Sourcing and Retaining Intelligent Automation Talent
We have all heard the stories of the chaos that exists in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley as high-growth technology companies compete for a limited number of talented software engineers. With the steep growth curve for Intelligent Automation, how do you identify and source the talent you need to move from pilot to full-scale implementation, and how do you retain that talent when the project skills your employees will learn are so easily transferable to projects at other companies, either as an employee or a part of a hired consulting team?
With 58% of member companies having teams of 3 to 9 people allocated to developing bots, this issue is expected to grow in importance as companies rapidly move beyond proof of concept to full-scale implementations.
iPollingTM Results Review
Recently a Peeriosity iPollingTM question was created to provide insight into how companies are approaching this very important topic. For even more details, members are encouraged to view the April 11, 2019, PeercastTM recording that featured a panel representing three member companies candidly discussing this issue.
For sourcing talent, the results indicate that 48% are leveraging internal resources and providing them with additional training as needed. Another 24% are using a mix of new hires, either with experience from other companies or direct from universities, and internal resources, with the balance of 28% who report that they haven’t yet started the process of staffing for Intelligent Automation.
To the question of how to retain talent once you have it, 40% are focused on creating challenging and important assignments where Intelligent Automation staff can make a difference, and 10% are evenly split between relying on the company culture and creating financial incentives. The balance of 50% of member companies indicate they don’t have enough experience to know yet, so this issue will likely be fluid as companies gain more hands-on experience with this issue.
Here are some of the comments from responding companies:
- We are still in the early stages of moving our first process with RPA into production.
- IA is very difficult to source in developed markets. We are actively working to establish a captive offshore IA development team in India where there is significantly more available talent. We would then focus high-cost onshore talent on business partnership and process design while pushing config and coding offshore.
- We have not hired developers/consultants ourselves. Most of our projects are given to an outsourced service provider who does the automation as a fixed bid. They bring in all the required participants, including BA, PM, and RPA developers.
- Identifying your high-potential talent that is already on your team and that possesses the aptitude to become your RPA talent will go a very long way in retaining that talent.
- We are providing training, both overview and detailed, and establishing communities of practice. Some individuals gravitate toward this type of work and do very well; others need an understanding of what can be achieved and the possibilities automation offers. We share, via short videos, success stories, and learnings that generate excitement and show that ‘someone like me can embrace intelligent automation to deliver improved business results.
As companies move from proof of concept to full-scale implementations of Intelligent Automation solutions, creating teams of experts who can both guide and staff Intelligent Automation projects are increasingly important. Because the opportunities are so large, these resources are expected to be increasingly in high demand, requiring creativity and attention to ensure teams are properly staffed and funded.
What is the main source of talent for Intelligent Automation staff at your company? If you have started the staffing process, what is your approach to ensuring that staff is retained?
Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?
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