two employees in the telecommunications workforce

Future-Proofing Your Communications Workforce: Key Staffing Strategies

Like many industries that rely on technology, the communications industry is undergoing a period of rapid change. The shift is being driven by the rise of 5G and AI coupled with an almost universal transition to cloud computing and growing virtualization of communications. These changes mean that the needs of the communications workforce are radically different than they were even 10 to 15 years ago.

Telecommunications staffing strategies must adapt quickly to the new industry environment as well as forecast and prepare for future needs that will arise. In order to future-proof your telecommunications workforce, it is essential to learn these new strategies and implement them, before further changes can occur.

Understanding the Changing Landscape

The communication industry looks radically different than it did 15 years ago. Consider the following major shifts in technology and innovation that have occurred in that time:

5G networks have made it possible to do nearly anything on a smartphone that can be done on a tablet or computer, and has also brought phone and internet service to many rural areas that did not have it before. IoT (the internet of things) has been largely enhanced and made possible by 5G.

Cloud computing has become common for most businesses as a move from dedicated servers on site. Its younger brother edge computing has evolved to move data centers closer to the origination point to avoid straining resources by moving large amounts of data across the global internet.

Data Analytics have led to greater efficiency and more knowledge of what services clients and customers want as well as how they want to receive them. Having data and knowing how to use it are no longer optional, and communications staffing must take this into account.

AI has taken the massive amount of available data and used it to automate systems such as live chat and recommendations, optimizing networks and even preventive maintenance. There will be much more development of AI in the coming years. 

These are not minor shifts in the way the telecommunications industry operates; they are major changes and require entirely new skills requirements and job roles, in many cases. A network technician becomes a network engineer, a customer support specialist upskills to a data analyst, or a sales manager takes on many different responsibilities. These are all adaptations to these new realities.

Identifying Key Skills for the Future

Some of the skills needed in telecommunications roles will be the same. There will always be a need for adaptability, technical expertise, and soft skills such as communication, emotional intelligence, and team leadership.

Here are some key emerging skills needed in telecommunications roles today.

  • New programming languages like Python, Amazon Web Services, Docker, Git, react.js, and HTML5 to foster interaction between systems and keep up with the latest iterations
  • 5G and Cloud computing knowledge at a deep level, including virtualization skills
  • Juniper switches and network slicing to increase functionality of networks and make them more effective
  • Data mining and analysis–it isn’t enough to have a large amount of data, staff must know how to use it effectively
  • Deep learning and predictive analysis to see what’s coming and adapt to it before competitors can
  • Cybersecurity skills to defend and protect data and systems from attacks and breaches
  • Open stack and open API skills to better integrate with IoT and a variety of systems that need to work together
training employees in the telecommunications industry

Strategic Recruitment Approaches

Recruiting for communications IT staffing is difficult enough, but future-proofing a telecommunications workforce requires using innovative recruitment strategies to attract top talent. Developing your employer brand can help to attract top talent to your reputation, and mentoring local college students can help your company identify soon-to-be graduates and interns with the skills you need.

Data-driven methods can predict a candidate’s future success and help weed out those whose skills are out of date. In addition, social media should be leveraged in talent acquisition efforts because of its reach and accessibility. 

Emphasizing Continuous Learning and Development

Finding staff with all of the skills needed may be difficult since some of the needs have not even materialized, but this is where continuous learning and development comes in. If your company can provide skills training to fill in some of the inevitable gaps, you will not only get more qualified personnel, but more loyal staff who will not be as likely to leave after a short period of time. 

Partnering with colleges and other higher learning institutions can be another way to ensure that your staff get the education and gain the skills they need to succeed in today’s telecommunications environment. Some colleges are now able to do this virtually if there are no appropriate options in your local area. 

Even in a remote environment, online training modules and webinars can be used to provide training in new skills needed to adapt to changing conditions. New technologies are not just for systems and clients, but can also be used for upskilling and filling skills gaps.

Fostering a Culture of Innovation

Another way to attract top talent is to create an environment that encourages creativity and experimentation. This kind of atmosphere is attractive to top talent and also helps with skill development as it unfolds. 

Having an open atmosphere that encourages collaboration and knowledge-sharing among team members is another attractive recruiting tool, and also leads naturally to new skill development and innovation.


Your company’s future may depend on future-proofing your communications workforce, ensuring that workers have the needed skills and can adapt to changes yet to come. 

Telecommunications recruitment needs investment in new strategies and workforce development to keep on the forefront of industry advancements. 
GDH offers workforce solutions made easy.

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