The State of Tech Hiring: Q4 2023 and Beyond
Woman shakes the hand of a new tech hire, keeping up with the latest tech hiring trends.

As the tech job market continues to evolve, we’re seeing a shift in several key areas, such as employer preference for office-centric work environments, an increased emphasis on hiring for roles in AI and data, and a slowdown in startup funding. Below, we will discuss these and other tech hiring trends to watch through 2023 and beyond:

IT Employers Are Pushing for a Return to the Office

Perhaps the single most significant trend we’re seeing is a major shift back to office-centric work environments — or at least hybrid arrangements instead of fully remote schedules. One of The Doyle Group’s manufacturing clients recently requested that employees spend three days per week in the office. And a utility client implemented a return-to-office policy that could impact team members who moved out of state. They have 60 days to return, or the company will consider them as having voluntarily resigned.

At the same time, candidates are still looking for fully remote roles — and many current employees are not happy about the shift toward in-office work. Research indicates that 42% of companies with return-to-office mandates are suffering more employee attrition than they expected. And 29% of companies enforcing office returns are struggling with recruiting. In addition, one survey found that the average worker views an end to flexible work as equivalent to a 2-3% pay cut.

Of course, the necessity for a commute to the office depends to a large extent on the nature of the role. Much of the push to come back in the office stems from a desire to cut overhead costs, foster collaboration, and build culture. It may be difficult for managers to build rapport and gauge employee productivity remotely. 

On the other hand, many employers feel that their workers will be more productive if they come back in-office. However, this is highly dependent upon industry, role, and other factors. One peer-reviewed study showed that remote employees are up to 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts. Plus, they enjoy a 50% lower attrition rate.

Should Your Staff Return to the Office?

Your company’s decision on whether to implement a return-to-office policy should not only be based on the specific requirements of your tech roles. You must also consider your business goals and focus on building culture. For instance, if you’re just trying to get the work done without focusing on culture, then it may be worth it to make (or keep) your team remote, or hire on a contract or contract-to-hire basis.

If you decide to implement a return-to-office policy, another aspect to consider is offering incentives to facilitate employees’ transition from a remote working arrangement. For example, offering a stipend for public transit or parking in areas with costly pay lots or meters. Access to healthy food offerings or assistance with child care could also play a significant role in motivating a successful return-to-office transition. 

In some scenarios, a hybrid environment may be the “happy medium” between the flexibility of working from home and the importance of face-to-face interactions among team members. In fact, one recent study found that hybrid work, similar to remote work, can reduce attrition by 35% and result in 8% higher productivity (in the specific context of the study, that translated into 8% more code written by developers).

There’s an Increase in Tech Hiring for AI and Data-Driven Roles

For certain tech roles, there’s been a slowdown in hiring. However, some sectors are seeing major movement. For instance, we’re seeing a lot of hiring activity in AI and data (governance and analytics). Of course, this is a symbiotic relationship, since companies that use AI in any capacity have to ensure that their data is clean and well-organized.

In regard to specific industries, we are seeing hiring in the insurance and healthcare space, as well as the finance industry (particularly banking). There’s a continued need for project managers to helm major infrastructure-related initiatives moving forward. Quality system administrators are especially in demand at the moment, since they’re harder to come by.

Which Skills and Roles Are in Demand?

There are many skill sets and roles that we anticipate will be in demand throughout 2023 and beyond. These include:

  • Project managers (especially for projects that are related to infrastructure, networking, or manufacturing and supply)
  • System administrators
  • Senior developers and engineers (although there’s less demand for junior or entry-level developers)
  • Data-related positions (data migration specialists, data analysts, data administrators, etc.)

The overall theme we’re seeing is that the market is slowly softening, although it’s not quite an employer-driven market yet. Engineering talent in particular isn’t in demand like it used to be, but that trend may reverse course in the future.

How Is the Tech Hiring Market Impacting Companies Based on Size?

In general, many large enterprise-level companies have enjoyed some strong years as of late. Most of them remain in prime position to continue hiring for a variety of tech roles. 

Mid-market companies may find themselves needing to innovate or automate in order to stay competitive with their industry peers. Of course, that means making a sizable investment in one or more projects — and part of that investment involves finding qualified professionals to oversee those projects. It may be that the mid-market vertical is where companies will have the greatest need for skilled tech candidates. Conversely, job seekers may find a treasure trove of opportunities among those employers.

From our observation, startups seem to be getting hit the hardest by the current market conditions. Funding for startups is slowing down; many investors are being more cautious with their money, and less willing to bet on high-reward/high-risk ventures. With less funding coming in, many startups are simply not in a place where they can add more employees to their payroll.

In conclusion, keep a close eye on the trends discussed above for the remainder of 2023 and beyond. For customized assistance with tech hiring at your company, reach out to our team of recruiting experts at The Doyle Group today. We’d be happy to discuss your specific needs and fill your open roles with the most qualified candidates. 

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