The job landscape for technical jobs has always been challenging for both job seekers and employers who lament the continuing skills gap in their industries. Given that business processes have changed in the wake of COVID-19, what does this mean for companies looking to their post-pandemic future and whether they will be able to innovate if the skills gap widens?
CompTIA’s State of the Tech Workforce UK reports that organizations employed an estimated 1.98 million tech workers in 2021. Job growth was slower than expected as the UK continued to navigate through the widespread economic impact of the pandemic. , but the technology industry avoided the job losses that affected many other industrial sectors in the region.
Speaking to Silicon UK, Aude Barral, CCO and co-founder of developer recruitment platform CodinGame, says: “The Great Resignation has hit the tech sector particularly hard. One of the top reasons cited by employees is feeling that their employers are more focused on attracting new talent than supporting and investing in their existing workforce. In a recent survey of tech workers, nearly three-quarters were considering leaving their jobs. Tech professionals are less and less willing to compromise on their career path.”
Barral continued: “A recent CodinGame survey found that the most important criteria for developers when applying for a new position was work-life balance, with the ability to benefit from more flexible work options such as remote work. or hybrid. Interestingly, they also ranked technical challenges and work-life balance above salary.”
For business leaders, do you need a different approach to tech recruiting as you move into the post-pandemic era? “Many business leaders already recognize that they need a different approach to recruiting,” says Beth Pope, founder and brand partner of brand consultancy Firehaus. “They know that to attract and retain staff they need a strong Employer Value Proposition (EVP). One that reflects what makes your culture different and the positive impact you are making as a company.
“The best candidates aren’t swayed by salary alone,” Beth continued. “They want their career decisions to reflect how they see themselves and what is important to them, and to have the opportunity for autonomy, mastery and purpose in the roles they take on. The brand has a central role to play in encapsulating the essence of that. And of course, as a human being, emotion is a key factor in our decision making. Feel a sense of affinity with a business. Want to play a role in an exciting direction. Have the opportunity to make an impact. The brand is a determining factor in that.”
Jobs in the technology industry have continued to diversify as new technologies have become business imperatives, including 5G, Edge Computing, AI, and more recently, the impact quantum computing could soon have on all business sectors. . Having a company that is attractive to potential employees is now paramount.
Tony Prevost, EMEA Human Resources Director, Skillsoft.
How has the so-called big waiver affected tech recruiting?
“COVID-19 has been a catalyst for changing power dynamics in the workplace, transferring bargaining power to job seekers who are now in control of their destiny. In today’s candidate-driven marketplace, recruiting begins with retention. Organizations need to ensure they are building on what they already have, rather than strictly fulfilling walk-in roles with external candidates. We have seen a depletion in staff loyalty in the last two years, mainly because many of the reasons people were drawn to work in the past have diminished. The focus for organizations now is to develop their talent and build the skills they need within the business.”
For business leaders, do you need a different approach to tech recruiting as you move into the post-pandemic era?
“Recruitment starts with retention. An increased focus on learning supports skills development, but can also help retain staff who value their professional development. Retention rates increase by 30% to 50% in organizations with a strong learning culture. It also helps fill skills gaps by allowing existing staff to expand their skill sets, meaning companies don’t have to rely solely on competing in a fickle hiring market. Ultimately, organizations that put learning at the heart of their business are preparing for the future, ensuring staff adapt to new developments that may come their way.”
How important is a strong, diverse and inclusive culture within a company to attracting the tech talent companies need?
“A strong Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) culture lifts all boats: Fostering a DEIB culture in the workplace means making all your employees feel involved and engaged so they can be their whole and authentic selves. inside and outside the office. In turn, this creates an organizational culture focused on the needs of your employees so they can learn and do their best work, which directly translates to success throughout your organization, including the ability to attract a group diverse of talents.
“Currently, 76% of IT decision makers globally are facing critical skills gaps in their teams. Technology companies have a real opportunity to fill these talent gaps by opening up the talent pool to more diverse groups. By effectively promoting diverse culture within your organization, candidates from diverse backgrounds will see your company as a great place to work and will be able to apply for open positions, providing a competitive advantage.”
Is automation affecting tech jobs? Are people really being replaced by AI?
“The World Economic Forum report has forecast that by 2025, half of all work tasks will be handled by machines, creating 97 million jobs worldwide, but destroying almost as many. However, while automation through AI and machine learning will affect millions of jobs around the world, putting employees who lack digital skills and competencies at risk, not everyone is at the same risk. to be replaced by a robot. Twice as many women as men are likely to lose their jobs as automation replaces human work, as the roles most susceptible to automation include data processing jobs such as cashiers or receptionists.
“With the ‘robot revolution’ causing significant implications for gender equality in the workplace, employers need to ensure that everyone, regardless of gender, age or location, shares in the spoils of new technology. This means taking a comprehensive approach to reskilling, upskilling and transitioning to work, cultivating a flexible learning culture that gives employees the opportunity to learn new skills through lifelong learning initiatives. By proactively fostering a flexible learning culture that embraces change and supporting female employees to develop the skills needed to fill identified gaps, employers can take the lead in reducing the skills and gender gap.”
In your opinion, what are the practical steps companies can take today to help them locate and hire the technology talent they need?
“As the war for talent intensifies due to post-pandemic circumstances, employee development and talent pooling will become increasingly vital to building an adaptable and flexible modern workforce. Addressing and facilitating role transitions in the workplace will require new training models and approaches, including on-the-job training and opportunities that support and guide workers to opportunities to upskill. Similarly, investing in digital talent platforms that foster fluidity by matching workers and their skills with new job opportunities within the company will be key.”
people and technology
Tech talent is undergoing a period of transformation, and as Sam Hameed, co-founder and CEO of SPG Resourcing points out, the industry continues to develop a diverse membership: “When it comes to attracting tech talent, culture sets the tone for many candidates. to base your decision. The tech space is wonderfully diverse, and every employee should feel empowered by the organization they choose; it is a priority for many of our candidates to find a place where they can be themselves, thrive and feel part of a team.
Sam concludes: “Greater employee diversity within a team increases the diversity of ideas, which sets the standard for great results in technology environments. More lived experiences and perspectives improve the probability of positive results for solving technical problems and projects: talented candidates want to join a successful team that works productively, effectively and cohesively. Ultimately, an organization that does not value differences and celebrate diversity will restrict the potential to enrich human capital and the internal environment; shown to increase revenue, engagement and satisfaction, indicators of organizational success.
Companies that consistently and successfully hire the tech people they need have created companies with an engaging culture and have worked hard to adapt to seismic shifts in the organization of work. A flexible and dynamic hiring approach that pays close attention to the many factors that now affect a hiring decision will attract a higher caliber of applicants who can see a clear career path.