In 2023, more than 160,000 workers at U.S. tech companies have been laid off. Business owners have implemented hiring freezes due to the economic downturn resulting in fewer unfilled tech positions. Yet, there is still a talent shortage. The number of jobs is outpacing companies’ ability to find, hire, and retain qualified tech workers in many parts of the United States.
The same is true globally, where there is an increased demand for qualified technology talent and a shortage of workers. This spans all IT sectors—from computing infrastructure to security—and affects business growth and organizations’ ability to remain competitive. While most companies want to adopt new tech, the talent shortage affects 64 percent—up from just 4 percent in 2020—of new and emerging technologies. The worldwide labor skills shortage is predicted to reach 4.3 million workers by 2030 and roughly $450 billion in unrealized output in the technology, media, and telecommunications industries alone.
So, what’s contributing to the heightened demand for tech candidates, and how can your organization find the talent you need to grow and remain competitive?
The changing tech hiring landscape
Then in the fall of 2020, tech employers ramped up their hiring to meet increased consumer demand and their need to accelerate their digital transformation programs and take a more strategic and innovative approach to solve problems and create process efficiencies. The Great Resignation generated significant wage discrepancies between new hires and existing employees within tech giants such as Google and Amazon, causing strain within teams and creating a chain of resignations.
In response to the pandemic hiring surge and economic uncertainty, big tech laid off workers at the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. However, these layoffs negated just 10 percent of the jobs created by the same firms. And 79 percent of laid-off tech workers found a new position within three months of starting their search. However, the 2023 tech hiring landscape has changed because available jobs have moved from big tech organizations to small and medium-sized companies and non-profits.
- Related blog from Aleron Group partner Acara Solutions: The Tech Talent War of 2023
Shortage of qualified IT candidates
While the demand for employees with digital skillsets is high, the number of workers that possess the required abilities is low. In fact, 86 percent of technology managers believe finding skilled professionals in software and applications development, technology process automation, and cloud architecture and operations is challenging. The IT field requires years of training, and organizations are struggling to keep pace with the new technology methods and languages that continue to be introduced. There’s been an increased focus on cloud and automation skills. Myke Miller—dean of the Deloitte Cloud Institute—has found that workers with deep cloud engineering and architecture skills in general, and cloud engineering abilities in industrial IoT specifically, are becoming more difficult to find.
Ongoing talent challenges
As the demand for tech talent continues to grow in the months ahead, companies will undoubtedly face challenges in recruiting new candidates. With a widening gap between the supply and demand of qualified workers, organizations must focus not only on their talent attraction efforts but on their retention strategies. Why? Turnover amplifies the skills gaps, creates additional positions to fill, and overworks current employees. What strategies should your organization focus on?
Related E-book from Aleron Group partner TalentRise: 10 Best-Practice Tips to Attract, Recruit, and Retain Strong Tech Teams for Your Startup Business
- Identify your target job candidate: To attract and recruit top tech talent, it’s essential to understand your target job candidate and use your job posting to sell a potential job applicant on your organization and all the benefits that make it a great place to work. What should you focus on? Know how your target candidate typically finds open positions, what motivates them to change jobs, and what they have to gain by working for your organization.
- Create a high-touch candidate experience: A high-touch experience reduces the number of candidates dropping out of the interview process. To facilitate a consistent recruiting process, create a high-touch candidate experience using self-scheduling and video interviewing tools and AI chatbots. Streamline processes by scheduling automated emails, outline the hiring process timeline and expectations, and specify a date, after which the candidate should follow up to check the status.
- Promote flexibility and autonomy: Offering flexible work options impacts 65 percent of tech workers’ decisions to stay at their company. A large percentage of the tech population is comprised of millennials that are looking for perks and incentives that are meaningful to them, such as increased autonomy, flexibility to work when and where they want, and time to work on projects they are passionate about.
- Focus on employee engagement: To effectively engage tech professionals, employ strategies tailored to their needs and ambitions. These include providing challenging projects matching their expertise and encouraging problem-solving and innovation, fostering career growth through advancement paths, mentorship, and skill-building opportunities.
- Skills enhancement: Enhancing the skills and knowledge of employees through upskilling and reskilling initiatives improve staff retention and tech professionals’ capability to advance within your company or transition to fill in-demand roles. Engage in collaborative discussions with employees to identify skill areas of interest that align with company objectives. Determine training needs to address skills gaps and communicate how acquiring new proficiencies can propel workers’ careers. These conversations lay the foundation for offering resources and opportunities, such as internal training programs or technology boot camp stipends, directly benefiting employees and your business.
As new technologies dominate all aspects of our lives, the need for advanced tech talent will only continue to grow. Prospective tech candidates with highly sought-after skills are heavily courted. With heightened competition to secure premier tech talent, traditional recruitment methods are no longer sufficient.
Consider partnering with an RPO provider
Quality tech talent is available—it’s just becoming more difficult to find. A capable RPO program can provide a customized, consultative, and flexible recruitment solution—one that can seamlessly adapt to your organization’s ever-changing tech talent needs. Whether providing front-end sourcing and screening support to an in-house recruiting team or owning full-cycle recruiting for assigned geographies, groups of positions, or business units, your RPO provider can tailor its levels of service to enable maximum scalability. If your company is struggling with finding qualified tech talent, leveraging RPO services can bring value and generate proven results for your organization.
Want to learn more about Broadleaf’s FlexRPO solution? Contact us today.
This blog was written by Aleron Group Director of Enterprise Sales Brandin Austin. Broadleaf is an Aleron Group company.