For hiring managers, recruiters, tech leaders

Hiring Tech Talent Now: A Comprehensive Guide

Best practices and beyond

The tech industry has increasingly become a driving force for economic progress. So, hiring tech talent has become both more vital and more challenging. With technology constantly evolving, businesses need tech talent to innovate and adapt.

Navigating the state of tech talent hiring presents a distinct set of challenges. There is a shortage of skilled applicants, but it’s also intensely competitive. Many businesses struggle with identifying the right skills for their needs and finding people who have them. As technology changes, so does the required expertise. This means businesses must constantly reassess the skills they need and adapt their talent search.

Today’s top tech talent typically seeks more than just a good salary. They are often drawn to challenging work, meaningful projects, and growth opportunities. So when it comes to hiring tech talent, businesses must be strategic.

Related: Hired Releases 2023 State of Software Engineers Report 

As the tech talent hiring process continues to be fine-tuned, businesses must stay ahead of the curve. They should understand market trends, adapt hiring strategies, and focus on retention. Hiring tech talent is challenging, but with the right strategies in place, businesses can secure the best candidates.

Related: Recruiting Tech Talent: What You Need to Know

What is the demand for tech talent?

With digital transformation, the need for tech talent is more critical than ever. A study revealed the tech workforce will grow twice as fast as the overall US workforce in the next ten years. So what exactly has shaped this demand for tech talent?

Digital transformation

Businesses are racing to adopt cutting-edge technologies. This surge in digital transformation fuels the demand for tech talent across various domains.

The rise of remote work

The global shift toward remote work allowed companies to tap into a global talent pool. Organizations are actively seeking tech pros who can contribute from anywhere. This trend has broadened the talent pool and intensified competition for skilled individuals.

Tech innovation and disruption

Innovation is the heartbeat of the tech industry. Startups and established companies are in a constant race to stay ahead. This race fuels a continuous demand for tech talent. They want people who bring fresh perspectives to disrupt traditional business models.

Cybersecurity imperative

With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, organizations are prioritizing cybersecurity. This has led to a surge in demand for experts who can:

  • Safeguard digital assets
  • Develop robust security measures
  • Respond to cyber incidents

AI and data science boom

Artificial intelligence and data science are experiencing a boom. As businesses harness the power of AI and data, there is a growing need for professionals in:

  • Machine learning,
  • Data analysis, and
  • AI development.

Skill shortage challenges

While the demand for tech talent is soaring, there is a simultaneous challenge of skill shortages. Technological advancements often outpace education on the latest skills. This creates a competitive environment. Companies are vying for a limited pool of highly skilled individuals.

The ongoing tech talent shortage and its impact on hiring

The ongoing tech talent shortage is a pressing issue. After the layoffs of late ‘22 and early ‘23, employers were bombarded with inbound applicants. This spread downsized recruitment teams even thinner. 

Related: Too Many Inbound Job Applicants But Not Enough Qualified Ones? 8 Tactics to Solve It 

Quality of hire emerged as a key metric as teams waded through unqualified inbound candidates while increasing the number of candidates in the interview process. We surveyed 250+ employers and found that 68% of companies say they’re interviewing more candidates per role today compared to a year ago.

The causes of the talent shortage are primarily:

  • A deficit in the number of graduates in STEM fields
  • The rapid proliferation of new technologies outpacing the workforce’s ability to keep up
  • A lack of diversity within tech

This implies a drastic impact on the process of hiring tech talent. Recruiters face a fiercely competitive market. Organizations must rethink their recruitment strategies to bridge the gap. 

This may include investing in training, fostering diversity, and embracing remote and flexible working conditions. Not addressing this key issue holds potential repercussions. That may be inflated salaries due to competition, overburdened staff, and hindered company growth.

The rise of remote hiring in the tech talent industry

The evolution of the tech talent industry has seen an upward trend in the concept of remote hiring. This scenario aptly captures the rise of remote hiring in the tech talent industry.

Companies are recognizing that location is not a limit for hiring tech talent. Hiring tech talent remotely introduces organizations to a wider, more diverse range of candidates. Remote work also promises cost savings, as firms avoid the expense of office space.

Evaluating tech talent salary trends

A thorough understanding of tech talent salary trends helps attract and retain skilled tech pros. It can help form competitive compensation packages, drive negotiation strategies, and differentiate an organization’s employment offer from others. 

The surge in remote work has played a transformative role in how tech talent is compensated. It’s a shift away from location-focused pay scales to more skills-based salary packaging. Businesses can offer competitive compensation based on expertise, irrespective of geographical location. 

Use our Salary Calculator based on real-time data from our tech recruitment platform to research current salaries. See also our comprehensive research study, The Tech Hiring Tightrope: Hired’s 2023 State of Tech Salaries.

How to hire tech talent best practices

Define your needs

  • Clearly outline the skills and qualifications required for the role.
  • Specify the level of experience and expertise needed.

Create a detailed job description

  • Communicate the responsibilities, expectations, and benefits of the position.
  • Highlight the opportunities for career growth within your organization.
  • Be mindful of biased language in your description (and any communication you have with candidates). Our partner Textio is an expert at helping companies with this and many other DEI initiatives.

Use a digital recruiting platform 

  • Hired offers instant access to highly experienced tech candidates, vetted for experience and skills and matched to salary, benefits, and visa status. More than that, employers have a dedicated Customer Success Manager to help them and provide data as they navigate the tech recruitment process.  

Networking builds pipeline

  • Attend tech conferences, meetups, and events to network with potential candidates.
  • Encourage your current employees to refer qualified candidates.

Evaluate portfolios and resumes

  • Look for candidates with relevant experience and a strong portfolio showcasing their work.
  • To be more efficient, integrate your ATS with your tech recruitment platform. Hired customers who do so have a 46% better placement rate than those who don’t.

Leverage tech skills assessments

  • Conduct technical assessments or interviews to test the candidate’s skills.
  • Consider coding challenges or practical exercises to gauge hands-on abilities. Coding challenge campaigns also help companies source candidates with hard to find skills, in new markets, or simply to build pipeline. See how Hired helps employers of all sizes accomplish goals with coding challenges and virtual recruiting events.

Strive for cultural add over ‘culture fit’

  • Assess how well candidates align with your company culture. A ‘culture fit’ is fine when we’re talking about values or an organization’s mission. Just be careful about leaning too hard on employee networks and referrals. Homogenous networks quickly erode your DEI goals.
  • Consider soft skills, communication, and teamwork.

One Medical, a hybrid provider of primary health care in the US, embraces transparency and authenticity when recruiting tech talent.

“We take the same human-centric approach with our patients as we do with our employees and candidates,” says Senior Director of Corporate and Technical Talent Talent Acquisition John Beard. “It’s always about the people. It’s our biggest competitive advantage.”

Offer competitive compensation

  • Research industry standards to offer competitive salaries and benefits.
  • Consider more perks like flexible schedules or remote work options.

Related: 2023 Survey Results: Top 3 Benefits Ranked by Engineers (Besides Salary) 

Provide growth opportunities

  • Emphasize opportunities for learning and career development within your organization.

Related: How to Nuture Innovation, Strengthen Retention (Use Professional Development)

Streamline the hiring process

  • Avoid lengthy and complex hiring processes to prevent losing qualified candidates.
  • Communicate with candidates about the timeline and next steps.

Stay updated on industry trends

  • Keep abreast of the latest technologies and trends in the tech industry.
  • Be open to hiring candidates with a willingness to adapt and learn.

“I always look for candidates who are ‘hungry’ for knowledge,” says Hired CTO Dave Walters. “I’ve hired and I work with a lot of technical people, but they’re all curious. They’re problem solvers who want to understand how things work, while asking questions and thinking through new and creative solutions.”

Join community groups and attend industry events. Hired hosts panel discussions with industry leaders and a podcast, Talk Talent to Me. Check out upcoming events and watch past ones on-demand.

Build a positive employer brand

  • Showcase your company’s positive work culture and commitment to employee growth.
  • Encourage current employees to share their positive experiences online.
  • Host a virtual candidate event showcasing your tech team. Many companies are great employers but not on tech workers’ radar. See how Chase, Bark, and Wayfair used events to empower recruitment.

Related eBook: 8 Ways to Hire Faster & Build a Better Employer Brand.

Need to hire tech candidates including software engineers, engineering managers, devops, product managers, data analysts, or UX designers?

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