AV Hiring is Tough: Look Within For Necessary IT Skills

*Originally published on CommercialIntegrator.com

A new report from Gartner suggests that companies should look within for new required skills as organizations change.

The events of the last 12 months have taught AV professionals one important lesson: the convergence of IT and AV is relentless and inevitable.

Unified communication and collaboration, AV-over-IP and remote work – all of which we became very familiar with in 2020 – are accelerating that trend. Now, it’s up to AV pros, integration firms and the rest of the industry to meet that change head on or risk being left behind.

With still a good chunk of AV professionals unemployed, it would behoove them to learn some IT skills that are becoming increasingly relevant in their chosen profession. At the same time, integration firms that are unable to hire due to the pandemic should look within to add more IT capabilities to their company.

Although not AV-specific, research firm Gartner hit on this idea in a recent report that found 58% of the workforce will need new skill sets to do their jobs successfully.

Rather than look at talent acquisition to staff workers with the skills and knowledge necessary, the report instead suggests that companies look at current employees with skills that are closely matched to those in demand. Then, training and education can help fill those gaps.

The report recommends following these steps:

Collect information on current employee skill sets. This gives company leaders visibility into those secondary and tertiary skills, which can help organizations focus on where to invest in learning and training.

Prioritize skills adjacencies. Once you understand what those adjacent skills are, now is the time to begin building upon them and utilizing them to help grow your business. Encourage your employees to take IT training courses and complete certifications.

Encourage career progression. As IT becomes more important to your job, traditional career paths in the audiovisual world will also change. As more IT skills permeate the industry, roles and requirements for career advancement will need to be flexible.