shortage and Digital Talent Gap?


Currently, tech talents are like water in the desert

Imagine this economic scenario: there are only a few, or worse, no tech talents left to hire. Will businesses still be able to grow? Will companies cease operations if they are unable to meet their demand for tech talents? Will businesses be able to keep up with global digitalisation? Will we even need tech professionals in the future or will some of them be replaced by robots too? 

In today’s post, I’ll be talking about the shortage of tech talent, the widening of the digital talent gap and what you can do to counter them now.

1. Are tech talents in short supply?

According to a report by job site Indeed, it states that Singaporean tech roles face the greatest talent shortages, with a continuous increase in demand for tech talent. 

Top 10 roles with the highest talent shortages: 

High demand, low supply
  1. Software Engineer
  2. Sales Executive
  3. Business Development Manager
  4. Software Architect
  5. Account Manager
  6. Full-Stack Developer
  7. Data Scientist
  8. Marketing Executive
  9. System Engineer
  10. Sales Engineer

2. Reasons to Upskill Yourself

Although the report also states that Singapore’s talent mismatch has decreased from 44 percent in January 2015 to 36 percent in May 2019 (8 per cent), a significant volume of mismatch in the labour market remains. Meaning, there is still an imbalance between job seekers and job postings, partly due to skills mismatch. 

On the bright side, the fall in mismatch indicates that Singapore’s employers and job seekers have and are still actively adapting to the evolving job market.

Why would there be a fall in talent mismatch rate despite the increase in demand and decrease in supply? One of the reasons is that employees are developing more relatable skillsets with the increase in workshops and training options available for them.

“The tech skill training industry has expanded and there is more emphasis on preparing workers quickly. With more and faster training, it makes sense that tech employers are better able to find workers who have the skills they need.”

Joe Kendrick, Forbes – An independent researcher and speaker; Co-author of the SOA Manifesto

However, it is still essential for Singapore professionals, especially in the technology industry, to continuously upskill themselves. The reason is because technology advancement will never diminish, and the nature of jobs are continually shifting. 

Technological advancement may not always be about creating new inventions, but also about improving on our present inventions. To put it simply, the expansion of technology is endless. 

Don’t be left behind

Therefore, for you to…

  • Lower the chance of redundancy
  • Boost your employability prospects
  • Future proof your career
  • Uncover new passions
  • Meet like-minded people

You should really consider what upskilling options are available and relevant to you and the current industry. 

What’s more, by ensuring that your skills are up-to-date and relevant to your prospective roles, you become a more attractive candidate. Thus, easing your job search process.

Wondering how you could increase and improve your skills? Start researching on what courses you can take at Workforce Singapore – SkillsFuture Singapore! Also, we have our very own IoTalents Academy! Get upskilled on data science or digital marketing through our partners’ courses and events. Give yourself a promotion-worthy edge with your increase in skills!

3. Industries That Will Face the Greatest Talent Shortages by 2030

Technology, media, and telecommunications sector are the top 3 sectors that will face a heavy blow from the oncoming talent crunch. By 2030, it is said in a recent research from Korn Ferry Institute that the technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) industries will face a huge deficit of 4.3 million highly skilled workers globally. If you think it is tough to find great talent now, things are only going to get worse. 

A close up of a sign

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Cited from FOW Talent Crunch 2018 – Korn Ferry 

4. Global Race to Attract the Best Tech Talent

Due to significant efforts by most countries in wooing digital experts, digital talents are in high demand. Countries do this so as to remain relevant to the development of the knowledge society and ensure stable economic growth, by building tech hubs in their country.

“Industries such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and big data analytics are referred to as deep technology industries. Together with related businesses, they are the “linchpin for the future economy” Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said.

Due to every country trying to woo such experts so as to remain relevant to the development of the knowledge society and ensure stable economic growth by making their country a tech hub, it resulted in a shortage of tech talent. “Industries such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and big data analytics are referred to as deep technology industries. Together with related businesses, they are the “linchpin for the future economy” Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said.

“These are often people that can marry both technical leadership and commercial acumen, manage larger tech teams in the hundreds and thousands, and are highly valued because they are in short supply,”


Countries such as France and Thailand have already implemented special visa programmes to attract foreign talents to their country.  Singapore joining the race to maintain its competitive edge has also launched the new Tech@SG programme to court the cream of foreign talent with the aim of accelerating Singapore’s innovation agenda. However, only companies that are committed and able to build teams and products in Singapore are able to fulfil the requirements of Tech@SG.

Benefits in complementing local workforce with global talents:

  • Essential for quickly scaling up their operations 
  • Meet the demand for technology professionals from companies here as well as the Government

Although countries are competing to attract foreign tech talents, Mr Chan mentioned that “We will never stop putting Singaporeans at the heart of everything we do and will continue to develop every Singaporean to their fullest potential so that they can fulfil their aspirations and seize opportunities in Singapore and beyond.”.

5. Digital Talent Gap Widening

Cited from Capgemini and LinkedIn joint research report

A global report from Capgemini and LinkedIn joint research reveals that 55% of organisations globally voiced that the digital gap is widening. The report also provides insights on which hard and soft digital skills are most in-demand, relative to the current supply of digital skills.

Key takeaways from the research:

  • The supply of digital talent is much lower than the demand, across multiple industries
  • The digital skill gap will reshape the competitive landscape
  • The talent gap in soft digital skills is more apparent than in hard digital skills
  • Employees are taking skill development into their own hands
Cited from Capgemini and LinkedIn joint research report

What you can do… 

  1. To tackle tech talent shortage in SG (2 views):
    • Lack of requisite specialised skills: 
      • Invest resources and implement programmes to encourage employees to embrace the urgency in upskilling
      • Expose them to digital and tech through education, and potential roles 
    • Lack of digital experience and understanding required but no shortage of applicants:
      • Organise collaborative programme in the industry to raise awareness of the opportunities that are available in the industry and arm them with the right skills
      • Focus on the value of digital employee experience
  2. To narrow the digital talent gap:
    • Understand the relationship between your company’s digital ambitions and what talents want
    • Ask the right questions – What type of digital talent to hire
    • Figure out the mix of digital skills that you need
    • Offer more effective training solutions – Focus on specific areas for improvement
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Be the bridge of digital talent gap

Preparing for the future: Want to be part of the tech hub?

The war for tech talents is getting more competitive with the number of tech talents decreasing yet the demand for them is increasing. Hence to attract tech talents, numerous employee benefits and perks are offered by organisations to attract tech talents, but are they really what tech talents want? Do you know what they want? 

To attract the best digital talent for your business, it is significant for you to understand tech talents’ needs and wants. Find out how you can be more attractive to tech talents by downloading a free Digital Talent Strategy guide by insightful HR Tech companies such as IoTalents.  

Fighting for tech talent but hard to find the RIGHT tech talent? Try IoTalents. You could also ease your pain of sourcing for the right tech talent by simply downloading Jobs007, or passing the tedious task to our HR Concierge.

Cited from Capgemini and LinkedIn joint research report

Based on the global report – “The Digital Talent Gap: Are Companies Doing Enough?”, nearly 60% of employees with digital skills say they are willing to take things into their own hands by investing their own time and money to upskill themselves and remain relevant to the industry. Hence, offering training and development courses and opportunities for existing employees is another alternative which would not only broaden the company’s skill base but increase employees’ satisfaction too.

Honestly, the success of businesses is built on people. As it’s said “You don’t build a business. You build people. And then people build the business.” – Zig Ziglar. Having the right people is the most important factor for long-term success, and talent plays a huge role in it. 

So, what are you waiting for! Find the right digital talents, upskill your employees with the right skill sets and don’t be among the companies that will be left behind. Find out more about how IoTalents achieves this for our clients and beyond. is an integrated platform for online Hirers and IT Workforce (Employees, Contract workers and Virtual Talents) to get intelligently connected and transact. We match companies to awesome talent, through a precise combination of data science and human judgement.