Identifying and sourcing top talent is an ongoing challenge in today’s market. For example, the number of open IT positions is increasing across the board. But it seems like there’s often a scarcity of suitable candidates to fill those key roles. How can your company successfully attract and win over high-performing employees?
One important step is to examine hiring trends that will extend into 2022 (and beyond). Then, adjust your strategy accordingly. Let’s talk about three big hiring trends that are ever-present in the world of technology jobs, and how you can effectively prepare for them.
Trend #1: Long-Term Remote/Hybrid Offerings
Obviously, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated the growth of long-term remote/hybrid positions. However, it doesn’t look like this hiring trend is going away anytime soon. Consider some telling statistics about remote work:
- Seventy-seven percent of telecommuters feel they are more productive working from home compared to working in-office.
- Businesses save an average of $11,000 each year for each employee who works from home half the time.
- According to one survey, 99 percent of remote workers want to keep their schedule in the future.
The point is, there are several business advantages to retaining a fully remote/hybrid workforce – and most of your employees will wholeheartedly support that decision.
Adapting to This Hiring Trend
Of course, there are steps you must take in order to prepare for a successful transition to this model. Even if you already have long-term remote offerings in place, there’s always room for improvement. Some key focus areas should include employee engagement, experience, and retention. You’ll also want to invest in project management software, video-conferencing platforms, and other tools that make the remote/hybrid workflow more efficient. Examples of these include Slack, Zoom, SharePoint, and DropBox.
Perhaps the biggest challenge you’ll need to address is keeping your remote employees connected to your existing team, and building collaboration between workers. Many companies have met this challenge by scheduling regular “check-in” sessions with remote employees via Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams, as well as weekly team meetings. In addition, organizations often host virtual “happy hours,” sponsor volunteer events, and schedule webinars that keep their employees engaged with the company and with one another to a greater degree.
In any event, subscribing to a remote/hybrid work model will undoubtedly expand your available talent pool. You may even consider hiring international candidates for 100 percent remote positions.
Trend #2: Investment in Training (for New and Existing Employees)
Companies that want to keep pace in a competitive landscape must pay attention to the second of our hiring trends. Continue to narrow the talent gap by training new and current employees. Research indicates that companies that invest in training gain 21 percent more profit. In addition, 94 percent of their workers agree to stay longer as a result of their investment in employee development. Clearly, implementing an effective training program will build your own talent pool, and show your employees that you want them to succeed in their careers, thus boosting retention.
How can you “beef up” your training program now, in anticipation of new hires in the (near) future? Here are a few suggestions that can help:
- Start budgeting and planning for training platforms, consultants, and curriculums. It’s a good idea to get an early start on this, since some resources may already be booked or maxed out if you procrastinate. Guild Education is one example of a training platform that will align to your strategic career pathways, provide dedicated one-on-one coaching to each employee, and help prepare your organization for the future.
- Make good use of employee surveys. You can ask your existing employees what type of training/professional development they want. This will give you insight into which courses are most likely to contribute to the retention of top-performing candidates.
- Pay particular attention to the onboarding experience. According to SHRM, 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience great onboarding.
With a well-rounded, effective training program in place, you will improve your position to attract talent. But you will also be in a position to develop your in-house talent. Your employees will become more skilled and productive, and they’ll be less likely to leave.
Trend #3: Increased Hiring for AI, Machine Learning, and Analytics
It’s no surprise that companies will be filling more positions related to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and analytics roles. AI and “big data” already drive many functionalities that we take for granted. From personalized Netflix recommendations to the natural language processing (NLP) systems used by voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, we’re using these technologies every day. It’s no surprise they are affecting hiring trends. Expect to see organizations closely examine which routine tasks can make the transition from manual to AI-powered, with the aim of streamlining workflow across departments.
How can you prepare for this trend? Consider setting aside some of your budget for new certifications for employees. For example, you could invest in machine learning certifications, such as Systems Design, R Programming, or Python. In addition, analyze how best to develop a “mentor-friendly” culture within your company. A core group of mentors/coaches who can train employees and give them personal assistance can be an invaluable asset to your organization.
Finally, consider partnering with a specialized agency like The Doyle Group that has expertise in filling these roles. They can leverage their experience to help you source top AI, machine learning, and analytics talent by asking candidates the right questions, and identifying which ones are most likely to become ideal employees (or even coaches).
In summary, you can prepare your company to attract and retain top talent in the years to come by:
- Offering remote/hybrid work options.
- Investing in an effective employee training program.
- Incorporating AI, machine learning, and analytics into your workflow, and helping employees to develop related skills.
It’s true that most companies exist within a highly competitive landscape, and top talent may be hard to come by. However, if you implement these suggestions in your hiring strategy, you’ll no doubt see exceptional results from your efforts. In the end, your business will experience growth in 2022, and for years afterward.