Insourcing: 8 reasons to fill your tech talent pipeline from within

This photo shows a yellow caterpillar with its shadow as a butterfly to signify growth. Insourcing talent gives employees opportunities for transformational growth.

“Insourcing” may be a trending term but the concept isn’t new. Akin to “internal promotions” and “internal transfers,” it refers to selecting from current employees to fill open positions. But organizations today aren’t just focused on moving a customer service representative from one department to another. An increasing number of employers are completely reskilling internal candidates, equipping them for radical career changes. Particularly, they are preparing non-technical employees to move into software development and IT roles.

What’s fueling this insourcing and reskilling trend?

There are eight common motivations for reskilling internal candidates:

1. Solve a tech talent shortage

In many regions, the demand for software developers outpaces the supply. The competition for talent is intense, making it hard to find a pool of applicants. Organizations are looking for innovative ways to fill staffing needs.

2. Create a dependable, predictable talent pipeline

If you know you’re going to need software developers by specific dates for upcoming projects, you can launch a formal insourcing or reskilling initiative so that you have the right skill sets available at the right time.

3. Staff mission-critical projects with invested employees

Internal candidates are a known quantity. You’ve had a chance to assess their work ethic and culture fit, as well as how they communicate and collaborate. They’ve already proven their commitment to your organization’s mission and values.

4. Retain and leverage institutional knowledge

Because current employees have a history with your company, they know things that new hires won’t. They understand the customer, as well as your products and services. And they’re familiar with:

  • Alternative processes
  • Where documentation exists
  • The history of decisions
  • Who to go to with questions
  • What’s been tried, what’s worked and what hasn’t worked
  • Why past projects failed or succeeded

This knowledge can translate to valuable contributions on software teams.

5. Offer a new career option to employees whose roles are phasing out

Some businesses are streamlining workflows and costs by automating functions previously done by employees. Rather than lay off dedicated team members, a growing number of organizations want to provide an attractive new career path for these individuals.

6. Counter competitive threats

It’s hard to stand out when so many companies are hiring. How do you retain top talent when recruiters are contacting them to discuss higher pay or better benefits? Insourcing and reskilling initiatives can be important elements in a retention strategy—a way to differentiate yourself from other employers. For many employees, your investment in their career growth is a powerful motivator to stay aboard.

7. Infuse a software team with deeper domain knowledge

Suppose you’re building a claim software system. A claim processor who has been a long-time end user of claim-related software can bring an important lens to your project. This person understands the workflow, stakeholders and the types of problems that crop up when processing a claim. Imagine having this expertise on your team when you’re eliciting software requirements. This detailed domain knowledge also can help with spotting opportunities and flaws in the architecture and code. And you’ll get priceless input during testing and deployment.

8. Expand a team’s perspective

How do you help a software team gain a “voice of the customer” perspective if they are not in direct contact with customers? Have you considered reskilling a rockstar customer service representative for a software development role? Insourcing provides a great avenue for cross-pollinating teams. Someone from a non-technical background will think about software projects in a different way, which can lead to new ideas for features and functionality. This person can help expand a team’s knowledge and improve the products and services you are providing to your customers.

If you’re interested in exploring insourcing and reskilling in more depth, Pluralsight and DevelopIntelligence recently hosted a webinar on this topic. It’s available without charge in two formats: video and podcast. Also, check out this blog post. If you have additional questions, please reach out.

Image credit: istock.com/wildpixel

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