Great talent is always harder to source than the average candidate. For tech roles, the added complexity often makes this even more difficult. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a comprehensive change in tech employment.
For example, workers tend to prioritize flexibility over the nature of their employment (e.g., contract to hire vs. direct hire). Similarly, compensation and benefits now typically rank above workplace aesthetic and employer brand. These changes are now actively triggering a talent shortage for tech roles in particular.
Learn why this is happening, and how businesses can tackle this shortage.
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Understanding Tech Talent Shortages and Overcoming Them
Amid unprecedented and large-scale changes in candidate behavior and workplace conventions, employers need to adjust accordingly. Otherwise, they may run into serious hiring problems that will only accentuate skill/talent gaps. This blog explores the key reasons behind tech hiring shortages and how businesses can attempt to overcome them. Read on to discover more:
Significant Drivers Behind the Talent Shortage
A talent shortage is of great concern to the business world. Businesses need to be able to meet key talent gaps or remedy skills needs as soon as they appear. Proactive businesses plan ahead, looking to hire in the broader context of continuity and business sustainability. Unfortunately, all of this planning falls short if a business is unable to source high-quality workers. Here are some key shifts in candidate behavior that could be driving this shortage:
Flexible Working Hours Are Expected
The biggest problem with talent shortage occurs when businesses remain firmly entrenched in conventional workplace structures. Most business policies, such as those designed to conduct performance reviews or workplace investigations, are designed for conventional workplaces.
Understandably, employers still remain hesitant to offer remote or hybrid working models across the board, but most tech candidates still expect flexible working hours and/or working formats. Businesses that don’t offer these benefits will find it harder to source high-quality talent.
Monetary Benefits Hold More Appeal
An employer’s brand, the scope of work, and the workplace itself were, until recently, important factors that influenced a candidate’s employment decision. These still hold value, as most people would prefer to work for a recognized and established business, but among candidates, the direct monetary compensation and benefits now take precedence.
Having seen firsthand how the economic impact and the sharp increase in inflation can quickly blunt financial stability, all workers, including tech talent, focus more on the monetary aspect than the qualitative appeal of an employer.
For example, the increased health risks lowering workplace safety have prompted a greater demand for health insurance and other health benefits. An offer would seem far less appealing today without these direct benefits.
Mobility and Higher Turnover Rates
Nearly every business needs skilled tech professionals in its workforce. The increasing prevalence of digital commerce, remote working, and workplace technology has created a pressing need for tech roles like development, quality control, digital security, and maintenance.
Even traditionally non-tech functions, such as the mortgage industry, have a pressing need for such talent. A mortgage staffing agency now routinely engages with Fintech or infosec candidates as well as core operational talent.
As more businesses need these key roles filled, the competition over tech talent pools has intensified. Likewise, candidates are aware of this increased demand for their skills; this, in turn, has increased tech talent mobility. Tech professionals can and do simply choose a better offer, which in turn promotes high resignation and turnover rates.
3 Key Ways to Overcome Tech Talent Shortages
The tech talent shortage can prove a critical juncture for most businesses. On one hand, it is harder than ever to source, hire, and onboard the necessary talent. On the other hand, it is also more important than ever to do so efficiently and with greater hiring success. Therefore, recruiters and workforce managers need to tackle this problem head-on and attempt to overcome it.
The approach may, of course, be specific to each business or its hiring needs/goals. However, these tips may help workforce managers and hiring teams achieve greater success in tech hiring and onboarding:
Offer Better Compensation and Benefits
A business can leverage workforce mobility among tech professionals in the same way competing businesses would. Simply put, offering competitive pay and benefits structures can make an offer seem more appealing than a candidate’s current pay. The increased focus on pay and monetary benefits will work just as well for one business as another when targeting tech talent.
Create Upskilling/Reskilling Programs
Sourcing new tech talent locally can be complicated. A business may not have the funds to offer market-competitive compensation for tech. Or they may remain unable to onboard the kind of candidate they want despite offering attractive compensation plans. But there are still avenues to meet pressing skill gaps or potential ones that may emerge later.
Strategic upskilling or reskilling programs can help businesses create tech skills among existing workers instead of trying to acquire these skills (and workers) externally. Not only is this more efficient, but it also builds on existing employee loyalty. Therefore, the turnover probability can be far lower for an upskilled existing worker than for a newly acquired one.
Increase Focus on Retention
Even if a business manages to onboard the right tech talent, it is still only half the battle. It can be just as challenging to retain valuable talent as it is to overcome it. Businesses with key tech skill gaps need to do whatever is necessary to retain a valuable tech worker. Otherwise, not only do they lose a worker staffing an important role, but they also have to go through the effort of replacing them during a talent shortage.