Cloud computing has never been more popular than it is today. Nearly every firm is embracing digital transformation, and as many as 90 percent of companies are currently on the cloud in some way.

But as cloud computing gains popularity and becomes a business imperative, that means companies are scrambling to find the cloud-savvy talent they need. But where do you look, and how do you know whether a candidate is really right for your company? You want to hire someone knowledgeable and passionate, someone who will give their all — not someone who just jumped on the cloud bandwagon because they saw the opportunity to gain a hefty paycheck.

While the competition is definitely fierce, there is one highly effective way to source cloud talent: Look internally first.

Consider Your Current Team

No doubt your team already contains a plethora of skilled workers with a wide range of talents. Even if none of your employees have been formally educated in cloud technology, they may very well have what it takes to embrace the cloud with the right training.

This strategy has a couple of benefits right off the bat: Not only does it ensure that anyone you hire will be a good fit — because your candidate pool is your pool of existing employees — but it also prevents you from having to fight it out in an uncertain talent market, where many other organizations would be after the same candidates.

Perhaps it’s time to start training your own employees in a field that can only benefit your company’s future. Many cloud computing specialists do most of their learning on the job rather than at school, so this is a perfect opportunity to give a boost to those employees who show real potential.

As an added bonus, offering additional training is a great way to improve employee engagement and retention. Investing in upskilling is also typically cheaper than hiring a brand new employee, so hiring cloud talent from within can also be a significant cost-saver.

Upskill and Retrain

Upskilling has long been recognized as a great way to close skills gaps in an organization, but what exactly should upskilling look like in the context of your company?

That’s a tough question to answer, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching cloud skills. However, one bit of advice does apply to every organization’s efforts: Be sure to invest in the right learning and development tools. That’s especially important if you don’t have anyone on staff who can act as a cloud mentor for your employees.

The right learning and development platform can help you cater to different learning speeds and styles, as well as help you gain insights into how each employee is performing in the training. These insights not only help you keep employees on track, but they can also help you identify which of your employees are really taking to the training — and therefore best suited for your cloud roles.

Not a Tech Company? You Still Need Cloud Talent

Now, if your organization doesn’t operate in the IT space, you may be wondering what all of this has to do with you. The answer: Everything.

Digital transformation is key to improving the future of any firm, regardless of whether it operates in IT, email marketing, VoIP, or any other field you can possibly think of. Making sure that your current employees know the ins and outs of the cloud can help guarantee your organization’s success in an increasingly volatile economy.

Think of it like this: Just a few years ago, coding was considered to only be relevant to trained IT professionals. Today, children as young as six are taught how to code in schools, and nearly every organization in every field has programmers on staff or a trusted outsourced provider of coding skills. Cloud technology will follow a similar pattern, so it makes sense to get out ahead of the curve, regardless of your industry.

When it comes to recruiting and hiring top-tier cloud talent for your company, you don’t have to wander into an already crowded talent market. Instead, your best bet is to start by looking at your existing staff members. Chances are you have at least one person who could quickly learn the ropes and become your go-to cloud expert.

With so many organizations now relying on cloud computing, it’s important you don’t fall behind the competition. Start upskilling your employees today to prepare your company for a digital future.

Sam O’Brien is the director of digital and growth for EMEA at RingCentral.

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