The Rapid Growth of Data Centers and Overcoming Talent Shortages

6 min

In recent years, the data center market has experienced rapid growth and acceleration, and this is only set to continue with the market projected to reach $342.10billion this year, with the largest area being network infrastructure, expected to reach $203.40billion in market volume. The top locations for data center growth include North Virginia, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Dublin.


Like most industries across the globe, technology advancements and the push for sustainability is something that is prevalent within the data center industry. Data centers are keen to utilise newer and more efficient technology from renewable energy sources to help reduce their carbon footprint, energy consumption and overall running costs. With this, there is a need for businesses to attract talent with the right technical skills to drive this new technology and data forward, alongside having skillsets and knowledge of sustainable processes.


Talent shortages and data center jobs in demand

Over the last couple of years, all industries have faced an ongoing battle for talent across the globe with talent shortages impacting all sectors, the data center market has and is currently experiencing increased demand for talent in many areas and businesses are having to adapt their hiring approach to combat talent shortages. With the impact of an aging demographic expected to retire in the coming years, data center businesses are having to consider alternative ways to attract talent to the industry to ensure there is enough talent to support the rapid growth of the industry, and those professionals and engineers soon to leave the industry.

The data center recruitment team at CSG Talent highlight the top data center jobs in demand in 2023: 


  • Design Engineers
  • Mechanical Design Engineers
  • Electrical Design Engineers
  • Construction Managers
  • HSE Managers
  • Sustainability Leads
  • Data Center Technicians

With these jobs in demand and a shortage of candidates available, organisations need to compete against others in the market by increasing their appeal to potential employees and widen their talent pools across other industries. Businesses are collaborating with colleges and education settings to boost the presence and awareness of potential careers within the data centre industry and to educate on the career paths available and how to access them, alongside other initiatives set up to combat talent shortages.


What initiatives are currently being implemented to address the skill shortage in the data center industry?


We spoke with James Murphy, Director of TechVets, a Programme within the Forces Employment Charity who shared his insights and experiences of the TechVets initiative which is focused on supporting the forces community in obtaining a civilian career path and sourcing talent for both data centers and across wider information technology. TechVets successfully place between 15 and 25 ex-military candidates and military spouses and partners in IT roles monthly, providing them with career opportunities, advice and support throughout the job search process.


With huge growth in data centers and the likes of Google and Microsoft investing in large scale real estate, skills are required at all levels. HR teams within data centers are establishing where they can source talent from and how they can tap into diverse talent pools. This is where TechVets plays the crucial role of introducing veteran talent who are reliable, adaptable and can deliver successful results.


Top skills and traits gained through the military


From an early stage in a military career, there are core traits, values and skills embedded into individuals, many of which add a tremendous amount of value to any role, in any industry post service.

The success in the TechVets initiative is proven in the feedback received from clients who see the value in the transferable skills the forces community can bring to a data center or IT business.


Roles with the greatest transferable success


The forces community have the skills and experience to move into some of the roles outlined below, entering at both mid to senior level dependent on length of service and the area they were in service.


  • Project Managers
  • Engineers
  • Data Specialist
  • Network Engineers
  • IT Support
  • Network Infrastructure
  • Cabling 

The success of this initiative is clear within IT And cyber security with businesses highlighting the value ex forces community are bringing to their business. They are impressed with their ability to learn fast, demonstrate strong team cohesion as well as having effective leadership, accountability and great interpersonal skills. James is seeing more and more industries come forward with the view of tapping into the military talent pool to combat talent shortages across the globe.


What else can data centers do to attract talent in a talent short market? 


Data centers need to spend time evaluating their processes, culture, brand and employee experience to allow them to make positive changes to attract the right talent and focus on a people centric approach to their hiring strategy. Candidates are motivated by flexibility in roles, career progression and personal development opportunities, as well as competitive salaries. Our data center recruitment team at CSG Talent highlight the key areas of focus to ensure businesses attract and retain top talent. 

Offer competitive benefits and salaries


Counteroffers are still prominent and high salary negotiations are playing a big part in a surge in salaries across the retail market.  Salaries, as ever are an important consideration for potential employees when it comes to selecting a new role and a new business, especially with the fierce competition on the market. Conducting salary reviews and benchmarking exercises on an annual basis can help businesses remain competitive.  

Consider the benefits you currently offer employees; do they add value? Conduct research, internal surveys or focus groups to help understand what really matters to your current teams and employees in general. Having this insight will help you to establish the most sought-after benefits that will appeal to both new and existing employees.  

Evaluate your workplace culture


To appeal to potential data center professionals, experienced leaders and top talent with transferable skills that can add value to the data center industry, it’s important to know your culture and work environment, does this align to your values and is it employee centric? 


Hybrid and remote working practices give employees the flexibility to work from home on a global scale. Businesses experience increased engagement, employee morale and business activity as a result. Flexible and remote working is of huge importance to candidates seeking new roles, it creates a healthy balance between work and life and has largely become a priority to many when considering a new role. 


Streamline your recruitment process 

In a candidate driven market, streamlining, and making your recruitment process more effective is crucial to ensure you don’t lose top talent to others within the industry. Create a hiring process that is seamless and reduces your overall time to hire without compromising on the quality and effectiveness of your recruitment goals. Some of the areas of focus should be: 


  • What are your growth plans and what business functions and roles will you need to recruit?
  • Who is involved and responsible for the hiring process and at which stage?
  • What will the recruitment process involve and what will be the duration/format?
  • How will you measure candidate suitability throughout the hiring process? 

Create a diverse and inclusive hiring process 


Having diverse teams and diverse leadership teams is hugely important for both business success and attracting new talent, it can offer a diverse range of ideas and approaches which has a positive impact on the wider business. According to McKinsey, profits and share performance can be close to 50% higher when there is a greater representation of females in leadership roles.  

There is a clear lack of representation for women working within the data center industry, more than three quarters of data center organisations report that there are less than 10% of women that make up the total workforce of their business (Data Center Dynami...