Advancing digitization is a challenge for companies: if you want to successfully master the digital transformation , you need digital talent. A deficiency, on the other hand, hinders the company’s own transformation processes, causing companies to lose their competitive advantage.

Read how companies can close the digital talent gap without replacing the entire workforce.

The digital talent gap is widening

Almost a third of Germans feel overwhelmed by digitization and are little or not at all interested in the new developments. This is the result of the new study by the D21 initiative , which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics. The Germans were able to increase the “D21 Digital Index” from 51 to 53 points (maximum value: 100), which means that they are more digital overall than ever before. Nevertheless, the digitization of German companies is still progressing very slowly.

One reason could be the lack of digital talent in companies. Because while outdated technologies are increasingly being exchanged for new ones in the age of Work 4.0 , there is a lack of sufficient training and further education opportunities for the company’s own staff. The digital talent gap, i.e. the gap between the need for and the supply of digital knowledge, is widening. But how are employees supposed to help shape the digital transformation of companies if they lack the necessary digital skills and know-how? Closing the digital gap is one of the biggest challenges for companies in 2018. 

More and more employees (48 percent) are therefore investing their own time and money in developing digital skills . The digital talent gap is analyzed by the management consultancy  Capgemini in cooperation with the professional network LinkedIn in the study “ The digital talent gap ”. Globally, 55 percent of decision-makers speak of a growing talent gap. Germany is right on average. The gap is most noticeable in the United States at 70 percent. 54 percent of the companies surveyed also admitted that this hinders the company’s own digital transformation processes and that they lose their competitive advantage as a result.

Although the growing digital divide is being talked about in Germany (60 percent), little is being done to bridge it. In fact, 52 percent of the study participants observe that more and more budgets are being saved with the training offers . It is therefore not surprising that more than half (55 percent) of the “digitally savvy” surveyed would even willingly switch to a company with better educational offers on the subject of digitization.

How can companies close the digital talent gap?

Yes, it is a mammoth task that companies face in the age of digital transformation . You have to make your own staff fit for the digital future. And at the same time attracting and retaining new talent as an attractive employer , e.g. B. Digital Natives . A digital talent strategy is therefore already one of the basic requirements for companies to be part of the fight for digital talent. Regardless of whether the employees are already working in the company or whether future employees are being recruited. Capgemini defines important steps to close the digital talent gap in companies:

A digital talent strategy is fundamental

  • Develop a clear strategy to work together to close the gap between demand and supply of digital talent
  • Stakeholders are managing directors, HR decision-makers, a Learning & Development (L&D) team and existing digital talent

Companies have to be attractive

  • The leadership role is also changing as a result of increasing digitization. Be sure to consider the company’s talent strategy and the individual needs of digital talent
  • Rethink and rethink your recruiting approach and pursue multiple recruiting strategies. Your question should be where to find the talent (eg, hackathons, universities, and acqui-hiring at startups ), not what talent they are looking for

employee retention

  • Enable flexible and collaborative work . Open office concepts and the exchange with colleagues are among the criteria for choosing an employer for Digital Talents
  • Understand digitally savvy employees as drivers of the digital revolution and offer them the opportunity to initiate and promote digital change processes in the company

career development

  • Create a company culture that revolves around learning and development . Because digital talents attach great importance to constant further development
  • Define concrete career development measures for this purpose . Companies should e.g. B. Reward them for developing new skills and acquiring new knowledge

How companies develop digital talent

Using the example of the “pacesetters” by Capgemini:

The management consultancy Capgemini has identified so-called “pacesetters”. This refers to a small group of companies that use certain strategies and tactics to effectively close the digital talent gap (“The digital talent gap” study: page 22). They share a number of traits in terms of how they develop, attract and retain talent. The “pacesetters” do not necessarily reinvent employee retention and recruiting. But they focus differently. They are also supported by a leadership team that understands the unique needs of digital talent. That’s what matters:

  • The companies offer individual and joint offers for training, education and skills development (Pacesetters: 91%. All other companies: 64%)
  • The learning and development models (L&D) have been revised and are used to train digital talent (pacesetters: 84%. All other companies: 67%)
  • Working in a virtual environment is supported and encouraged; e.g. B. with the help of current technology and the appropriate software (pacesetters: 80%. All other companies: 64%)
  • Employees receive financial or non-monetary benefits when acquiring new digital skills
  • The best digital talents are identified using community platforms such as Github , Stackoverflow etc. (Pacesetters: 71%. All other companies: 58%)
  • Recruiting specialists are used for specific areas in order to find more suitable talent (pacesetters: 67%. All other companies: 56%)

You might also be interested in:


If you want to remain competitive with a company in the long term, there is no way around digital skills and knowledge in your own company . And thus in the training and further education of digital talents. However, companies that look at the constantly changing market will quickly realize that being a pioneer is no guarantee of remaining a pioneer . If you want to take the step into the competitiveness of the digital future, you should above all create a corporate culture that supports, promotes and demands the constant further development of skills and the acquisition of knowledge . This is the only way companies can participate in the battle for digital talent.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.