As tech advances every day, our reliance on its tools and gadgets becomes stronger. From shopping online to ordering groceries, each function needs people to fill the roles behind its infrastructure. Due to this, tech departments are a driving force behind business decisions in most organizations today and are being called upon daily to accommodate the next-best tech advancement that we had to have yesterday! IT no longer works in a vacuum and the challenge is having the right personnel in place to make it all work.
For the past two years, however, while the desire to hire was there, the tech employment landscape told a different story. Mass layoffs, and right-sizing for over-hiring that was the result of a pandemic-induced technology influx stymied tech hiring growth. Yet, the majority of tech leadership surveys, and a low tech unemployment rate, point to a continued demand for tech talent. Without a crystal ball, companies face a conundrum: take the leap and increase tech staff in anticipation of market return; or maintain a wait-and-see approach and risk losing out on access to the skills needed.
This decision-making affects more than just the tech sector. The need for talent grows beyond tech-first companies as non-tech-based industries are scooping up available talent as well, making the competition even harder now. Still, non-tech firms, are only one segment in search of these skills to accelerate innovation; Gartner predicts that worldwide IT spending expected in 2024 will exceed 2023 by 8%, underscoring that tech innovation shows no signs of stopping, a good indication that staffing is necessary to fill the gaps.
Tech Hiring in 2024: Staying in the Game
Now that every company has practically become a ‘tech’ company, open positions for tech jobs can be found all over the US. BLS projects that each year, there will be over 150,00 job openings for software developers, QA analysts and testers over the next decade. And those are just a few titles in the tech field. As new roles are posted, how do you get the applications to roll in?
According to Harvard Business Review, traditional firms should focus their tech hiring on employees who can help them achieve three things: First, transitioning to the remote work world. Next, analyzing and optimizing the customer journey. Finally, using the collection of AI-driven insights to improve sales.
This is good advice, yet one of the most commons frustrations from IT leaders is finding available talent amidst a persistent skills shortage. Since the demand for tech workers is still so high, the onus is on the employer to make candidates want to choose you or your company. This starts with how your organization is perceived and what you deliver. Forbes highlights that we could be still in a “buyer’s market” for tech jobs, meaning specialized talent has the power to pick and choose where they want to work. For employers to win them over it will take more than raising their salary.
Here are some things to highlight during the recruiting process that will make talent choose you:
- Make the recruiting process simple and mobile-driven. Narrow down your talent slate and streamline your points of contact in the recruiting process with trusted recruiters. Liaising with 10+ individuals to find out if a candidate is the right fit will be a deterrent.
- Review your tech stack. If you want to attract a tech-savvy professional, make sure you can offer them the tech tools they need.
- Be upfront during negotiations. Holding the best offer in the back pocket is no longer an option.
- Consider skill crossovers for roles. This is another great way a staffing company can help, as they know the market and the talent pool and can advise on what consultants can bring to the table that might not be so apparent.
- Address the AI elephant in the room. What are your AI plans, how do you plan to implement its usage, what are employee expectations and do you have a clear policy in place?
These are just some simple ways to attract talent instead of chasing it.
There is, however, another side to the pending tech hiring upswing. What to do before the upswing hits. During this period, hiring might be slower and the economy might continue to be uncertain. Use this time to plan for the influx of candidates.
Plan for Tech Hiring Upswing
- Assess current needs and plan for future ones: Evaluate your current workforce and identify any skill gaps or shortages.
- Review Budget and Resources: Understand your budget to determine the financial resources available for hiring.
- Enhance your employer branding: Showcase your company culture, values, and employee success stories on your website and social media.
- Invest in Training and Development: Prepare for the upswing by investing in programs that will upskill and reskill existing employees.
Take a page from the scout playbook, and be prepared! By having a recruiting plan and hiring strategy in place that can be implemented quickly when the market swings will give you an advantage to secure top talent faster.