Perspective

Building your engineering A-team

Venkatesan Vijayaraghavan,

EVP and Global Head – Technology Service Lines

Published: January 4, 2024

Engineering a new solution to the tech talent gap

Top IT talent is in high demand, posing a challenge to businesses seeking to stay competitive. More than three-quarters (77%) of employers report difficulty finding the talent they need, with advanced technology- and data-centric skills being most in-demand. Add the explosive growth of Generative AI to the mix, and a landscape in which there is already an acute shortage of skilled technology workers is set for continued disruption for years to come. Amid that backdrop, organizations need to redefine their approach to talent acquisition and development with AI-assisted engineering.

Enterprises and services firms cannot succeed in today’s digital world without constantly upskilling and reskilling their employees to future-proof the entire organization. Thus, developing a robust talent strategy offers, perhaps, the highest value of all actions firms can take. But all too often, talent analysis stops at the role level rather than probing what skills people possess that may allow them to move across and upward in the organization. A key pillar of workforce planning must focus more on building skills internally over and above external hiring. Enterprises must emphasize a holistic approach that combines technology training, certifications, and hands-on experience.

Engineering a smarter approach to talent strategy

To help customers address this challenge, Virtusa embraced a vision of assembling A-teams of top talent across disciplines faster and more cost-effective than ever before. The result is an innovative talent framework called Engineering IQ. Engineering IQ, or EIQ for short, comprises four pillars:

  • Intelligent candidate selection that helps reduce overhead
  • Personalized learning paths for all tech employees
  • Targeted learning experiences for highly specialized skills
  • Hackathons for hands-on experience on real business problems

These pillars focus on establishing and honing competencies rather than just offering role-based training.

With EIQ, every Virtusan in the program is awarded a single score on a scale called the Capability Index based on technical skills, specialized skills, and total experience. A baseline proficiency level is assigned for each skill. Based on any gaps identified, targeted training modules are offered through a variety of channels. The Capability Index helps identify skill gaps, supports career progression, and aids the ability to configure the right project teams quickly. Whereas a traditional workforce planning approach can drag on for weeks or months, this model can stand up an A-team relatively faster.

Customers know that engineering is as much about people as it is about technology. They see the value of EIQ because it offers a transparent view of the selection process and why specific team members are chosen. All talent-related decisions are based on hard data, not items on a resume or other traditional means. After seeing the results, some Virtusa customers are embracing the EIQ framework. For instance, after we assembled a highly productive team for a UK financial services company, the customer adapted the EIQ framework to power the development needs of their own employees. Another European multinational financial services company was so impressed with EIQ that they engaged us to help them build a similar approach to staff their advanced technology center. 

Evolving with the times

At Virtusa, our Engineering First mindset is about solving problems from the inside out, thinking about the end product right from ideation and precisely executing it. This goes for teams of people as well as technical solutions. Virtusa believes in providing the best learning experience aligned with our clients evolving enterprise needs.

For instance, with generative AI emerging as the next disruptive force in business, we are well ahead in preparing our workforce for this technology better than anybody. We have decades of experience in traditional machine learning and are building out our Gen AI capabilities, from programmers and data scientists to integration leads. Every senior leader has been given access to comprehensive AI training to ensure they understand what’s possible and how to bring the right solutions to solve customer problems.

We firmly believe Virtusa to be a breeding ground for emerging talent destined for c-suite roles. That’s why our Campus to CXO program helps our aspiring professionals evolve from entry-level roles to senior management and on to the C-suite, where they can steer the company towards new heights in the dynamic IT industry. The journey to becoming a CXO demands technical prowess, leadership skills, and adaptability to many situations. We enable this journey with industry-leading approaches such as aggressive training programs, continuous assessments, a career path based on areas of interest, and focused mentoring for developing technical and behavioral skills.

At Virtusa we regularly spark innovation through collaboration and friendly competition.  For instance, we hold regular hackathons in areas like mobile engineering, AI, AIOps, observability, and partner platforms like Pega, ServiceNow, and Salesforce. We also recently kicked off an intense residency program for young, gender-diverse, and digital-ready talent to learn while solving real-world problems for customers.

In summary, by providing a well-rounded view of every employee, developing not just technical prowess but also the core skills needed to be a high-functioning team member, organizations can increase productivity and collaboration, while developing employees to be the leaders of tomorrow.

At Virtusa, we are constantly evolving and reimagining talent development across all levels with the ultimate goal of helping customers transform at speed and scale. Our data-driven approach provides the ideal basis to form well-rounded A-teams that can be quickly onboarded to tackle the toughest business and technology challenges.  

Engineering isn’t an occupation; it’s a mindset.

  At Virtusa, we combine logic, creativity, and curiosity to solve from the inside out. 

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