“Niche skill” is the most spoken term in the field of recruitment. All types of organizations(Product\service based) are looking for people with niche skills.

You might have heard/spoken in your client meetings,HR meetings, people with certain skills are not available, what do you think?

I tried searching for the literal meaning “niche”. I found that this word is very peculiar as the meaning changes based on whether it is used as a noun, adjective and verb. In our case, we are using it as an adjective. The meaning is “denotes products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population”. So, Niche skills are the skills where there are limited people with specialized skills. In other words, a strong combination of expertise of skills + experience into that domain with some different skills which are not available in the market easily.

Series of questions that came into my mind are “why are there less people with certain skills?”, “Are people not upskilling themselves ?”, “Are organizations not training the existing workforce in that direction?”,“Are these skills really too tough to get acuinted with?”. I am sure you too had similar questions in your mind. Let me try to give answers to these questions and demystify the term for you.

I feel a skill can become niche based on “demand and supply” terminology. There are enough people with that skill and required experience but these people are not willing to make change. This means,not enough people are available (supply) for the given demand in the market. For e.g. Selenium automation skill is available with a good number of candidates. However, there could be limited candidates willing to change to meet the demand,making the skill niche

Coming to answer the 2nd question, People are upskilling themselves. However, they are not getting enough opportunity to practice with real time projects. In turn, these candidates can not add to supply. Thus, overall candidates available do not increase significantly to meet the required demand.

Talking about organizations, Yes, they are taking steps to train their workforce. However, I feel the organizations which succeed give enough opportunities to employees to work on real time projects after upskilling. This helps to increase the number of candidates available with certain skills. However, by the time this happens, the demand for that skill may drop and the skill becomes a regular/normal skill.

Yes, there are some skills, those are really tough to get acquainted with or to get upskilled with. The reasons could be complexity of the subject or skill. In this era of the 21st century, getting technical material for those will not be an issue. The issue could be enough practice infrastructure might not be available with candidates. Or in some cases, The infrastructure available is for a very limited time. Hence, the skill will always remain niche as we don't have enough people to meet consistent demand.

So, to sum up, skills are not “niche” by default and those become niche on a case to case basis  which I discussed above. If you or your team are struggling to find people which you are looking to have on your team, feel free to reach out to us. Workship will help you to find the right match and be happy to become your extended recruitment team.

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