The technology hiring market continues to tighten for employers and recruiters while the talent pool shrinks. In 2021, tech job postings nearly doubled while the average number of applicants shrunk by 25 percent. There are 6.5 times more IT job openings than talent available to fill them while 54 percent of IT leaders feel it’s now more difficult to hire and retain skilled IT staff. What challenges are hiring and technology managers facing in their quest to attract and hire top tech talent?
Heightened demand for IT candidates
As the business world has evolved over the past two years and embraced the technology wave, companies have felt increasing pressures to keep pace. Full-stack engineer job postings increased 312 percent in the year ending April 2021 while demand for front-end engineers increased 184 percent. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, IT has played a crucial role in maintaining stability as organizations embrace a hybrid work model, and security and risk management have become a high-level issue. A series of alarming cybersecurity incidents in the United States has made security and risk management a priority issue for companies and state and federal governments.
As the number and sophistication of security breaches climb, the amount of legislation required to protect consumers has increased. Regulations are expected to become even more complex in 2022 making corporate compliance more burdensome. To meet these requirements, the demand for cyber and information security professionals across all industries will continue to grow while the unemployment rate of cybersecurity professionals is currently around 0.2 percent.
Tech talent shortage
The talent shortage continues to impact every aspect of the tech industry. It’s predicted that by 2030, the global labor skills shortage will reach 4.3 million workers and roughly $450 billion in unrealized output in the technology, media, and telecommunications industry alone. The Gartner, Inc. 2021-2023 Emerging Technology Roadmap for Large Enterprises report cites that 64 percent of IT executives believe that talent shortages are the most significant barrier to the adoption of emerging technology—compared with only 4 percent in 2020.
Increased demands from candidates
Tech professionals know they’re in high demand, have multiple job offers, and can dictate their salary and benefit requirements. It’s important to ensure the compensation package being presented is competitive and attractive. Perks like 401(k) matches (or RRSP matches in Canada), tuition reimbursement programs, childcare stipends, career development opportunities, and other benefits could help convince candidates to choose one organization over another.
Also, companies must think beyond salary and perks and focus on communicating an employer value proposition (EVP) that will tell potential tech talent all of the top reasons to work for them—including the organization’s corporate culture, flexible work options offered, volunteer initiatives, and sustainability practices.
Lengthy hiring process
Because candidates have many interview choices, they will reject organizations that don’t respect their time and effort. When you find a top tech candidate, it’s important that the hiring process moves quickly, and that the employer is ready to make a decision. High-demand candidates will accept a position with a competitor if the recruitment process is not scaled down and the number of interviews minimized and consolidated all into one day.
A rise in freelancers
43 percent of people who are planning to quit their jobs intend to go into entrepreneurship and work for themselves. Skills that were once part of in-house tech positions now need to be found elsewhere. To combat this, organizations will be required to look towards contingent IT workers—such as freelancers or independent contractors—that can help with workload management when there are sudden spikes in demand or a need for specialized skills that are in short supply.
With a widening gap between the supply and demand of qualified workers, candidates will continue to control the labor market for the foreseeable future. Hiring teams must be aware of the challenges they will face in attracting and hiring top tech talent. There’s a finite pool of qualified candidates, demand is skyrocketing, and the path forward is unclear. Consider working with an outsourced IT team—like Lume—who can customize a solution to fit your needs.