To overcome the challenges of the past year, companies have had to quickly adapt to remain viable as business organizations. Now, even though the dust may finally be starting to settle, businesses must still pay close attention to industry trends. Here are three important trends that are currently shaping tech hiring, and how they will impact your company.
Trend #1: Employees are Reluctant to Return to the Office Full-time
Based on a study from the Harvard Business School, only 18 percent of employees want to return to onsite office work full-time. The vast majority of employees would rather work from home full-time (27 percent). Or they are willing to take on a hybrid schedule. Sixty-one percent would prefer working from home two to three days per week.
Of course, this by-product of the pandemic and resulting lockdowns is not altogether unexpected. Many employees have enjoyed the work-life balance that comes with remote or hybrid work environments. In the context of tech hiring, many job candidates have no interest in commuting to the office. They’ve realized they can be as productive (if not more so) from the comfort of their own home.
What does this mean for your company?
If you want to compete for top talent moving forward, then it’s important to be aware that many other companies are hiring with a 100 percent remote or hybrid model. Interestingly, even companies who were staunchly anti-remote before the pandemic have changed their perspective. The last 18 months have conclusively demonstrated that flexible work schedules can be effective, with the right systems and processes are in place. Consider investing in the infrastructure needed to make full-time or hybrid remote positions a feasible option for your company.
If you are willing to incorporate fully remote or hybrid positions into your tech hiring strategy, then you’ll automatically gain access to a wider talent pool — not just in your company’s home country, but around the world. Hiring candidates from overseas may not necessarily result in lower payroll costs (salaries are not just rising across the United States, but around the globe). But having more candidates from which to choose will almost certainly result in a stronger, more experienced workforce.
Finally, there’s an opportunity that your company could exploit in this current surge of enthusiasm for remote work. Some Big Tech corporations (like Google) don’t want their teams to be fully remote. They want their campuses to be filled with the best and the brightest. And they are only relaxing their in-office work policies with great reluctance. If your company positions itself as an employer that will offer a 100 percent WFH or hybrid schedule, then you’ll likely be able to grab some of the talent that would otherwise go to these tech giants.
Of course, as you make the transition to more flexible work schedules, you’ll need to ensure that you have the proper infrastructure in place. For example, your remote employees need to have all the necessary tools and equipment needed to perform their duties. It’s also important to implement effective policies and procedures in support of your fully remote/hybrid workforce. Examples of this could include regular coaching sessions via a video conferencing platform, and streamlined time-tracking and attendance policies.
Trend #2: The Tech Scene in Denver and Other Major Cities is Changing
In years past, the major “tech hubs” were based out of Silicon Valley, Boston, and other major metropolitan areas. Nowadays, geographical location isn’t as much of a big deal as it used to be. Again, the trend toward remote work is reshaping which areas are considered to be the hot new tech scenes. Job candidates have a lot more freedom to move where they want to live, instead of where they must live to stay close to the office.
As a result, many cities are seeing an influx of tech talent. This is not a result of their traditional association with the tech industry, but because candidates simply love the quality of life and social values that they embody. For example, a recent CBRE study ranked Denver as the #12 city for tech talent in North America. And the Mile High City ranked #2 in IT Pro’s List of Great Cities for Tech Jobs.
What does this mean for your company?
Denver has become a magnet for high-performing tech talent. Job seekers love the culture, the amenities, and the conveniences that come with living in Colorado’s capital city. That’s great news for local companies looking for top-flight candidates to fill tech positions.
However, if your company wants to take full advantage of this trend, it’s important to partner with a recruiting firm that has a strong presence in Denver, as well as the capacity to place candidates at companies based in other cities. Only then can you compete for top talent, and keep your recruiting pipeline full.
Trend #3: The “Great Resignation” is Upon Us
Recently, a high number of employees have re-evaluated whether their personal values are aligned with company goals and culture, whether they want to be in a more mission-based role (such as non-profit work), and whether they are willing to face a full-fledged return to the office. As a result of this introspection, a record number of employees (approximately 4 million) resigned from their positions in April alone, according to one study.
There are a number of contributing factors to this trend. For instance, many employees feel that they have been more productive over the past 18 months in a remote environment. They feel cheated at having to return to an in-office situation. Then again, the prospect of dealing with colleagues and managers on a day-to-day basis, in person, causes many employees a great deal of stress. Interestingly, 79 percent of people are apprehensive about bringing up current news topics for fear of starting an argument with coworkers, according to recent data.
What does this mean for your company?
It’s vital for your company to maintain a focus on what’s best for your current and prospective employees. At the same time, you’ll need to develop tech hiring strategies designed to cultivate talent within your network. This could include investment in young talent from STEM schools, through apprenticeship programs and collegiate internship programs.
For example, Pinnacol Assurance has been partnering with Careerwise Colorado since 2017 to develop and sustain an apprenticeship program. They just hired their 5th cohort of apprentices in August 2021. “The insurance industry is facing rapid digital transformation plus an aging workforce,” says Mark Tapy, apprenticeship program manager at Pinnacol. “It’s essential that we are proactive to put strategic talent acquisition models in place now.”
However, it’s not just about finding employees for themselves. Pinnacol’s apprenticeship program contributes to the overall tech talent pool. Careerwise Colorado has 75 companies that host youth apprentices, with 275 active apprentices across the state. Regarding Pinnacol’s success with the apprenticeship program, Mark Tapy proudly shares: “We’ve been able to convert about a quarter of our apprentices to full-time positions. But we want to help them get trained to be successful at other organizations, too.” Pinnacol’s success provides a blueprint for companies that want to offset big waves of employees leaving jobs, and bring in candidates who are new to the workforce, but still have a measure of experience under their belt.
In addition, if you want to retain your existing talent, you must be careful not to burn out your veteran workers. Work with them to find a schedule that will suit their needs as well as your company’s needs. Seasoned employees are a valuable asset, especially now. Do all you can to keep them within your organization, and keep them happy.
If you keep a close eye on these three key tech hiring trends, and adapt your recruiting model accordingly, then you’ll be in prime position to make your hiring process for top tech candidates an unqualified success.
Need help with your tech hiring strategy? Reach out to the expert team at The Doyle Group.