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Tech Hiring Trends to Understand

Hiring for open tech roles? Keep these tech hiring trends in mind to attract top talent and retain your most qualified employees.

By Mara Calvello  •   December 23, 2022  •   7 min read

Hiring and retaining talented and highly trained employees is always challenging, especially in tech and engineering. The economy can change on a dime, so it’s crucial that your company’s engineering and talent leaders know what’s trending in tech and how to find top talent for any open role.

Let’s break it down!

What are the current hiring trends in the tech industry? 

If your organization is within the tech industry, keep your eye on these nine trends as you go about hiring new talent.

1Shift towards more flexible work 

One key trend that tech recruiters need to keep in mind is the shift towards more flexible work. During the hiring process, ensure that the qualified candidates being interviewed know your company strives for flexibility by offering remote working opportunities, hybrid work, and flexible hours.

If a candidate is between an open role at your organization and one at a competitor’s, the opportunity to work remotely and choose the hours that work best for them may be what pushes them to accept your offer over theirs.

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2Employee gender gap

Another trend to keep front and center during the recruitment process is the employee gender gap. This gap actually widens as the seniority level of a job rises, meaning there are often more men working in top engineering and tech roles. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that women may face obstacles in tech, especially as they climb the corporate ladder, considering tech is still seen as a male-dominated industry. 

Recruiters should keep this in mind as they hire for top tech roles from outside candidates, but also when hiring internally. 

3Better representation in the tech industry 

As an industry, tech needs to focus on hiring practices that reach all types of demographics. While employers have worked to improve the representation of women in tech, applicant pools are still predominantly male. 

In addition to focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s a good idea to use hiring technology that can remove unconscious bias when going through applications for roles, especially senior leadership openings within tech sectors. You can start improving diversity in tech recruitment strategies by offering equal pay, sourcing and interviewing diverse talent, and ensuring strict anti-harassment policies are a part of the company culture.

Additionally, opening up roles to a remote workforce can help achieve better representation, but remote working is only the first step. 

4Smaller companies accounting for the majority of tech job growth

Gone are the days when Silicon Valley was the only top location for tech roles. The tech industry has shifted away from these major corporations in massive cities; instead, smaller companies account for the majority of tech job growth. 

This trend is likely also thanks to the shift to remote work, as the top talent in engineering and other tech roles don’t have to live in these “trendy” tech cities, but can instead be anywhere in the world. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, smaller cities like Virginia Beach, VA; Madison, WI; and Durham, NC are all making waves in terms of tech job growth. 

5Tech labor shortage 

Tech has always been an industry in which labor shortages happen. Whether it’s due to a high turnover rate or a variety of stiff competitors that are also hiring, companies in tech often experience this shortage. And now the latest tech trend is the great resignation, which is inspiring workers across all industries to reassess what they really want out of their careers. 

From techs going back to school to switching industries and even transitioning to freelance work, there are many factors that play a part in this unique hiring trend.

6Steady demand for tech jobs

Another emerging trend is the steady demand for tech jobs. This demand can also translate to more competition for top talent and candidates holding out for the perfect role with the benefits they desire most.

7Emerging jobs in the tech industry

In addition to the steady demand for jobs, there are new emerging roles, thanks to up-and-coming technology. For example, a new digital banking platform creates new jobs that require new skills, such as software quality analysts, developers, customer success managers, etc. Recruiters need to stay on top of these newer roles, the skills candidates need to excel in them, and the questions that should be asked during the interview process.

8High demand for tech experts

Several types of tech roles are in high demand, but the experts most sought after include DevOps engineers, software developers, solutions architects, and program leads. Engineering and talent leaders should tailor the interview process in specific ways when hiring for these roles, as you don’t want to let qualified candidates for these roles pass by.

9Demand for tech applicants with cloud certification

Cloud computing is necessary at almost every tech company, so tech applicants with cloud certifications are extremely sought-after individuals. Cloud technology adoption will only accelerate further, so having employees who know how to work with the cloud will always be a valuable asset for IT departments.

Some common cloud certifications are:

  • AWS Solutions Architect—Associate certification
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
  • IBM Certified Technical Advocate
  • Google Associate Cloud Engineer

How to acquire top tech talent

As your company makes the necessary moves to acquire top tech talent, keep these seven tips in mind throughout the recruitment process.

1Hire diverse skills

Thanks to the great resignation, many companies in tech have been struggling to fill open positions. But if your business wants to remain agile, recruiters and hiring managers need to seek out candidates with diverse experiences and varying levels of skills. 

2Invest in a hybrid workplace

Another way to acquire top tech talent is to invest in a hybrid workplace. Whether employees want to come into the office, work entirely from home, or do a combination of both, let them choose! This flexibility means that your recruiters can hire the best of the best from anywhere in the world while employees can revel in an improved work-life balance.

There’s also money saved on both ends. Employees don’t have to spend on travel costs or on a new work wardrobe. And employers can save on the energy bill needed at the office and can even save on rent in some cases by leasing a smaller office.

3Provide cross-training 

When your organization hires candidates with diverse skill sets, this can also translate to more opportunities to provide cross-training. Not only does this mean your company can save money on hiring new employees, but your current employees will also have the opportunity to expand their skill sets and grow within the organization. 

4Offer career growth opportunities

As candidates go through the interview process, a top question on their minds usually centers around the growth opportunities a company may present. Because while they’re likely excited about the open role, they’re likely to also be thinking a few steps ahead, wondering what else your company may be able to bring to the table in terms of their career.

While yes, you want to recruit the best programmers and engineers, nurture this talent to help them be the best they can be in the industry. It’s a key element to make working for your tech company as compelling as possible, ensuring candidates know it’s not just about this open role but their future, too. Having opportunities for growth established within an organization can be another factor that sets a business apart.

5Conduct a qualifying skills test

The best tech recruiters know that a strong resume, a well-written cover letter, and an engaging interview don’t always guarantee a great hire. Because of this, it’s becoming incredibly popular to base hiring decisions on technical assessments and qualified skills tests.

These tests can showcase a candidate’s proficiency in certain software or technology they’ll be required to use once hired. This information can help recruiters evaluate whether a candidate has the right skills and allows recruiters to follow up these tests with additional questions if needed.

In addition to the qualified skills test, your company can also ask a candidate to take:

  • Integrity tests
  • Cognitive ability tests
  • Personality tests
  • Emotional intelligence tests

6Be strategic about your hiring process

It’s in every company’s best interest to have a hiring process that adequately reflects its needs. So, engineering and talent leaders need to build a structured interview process around the job criteria so interviewees can be appropriately evaluated while using tools like an applicant tracking system to make the process seamless. There’s a difference between looking for the best engineer on the market and looking for the engineer best suited for your company, the team, and the open role.

7Avoid prolonging the hiring process 

No one likes a hiring cycle that goes on for weeks, or even months. Keep the hiring process short, with four interviews at most. The most highly skilled candidates will likely have more than one job offer on the table, and a lengthy hiring process is a great way for your company to be left in the dust. 

Be sure to give candidates clear feedback after the interviews so there’s no confusion about where your company stands.

You’re hired!

One way to keep your finger on the pulse of hiring the best talent in tech is to stay up to date on the latest trends. The competition is stiff, but when your company applies these tips correctly, you can help set the available tech roles within your company apart and find diverse and talented candidates ready to join your team.

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