Subscribe to the Hired Pulse: our newsletter for talent pros like you!

Hiring Tech Talent is Tough. Here’s Why (and What to Do About It)

Hiring Tech Talent is Tough. Here's Why (and What to Do About it)

Pandemics change things. They are the cultural equivalent of an apocalypse, and while we can rebuild and recover, the process of adapting to a whole new landscape can be labor intensive and painful. 

We’re still in the midst of the shifts created by Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdowns. Many of them are showing themselves in labor markets, hiring tools, and overall attitudes towards work. Economic uncertainty over the course of 2023 will only continue to shift the ground under our feet. 

A 98% chance of a global recession in 2023, as reported by Ned Davis Research, has alarmed experts worldwide. Even with continued efforts to control inflation, 90% of CEOs expect to see a significant rise in cost within the next 12 months. Moreover, 50% of HR leaders expect increased talent competition over the next six months.

These trends present challenges for the tech industry’s recruitment and talent acquisition landscape. Despite this, software engineer and developer roles continue to be in demand. 

According to Hired, software engineers received twice the amount of interview requests last year than in 2020. However, reduced hiring will probably continue with the anticipated recession, as well as tech hiring freezes and potential layoffs.

Related: Cost of Vacancy: Making the Case for Hiring During a Downturn

How did tech recruiting become even more challenging?

The technology industry is rife with competition, an overwhelming skills gap, and a shortage of seasoned professionals—a true catch-22 situation. Specific skill set requirements, high demand for developers, and long hiring processes even lead recruiters to lose candidates to competitors.

In a nutshell, things have become complex. Entirely new challenges, along with others that were idling in the background for years, are shifting rapidly into high gear.

1. Remote work sparks a tech boom

With lockdowns and remote work policies, organizations underwent rapid digitization to support work-from-home. Team meetings, organizational development, and everything in between, forced companies to change tech and revamp policies, which increased demand for tech experts as a whole.

Related eBook: How Smart Companies are Solving Post-Lockdown Working (4 New Trends)

2. Tech talent crisis: the skills gap

Technologies like cloud computing, data science, and machine learning—once esoteric and mostly discussed at the university level—are now ubiquitous. The speed with which this tech has delivered results has been geometric, thus creating increased demand. New roles offering great opportunities for people with the right skill sets are multiplying, but those skills are often in short supply. 

Meanwhile, industries and roles that were once mainstream are rapidly becoming obsolete. This is leaving the workforce trained for jobs that either no longer exist or look far different than they did just a few years ago.

Now, as technology evolves to meet these demands, organizations, and jobseekers are struggling to keep up, leaving many tech roles vacant and in need of urgent hire.

3. Shrinking tech talent pools

The skills gap problem is compounded by a limited pool of tech talent. Datapeople’s Tech Hiring report found that while job posts doubled in 2021, the talent pool shrank by 25%. According to a survey by Gartner, Inc, businesses cited the talent shortage as one of the main barriers to emerging tech adoption and modernization. 

In addition, 93% of candidates show a preference for remote or hybrid jobs. While companies are more open to interviewing candidates from different markets, Hired data indicates many still limit their search to two time zones, leading to smaller talent pools and causing searches to fall short in a growing market. 

It’s true that overcoming these challenges will require consistent time and effort. While various strategies help you efficiently hire tech talent, it’s imperative to start with the fundamentals. 

Here’s what you need to know.

Tech talent will prevail

Economic downturn or not, tech is here to stay. The demand for skilled talent will remain heavy across industries as companies adopt new technologies. Keeping an eye on upcoming market changes allows you to maximize your hiring efforts. 

Trends to Watch:

  • Current skills shortages and in-demand skills
  • Popular technologies, tools, and software in use 
  • Industry-specific issues like employee turnover and retention
  • What employers are doing to meet candidate needs and demands 
  • How your competitors attract and retain their talent
  • Where to look for tech candidates
  • Trends in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

Use insights from these trends to develop a robust talent acquisition strategy that allows you to attract your key candidates, stay connected over downtime, and begin onboarding when you are ready.

Related eBook: 10 Things You Can Do to Reach DEI Goals

Keep it coming

Talent sustainability is defined as an organization’s ability to continuously attract, develop, and retain candidates with the skills and qualities required for current and future roles, allowing the company to align business and talent goals as they adapt to a swiftly changing market. 

A sustainable talent strategy ensures that you hire mindfully by evaluating organizational skill gaps and needs, then building a pipeline of qualified candidates as you rise to meet your long-term goals. 

In addition, a talent acquisition process that incorporates core values can help strengthen your employer brand. If you need help in this area, we’ve created resources for both startups and larger enterprise companies.

Always one step ahead

With the surge in digitization, data science, and artificial intelligence (AI), there is a widespread need for tech experts. However, the skills gap has created a scenario where companies struggle to find skilled talent, and employees struggle to learn new skills. 

Throwing in an upcoming recession will significantly impact hiring in the tech industry. All these issues will define the forthcoming talent trends and challenges, which will no doubt lead to limited talent pools and labor shortages.

Related: Need to hire a Cloud Engineer?

If you haven’t already adopted a more vigorous and intentional stance to your talent strategy, we can help you get started.