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How employers are combatting data centre skills shortages

Author: Jim Hines

Published date: 2021/10

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Ongoing growth in cloud services means the data centre industry requires 300,000 more staff by 2025 to keep up with demand.

However, skills shortages brought on by a retiring workforce, and a lack of young people entering the sector has placed pressure on industry leaders to take action and get creative to maintain their current workforce and expand the future talent pool.

In this blog as data centre recruitment experts, we look at some of the approaches and initiatives today’s employers are taking to help combat data centre skills shortages and continue the industry’s growth trajectory.


Looking outside

Our previous blog discussed the value of transferable skills for professionals looking to embark on a data centre career. Today’s employers understand that to add new workers to the industry, they must entice people from other sectors rather than wait for active talent to become available or rely on poaching talent from competitors.

It’s led to organisations rethinking their selection criteria for candidates and adjusting requirements and qualifications to help broaden the talent pool. For example, some no longer demand specific data centre experience but experience working in a similar environment instead.

A good exercise for data centre employers is to strip back role requirements to identify the core skill sets and look to other industries for correlations. Can the same skills required for data centre engineers be found in engineering professionals from alternative sectors, like aviation, energy or the military?

Selling the benefits 

To encourage professionals from outside the sector to move to a data centre environment, employers need to communicate real-world examples of life in the industry and promote some of the benefits data centre careers offer. Candidates want to know:

  • The most in-demand skills

  • What a typical day looks like

  • How customer relationships work

  • What the chain of command looks like

  • The career development opportunities available to them 

  • How much they can expect to be paid.

Developing a careers website/page to include video content, blogs and interviews with professionals at all levels within the data centre will provide prospective candidates with an insight into what it’s like to work at your organisation.

When it comes to remuneration, speak to your recruitment partner to determine the average going rates for data centre roles in your area to make sure you are pitching your positions at the right level.

Attracting diverse talent

Data centres have been predominantly white male-dominated for some time. This lack of gender and race diversity means organisations miss out on a broad pool of untapped talent as well as fresh perspectives on strategy and decision-making.

It has seen many organisations pay closer attention to developing their diversity strategies and employer branding in a bid to secure diverse talent. Revisiting the wording of job descriptions to remove any male-biased language, implementing mentoring schemes, offering flexible working hours and parental benefits, and promoting a culture of equality are just some of the ways forward-thinking data centre employers are opening their doors to diverse talent.


Partnering with a specialist 

A reputable data centre recruitment expert will have established and active talent pipelines that employers can tap into whenever needed. Well-versed in the sector’s skills shortages, a specialist recruiter will have already invested time in identifying candidates with transferable skills from other fields and earmarked them as potential data centre professionals.

PRS has an expansive pool of data centre-ready talent, and we place a broad range of permanent and interim professionals, including:

  • Technical Shift Managers

  • Critical Facilities Data Centre Technicians

  • Data Centre Managers (M&E)

  • Assistant Data Centre Managers

  • Critical Facilities Managers

  • Data Centre HV shift Engineers

  • Data Centre HV Shift Leaders

  • Mechanical Days HVAC Engineers

  • Energy and Efficiency Managers

  • Client Success Managers

  • Project Managers             

  • Client Delivery Managers

  • Data Centre Cluster Managers

  • BMS – Controls Engineers

If you’re looking to secure skilled professionals for your data centre, get in touch with the experts at PRS. Call us on 0207 553 5660 or email us at info@prsjobs.com.