The pandemic has significantly influenced the global hiring trends. Skilled talent in the technology industry has the hardest to come by, and the ones that are staying back in the technology roles may not continue for long due to many different reasons. With the lack of hiring pace for skilled talent in the technology space, the hiring managers are looking for new options to fill in the ever-increase vacant job roles. Many organizations that never operated in a full-time remote conditions were forced to suddenly switch to go completely online. When things came back to normal, the business leaders realized what was a make-shift arrangement with full-time remote working suddenly turned into a game-changing proposition in the hiring market. Remote working trends have emerged as a proven trend, and to fight the global shortage of skilled talent in the technology industry, hiring managers are very serious about taking full control of the hiring demands by offering remote opportunities. But, are they successful at doing so far? What are the challenges that they are facing in hiring skilled talent in the technology departments such as IT and networking, Cloud computing, data science, AI and machine learning, gaming, mobile app development and testing, financial technologies, and automation?
We reviewed some of the top-ranking HR Technology companies and workplace-focused research firms to understand the kind of challenges that recruiters face in hiring skilled workforce for their companies. Here’s what we found out.
Shortage of Talent is a Real Threat to the Tech Industry
In an era where we are more likely to hear about AI and Robots taking human jobs, you be rather surprised that we are also talking of shortage of human talent in the same breath. Yes, the lack of talent shortage is a major threat to the present generation of technology companies. If left unchecked, this talent shortage of skilled workforce could cost the industry $8.5 trillion USD in 2030. According to Korn Ferry, talent shortage would also become a norm in countries that currently have a surplus of workforce like China and Russia.
Korn Ferry has observed savviest of organizations are hiring skilled talent straight from the school, taking the onus on themselves to upskill, train and retain talent as part of their ingeniously designed ‘future of work” programs. Some big organizations such as Google and Facebook are even ready to take hiring and training in their own hands and explore newer talent pools like those in Central Asia and Africa to amplify their image and gain more out of their hiring strategies. Countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are exploring partnerships with the technology behemoth Google to train 10 million people from these regions.
Product Market Fit
According to McKinsey, 45 million Americans would lose their jobs to automation by 2030. Despite this heavy job loss, tech workforce continues to overlook the importance of upskilling with new technology specializations and experiences. Modern workforce seemingly fail to understand the industry’s key demands and still hope they will be paid higher than other candidates from a non-technical background.
With the Big Bang phenomenon in startups reach its pinnacle int he tech industry, recruiters feel there is often a challenge with finding a good candidate with the right Product-Market Fit or PMF. It could take 10-15 weeks of working experience in a product-centric role before either the employee or the recruiter is able to decide if the decision met the PMF benchmarks. Dissatisfaction arising out of Product Market misfit could result in poor productivity and increased attrition rates in the technology departments.
Constraints with Affordability within Existing Hiring Budgets
Despite a significant uptick in the size of hiring budgets for tech talent, recruiters feel affordability remains a big challenge in closing the existing vacancies. By taking into account Cost per Hire and Time to Hire, the hiring managers are unable to further expand their budgets beyond their existing limits. While cost is fading away as a major challenge when it comes to hiring for tech talent, it still could be deciding factor for roles based outside of the US with full-time remote working.
Competitors are Sweeping Opportunities
What was taught as part of ethical hiring practice, has now become a full-blown recruitment process. Yes, we are talking about the phenomenon of “poaching” by and from your competitors. It’s like reverse osmosis where talent would flow to a medium or place with higher concentration (of opportunities and benefits). But, with talent war sizzling up the hiring space, companies feel they can no longer prevent their employees from joining competition, no matter what. And, hiring managers feel this is a trend that has blown up during the pandemic and continues to burn hiring budgets.
Thanks to access to employee data in the industry, hiring managers are able to analyze how their recruitment and hiring strategies fare in comparison to their competitors. Recruitment analysis and competitive hiring are critical factors in determining the challenges in hiring for talent in the technology space. While it’s a known fact that geographical footprint of your organization would influence your tech talent hiring strategies, it’s also true that if you have a solid corporate brand and you offer a competitive compensation to employees, you are likely to attract better candidates during the recruitment process. On the contrary, if you lack the pragmatism to deal with the new challenges in the HR world like the Great Resignation, etc, and try and stitch in a make-shift strategy to hire and retain people, your hired people would flock to your competitors.
If you review your annual hiring strategy and include your competitors in the analysis of the job market, you can prevent talent leak to your competitors.
Lack of English Proficiency is a Barrier in Tech Hiring (Mostly Outside US)
HR technology company Revelo has found lack of proficiency in English to be a decisive factor in how tech talent is hired in the US and outside. Outside of the US, proficiency in English could even rank higher than technical and soft skills, in the respective hiring processes. This trend is mostly seen in remote jobs.
Tech jobs could be dominated by non-native English speakers in the near future. However, the lack of English proficiency could deter their chances of getting screened for an interview by a hiring manager if English is a must-have skill. In the new AI-dominated era, hiring managers are looking for tech talent that bring in fluency in hard skills as well as English. According to a pre-COVID report, apart from English, the other dominant languages required to excel in a tech job are French and German. Having an expertise in a second language definitely opens up new regions for hiring in the tech world.
Leaving too much for the Internal Hiring Teams
Companies are leaving too much on the table to do for internal hiring teams. This is pressing the existing hiring managers to continue doing things that actually prevent top talent from joining in major tech roles. When you reach the brightest candidates through a non-company source, you can make a better sourcing with better outcomes. According to Revelo, 61% of the respondents were still relying on internal talent acquisition teams to close remote working positions. Only 44% of the respondents use some kind of self-service job posting platform or hiring solution for sourcing candidates. 12% of the respondents confirmed they use a hiring technology platform to source skilled talent who will work remotely for the technology roles.
Limited Diversity and Scope of Organization Culture Development
Did you know that organizations are spending billions of dollars to boost their DE&I programs? Yet, almost two-thirds of the business leaders (68%) say their diversity programs failed as tech workplaces don’t show the kind of diversity they expected with the budget they s pend on such programs! It’s clear that diversity, inclusion and ethnicity in technology workplace remains a big challenge, and these gaps deter candidates from joining a company with poor show. According to Mercer, tech employers were 1.5x more likely than the all industry average to evaluate the impact of workforce transformation/rightsizing as a way of assessing the impact on DE&I goals.
Tech roles are also taking a toll on mental health.
All these challenges are blocking recruiters from getting great talent at remote workplace.
The best way to move forward with hiring strategies for skilled talent is to rely on a sophisticated AI-based hiring solution. These hiring solutions can handle multiple operations involved during various stages of recruitment, and deliver best-in-class applicant experience as well as good user experience. Technology workforce could benefit from employee wellness platforms and employee-friendly HR processes/policies and culture that spot mental health issues. There are many other benefits of using HR Technology tools for hiring such as real-time talent sourcing, AI-driven employee experience, seamless integration with payrolls and employee benefits systems and remote workplace management. All clubbed into one, HR Technology tools can benefit the whole organization and the industry by bringing best skilled talent to the right place at the right time.