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Four Reasons You Aren’t Finding the Tech Talent You Need

Organizations across industries are facing a perfect storm when it comes to hiring and retaining tech talent. 

The unemployment rate for tech jobs has dipped to historic lows of less than 2%. At the same time, tech job postings were up almost 50% year-over-year. And, over the next decade, CompTIA projects tech jobs to grow at a pace of nearly twice the national jobs rate. According to their recent survey of almost 600 HR and workforce learning professionals, almost 75% of respondents expect the time to fill open tech positions to increase over the next year. 

Add to this the fact that the pandemic forced many organizations to enable employees to work remotely virtually overnight. Many challenges accompanied this sudden shift, including educating children at home, dealing with persistent threats to public health, and managing shifting policies and procedures. However, it did shine a light on the fact that flexible and remote work is possible and, for many workers, preferable. In fact, when people have the chance to work flexibly, 87% take it. 

Underpinning all of this is a rapid move to invest in technology and automation. In PwC’s 2022 CEO survey, more than half of respondents said they include digitization and automation goals in their long-term corporate strategy. Almost a quarter say tech outcomes are included in their personal annual bonus or long-term incentive plan. 

The pressure is on to hire tech talent, and the stakes are high. Below are the top four obstacles preventing you from finding the best tech talent in today’s market, and key considerations for tackling them.

  1. Understanding the market

Through the first seven months of 2022, U.S. companies listed almost 50% more tech positions than they did during the same period the previous year. With tech jobs in such high demand, the war to hire tech talent has never been so intense. Candidates have so many options, and employers need to understand the reality of the market. Employees don’t just want the right salary range, benefits, and flexibility. They also seek purpose and personal value, with 52% of employees saying the pandemic left them questioning the purpose of their day to day job.

Now is the time to ask yourself: 

  • How are you treating your talent?
  • Are they empowered to drive projects and initiatives forward? 
  • How do you motivate them? 
  • Is your organization built on trust? Or, do you micromanage employees every step of the way? 
  • Are you delivering on what you promised them when you recruited them? Or, is the day-to-day more of a choreographed fire drill? 

Make sure you have a compelling employee value proposition. In other words, why should a candidate come work with you versus going to Amazon, Facebook, or Marriott? 

  1. Keeping up with the pace of hiring

When you are ready to hire, you need to be ready to extend an offer at lightning speed: within 72 hours at most. 

If you’re working with a talent acquisition partner, be realistic about your timing. Do not engage unless you really have the resources to bring in talent now. For example, are your hiring managers available to interview? Or, are you in peak holiday season, such as between Thanksgiving and New Year’s in the United States, when interviewing managers might be out on extended vacations? 

Keeping candidates warm is a thing of the past. Employment opportunities abound and talent is in short supply. They won’t wait weeks (or, in some cases, days), to endure a cumbersome recruiting process. Instead, they’ll accept a job that meets their professional and personal needs. 

  1. Underutilization of tech skills after hired 

Too often, organizations change job requirements after tech strategists are hired. 

Companies have a vision of an ideal candidate without a realistic view of what their current needs are. They might include specific skills, certifications, and experience in the job requisition, and ultimately secure a candidate with those skills. However, once on the job, reality sets in and this over-qualified expert is left doing more basic work than they were promised.

What’s the result? A highly valued consultant who might be getting paid correctly, but whose skills are underutilized. This is a major issue in the fast-paced world of technology, where tech experts are concerned about losing their edge. The risk for the employers is twofold: losing talent, who will go to an organization that will utilize their skills; and damaging corporate reputation due to less than ideal employee and consultant reviews on Glassdoor and other sites.

Once you’ve decided you need to hire tech talent, be sure you know what skills are really required to do the job. For example, do you really need a blue chip software developer or A-player network engineer? 

And, once talent has started, ask them, “Are you utilizing your tech skills? Are you satisfying the day-to-day expectations?” This should be done within the first month after hire to ensure retention.

  1. Lack of planning/forecasting 

Sometimes, the day-to-day is so intense that an organization or department doesn’t feel like it has to time to step away, take a breath, and plan for the future.

However, organizations that look at their budgets and forecast talent needs accordingly will always come out ahead. If you’re looking for talent after you realize you need them, it’s too late. 

There will always be fire drills in tech, but they should be the exception, not the rule. 

Talent acquisition teamwork for the win

While all these obstacles might seem daunting, there is a solution. A strategic talent acquisition partner can help you identify what projects are coming down the pike, match your business objectives with local market analytics, and ensure you have a plan in place to meet tech staffing requirements.

Before delving into problem solving, consider a business partner who will help you to understand your tech priorities and then counsel you on the best way to go about getting the talent required to meet your goals.  
Reach out to learn more.