For most businesses and IT hiring managers, the struggle to find and hire tech talent has been a hard one for a long time. Has it gotten harder? Impossible? That’s the question our team at Medix Technology get most everyday from talent acquisition leaders who certainly feel like it’s harder. Our answer? Yes, in many ways we have hit a new level of tech recruitment difficulty, and it’s driving a new era of recruitment and employment creativity.
Here is both evidence of the increasing challenge and insights on what businesses can do to.
Rock-Bottom Tech Unemployment: 1.7%
In January of 2022, tech unemployment fell to 1.7 percent according to the CompTIA’s analysis of Department of Labor data. Since August of 2021 to March of 2022, IT unemployment has bounced from 1.5 to 2.5 percent, extremely low rates that underscore how few active candidates are out there for employers to engage. When unemployment is this low, passive and gainfully employed professionals become the main target, which raises the stakes. Right now, it simply takes more hustle, time and extras (money, benefits, perks, etc.) to win talent away from a steady job.
Retirees Are Returning. Tom Brady Is Only One of Them
While Tom Brady’s return to work is the most famous un-retirement move of the year so far, he is not alone. The highest number of retirees since the pandemic returned to work in February of 2022 according to Indeed’s Hiring Lab. With gas prices and grocery bills going up, inflation is one reason some retirees are coming back.
Another reason, especially in tech, is the excellent wages skilled professionals can earn. For example, web developers saw wages rise by an average of 23 percent last year. As for other roles? Medix Technology has seen technology pay rates bump up between 20 to 30 percent across most skill categories. Better pay is bringing seasoned talent back, which is good news for employers who can compete. Some businesses are even tapping into alumni talent pools to find retirees and other boomerang talent to bring back in short-term or consulting roles.
If You’re Inflexible, You’re Not Hiring
With white-hot demand for talent, employers must listen to what job seekers want or they won’t be able to compete. What is the most common ask among candidates? Flexibility. Future Forum research highlighted in the Wall Street Journal found that, “95 percent of people surveyed want flexible hours, compared with 78 percent of workers who want location flexibility.” Employers that are beginning to require full returns to work from their tech talent know that they are at a recruiting disadvantage.
Here’s where the news is good for some tech employers. Smaller and younger businesses, for the first time, can really compete with some of the bigger players if they are willing to offer the kind of flexibility the behemoths won’t.
Employees Are Only Half In (or Half Out)
One of the biggest challenges of recruitment, and retention for that matter, is loyalty. It’s running thin. SIA reported that, “more than half of US workers, 53 percent, are open to leaving their employers, according to a survey by WTW (Willis Towers Watson).” With a majority of talent on the prowl, recruiters, hiring managers, and HR leaders are competing for the talent they have and want to keep as much as they are competing for new hires. That dual battle alone underscores how challenging recruiting has become; this is all heightened at the tech level where the demand and opportunity feel almost uncapped.
Profiles Remain Too Narrow
As our recent infographic on job posting mistakes explains, job profiles can often drive candidates away rather than reel them in. Long lists of requirements, such as a four-year degree or three-to-five years’ prior experience in a specific programming language, are decadent asks in the marketplace today and rarely a true must-have. Plenty of highly qualified technologists have two-year degrees or a combination of certifications and on-the-job experience that make them prime candidates for hiring and nurturing.
Emphasizing old-school requirements in an always evolving digital world does make recruitment harder and slow for all. With some thoughtful adjustments that widen the opportunity gate, businesses will see their candidate inflow rise and their hiring improve.
The Bottom Line
Tech recruitment has increased in challenge and complexity, but hope is not lost. Embracing flexibility and open-mindedness to candidates with non-traditional paths, businesses can find tech talent. It does take more precision and speed to make good hires, but that can be an advantage. Organizations that can make hiring moves quickly will win when it comes to talent, and that bias for action will spill over into their drive to innovate and compete.
Are you looking for the tech talent needed to keep up with project demand? Contact Medix Technology to learn how we can positively impact your recruitment strategies and project timelines.