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Tackling the talent crunch with Into Tech

Heather Kernahan

Twenty years ago, I started in the tech industry by accident. I wanted to start my career in a big city (being in Canada at the time, that meant Toronto) and work for a company that was happening and making things happen. I stumbled into a job at a web development company called Caught in the Web and loved it from the first minute. After a year I knew I would be in tech for life. Every day was different and there was so much energy and excitement because we were part of a community building the new, next innovations. Our HR leader at the time talked about the struggle to find talent to bring into the team. It’s twenty years later and as an industry we’re experiencing a new level of talent shortage.  

This was the topic of a recent PRovoke Media podcast on Wooing Talent with Options and Opportunities where Diana Marszalek from PRovoke spoke with Michael Kaye and I about all the opportunities our industry has for fantastic careers. Part of the reason I love being in tech is that there are always problems to solve and this industry-wide challenge is creating new ways of working, new programs and new ideas that will help us all improve.  

One of our solutions for helping expand communications and marketing talent in the industry is Into Tech, a free, on-demand skill building course for marketing and communications professionals who may want to work in the tech sector. The three, 30-minute online modules, taught by respected industry leaders, are designed to provide the skills and insights needed to land a dream job in tech. 

Into Tech is about breaking down the perceived barriers to working in tech so we can broaden and diversify tech marketing and communications. We don’t just need more talent, we need a more diverse workforce that brings in a diversity of thinking, approaches and ideas.  

The tech industry used to be a niche space but now it is in every industry and a key driver of economic growth. A few months ago, the CEO of Gap was at an industry conference telling the audience that they are now a tech company. Major news media outlets like WSJ, Forbes and HBR regularly report that every company is now a tech company. Technology and innovation will continue to be central to business trends for the decades ahead.  

And there’s huge demand for people to tell these exciting stories. The problem is not only the shortage of storytelling talent, it’s also that many communicators and marketers are not comfortable talking tech. And many assume the process of getting comfortable is too difficult or daunting, which is keeping them from pursuing a job in the tech sector.  

At Hotwire, we’re about helping to make the uncomfortable, more comfortable, igniting opportunities and fueling growth—for our clients and our people alike.  

Into Tech is helping to do just that. Since we launched the course in December 2021, I’m thrilled say we had almost 1,100 registrations. Our message cut through, and those who registered are eager to learn what it takes and what it’s like to work in tech.    

We also received feedback from people once they completed the modules. “Insightful, full of valuable information, and very well executed,” said one comms professional who took the course. “I now know I want to do PR in the tech industry or with companies that use tech to benefit their consumers.” 

Another told us: “Great course in learning about the tech industry and how to get into it from a PR/Marketing level. For someone with 20 years of in-house experience in the travel, hospitality, and tourism industry, I have more confidence in making a transition to the tech sector thanks to this course’s tips, insights, and suggested reading materials.” 

This feedback is confirmation that interest in career growth in tech is there and that we need to get this content viewed by more people. That’s why we’ve made the videos available for free, on-demand, and accessible anytime you choose. By making Into Tech easily accessible to anyone and everyone who can benefit from it, we are creating a more diverse and inclusive pipeline for all tech marketing and communications roles That’s a win-win for everyone.    

There are so many interesting career paths and opportunities in the tech PR and Marketing from research and data science roles through to branding and creative campaign development and communications strategy. That’s why we’re going to continue to spread the word about Into Tech and are asking others to do the same.   

I hope that twenty years from now we’re not having the same conversations about building the talent pool for the industry, but we could be. As the most exciting industry on the planet, technology and innovation will continue to be leading how we work and live. Come join us!