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Upskilling to solve your staffing problem

Upskilling to solve your staffing problem

If your MSP is struggling to hire talented tech people, the solution might be right in front of you.

When you run a company that provides technical help to businesses, you need an abundance of skilled technicians. You need people to staff the help desk, manage projects, analyze security risks, and more. If you hope to grow your business, you will need a bigger and better team.

This simple truth has become an impediment for MSPs – and many tech-heavy businesses.

Because, in the current hiring climate, finding skilled technicians is difficult. Convincing them to join your team is even harder. Even persuading the people already on staff not to jump ship can be tough.

The situation is so dire that a recent McKinsey study described the effort to hire skilled technical people as a formidable challenge. And the situation is unlikely to get better anytime soon, even with all the recent tech layoffs.

“The tech talent crunch is far from over,” said Mbula Schoen, senior analyst at Gartner in a recent Q&A. “Current demand for tech talent greatly outstrips supply, which Gartner expects will be the case until at least 2026.”

If big corporations are struggling, this shortage is hitting your MSP shop even harder. In fact, a report from Barracuda MSP found that the skills gap at MSPs is making it difficult to grow or expand services.

Hiring is only one solution, though. Upskilling your people – and creating a supply chain of skills that starts with your help desk – can help you survive this drought.

Why you need to upskill

Upskilling is faster than hiring, which can involve a lengthy search, expensive bidding wars, shocking salaries, and significant time acclimating a new person.

48% of technologists have considered changing jobs because they aren’t given the opportunity to develop their skills.

Upskilling is also very likely the only way to keep the team you have from jumping ship, leaving you with even bigger staffing challenges. According to a report from Pluralsight, 48% of technologists have considered changing jobs because they aren’t given the opportunity to develop their skills. And 75% said an employer’s willingness to dedicate resources to developing skills would affect their plans to stay with that company.

If you don’t upskill your people, someone else will. And you will be left trying to find new people in a tight market. So, finding a way to grow your team’s abilities is not a feel-good way to be a good employer. It’s essential to your survival.

Time is an obstacle

If you are struggling with a skills gap, though, taking time out of the workday for your team to learn might seem impossible. How can you pull your already stretched people away from necessary work so they can study?

This is a common dilemma for leaders.

Executives, in the Pluralsight study, said budget constraints were the biggest obstacle to upskilling. And for the people doing the work, time was the problem. Everyone is too busy to learn at work. But they work too hard to study after hours.

more than half of technologists

prefer hands-on sandboxes

and video content to classes

Your people might already know how to solve this, though. Execs tend to view learning as something that’s happens in schools, online classes, or offsite training. But Pluralist found that more than half of technologists prefer hands-on sandboxes and video content to classes. They want to keep working, acquiring news skills as they do it.

You could leave your people to find YouTube videos that help them learn as they go. But that’s an unreliable model. The quality of those can be spotty. A better approach is to invest in tools that have high-quality learning embedded in them.

An easy place to start is with project management. This is likely a need in your firm and upskilling someone on your team to do it will give that person skills that are in high demand in the marketplace. Instead of sending a team member to an expensive and time-consuming certification course, use a tool, such as Moovila’s Perfect Project, that teaches project management best practices as you use it.

Pair power skills with our AI

Look for someone on your team who has what the Project Management Institute (PMI) calls power skills. These include the ability to communicate, problem solve, collaborate, and think strategically. Women often possess these soft skills yet are underrepresented in both technology and project management.

Top Four Power Skills Every Project Professional Needs

Those soft skills are gold. Pair them with our skilled PM tool, featuring an AI coach to provide micro-learning modules that can upskill that team member into an effective team and project leader. Perfect Project brings the precision, project management best practices, and a PM coach right to the screen of your high-EQ team member.

Moovila’s in-software training goes beyond the nitty gritty of using the software, teaching core project management skills, and delivering bite sized learning chunks where you need them. It is the perfect environment for learning project management.

Say, for example, you have identified a woman on your help desk who is liked by customers, listens to the team, can motivate staff and calm customers, and who communicates well. Whatever that person’s experience level or technical abilities, consider building that emotional intelligence into a team leader, able to use those skills – and our project planning tools – to tighten your margins, complete projects on time, and build happy customers.

Invite her into a project and step back while she learns to build out the steps, assign tasks to team members, create a critical path toward delivery, estimate a delivery date, and monitor the project as it unfolds.

Perfect Project teaches PM best practices

Perfect Project analyses the project every step of the way. It points out errors and how to fix them, does all the difficult math around creating delivery dates, knows the team’s availability, and autonomously monitors the project 24 hours a day.

It won’t let her make terrible mistakes.

At all times, she can see an RPAX score that indicates the project’s health. It looks at dozens of best practices and processes around project management. If it’s green, the project is healthy and on track. If the score is low (red), she can click on that score to learn what’s wrong. It will take her to the problem, walk her through the best path to fix it, and improve the score as she learns to build a better project. This type of bite sized learning, while your team member works on a real project, builds skills while doing real work. This team member might not be as fast, yet, as an experienced project manager. But she is in your shop right now. She is now more likely to stay in your shop because you are teaching her valuable skills. And as she becomes better at project management, those power skills will help you grow your offerings, deliver projects on time, and improve customer satisfaction.

Learn more about using our AI-powered project management tools to run a smart MSP in our resource center.



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