According to experts, the software industry will be one of the most promising sectors this year, which is associated with an ever-growing dependence on digital technology in almost all areas of life and business. This means that the IT market will always develop, and the demand for high-level professionals will only grow.
On the one hand, there’s a generational shift in the labor market: The digital generation brings to companies a unique set of skills and attitudes that have an impact on the hiring industry. This is the first fully digital generation. On the other hand, there is a constant lack of top talent, all of whom companies of different levels—from startups to multinational corporations—are vying for.
And to add to all of this, recruiting is being challenged to do more with less, with automation becoming an increasing necessity.
This climate, in many ways, is driving hiring trends:
1. Education requirements are disappearing. Many companies are ready to accept younger applicants with incomplete university or alternative education if it means they’ve been in the field longer or completed specialized trainings. The price of such a specialist relative to the market is lower, and the benefit he/she is able to bring can be much higher compared to hiring a mid-level employee.
2. There’s a hunt for young talent. Major IT companies are devoting resources to internship programs and hiring interns. They are also creating partnerships with universities to identify and select gifted students.
3. Industry job numbers are growing and are projected to do so twice as fast as the overall national employment rate. Concurrently, the top three most in-demand specialists are DevOps engineers, data analysts and IT project managers.
4. Predicted growth rates for IT jobs exceed the national level. According to the research above, certain IT jobs are expected to grow:
• Data scientists at a rate of 268%
• Cybersecurity at a rate of 253%
• Software developers and software quality assurance specialists at a rate of 215%
• Specialists in computer and information research at a rate of 155%
• Web developers and digital interface designers at a rate of 93%
5. Wages are rising, and for some IT specialists, they may grow by 8% in 2023, exceeding inflation.
6. The hiring process is hybrid. HR must be prepared for both in-office interviews and fully remote interviews and onboarding processes.
Strategies HR Can Leverage To Find Top Talent
In the fight for the best specialists, recruiters will have to expand the search for suitable candidates using various channels and tactics:
• Using analytics in the talent acquisition process: This promotes data-driven decision-making and helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of applicants. Analytics can provide HR departments with data such as the source of hiring, the time it takes to fill a position, the cost of hiring, the cost to the organization due to the absence of a specialist while the position is vacant and so on.
• Automating processes: The use of robotic process automation technology in combination with artificial intelligence helps search, select and rank promising candidates based on their skills and abilities, obtained from résumés and social networks without human assistance, saving HR specialists’ time.
• Using chatbots for personnel selection: They help attract candidates and can provide detailed information about job openings during the search.
• Implementing referral programs for employees: This is a system that allows team members to receive incentives, such as a bonus, for recommending a candidate who will eventually be hired.
• Offering internships to target groups: Organizations consider internship programs as a way to attract new and motivated employees, as they can provide a fresh perspective on the company’s day-to-day operations and share ideas about strategy, plans, policies, etc.
Screening Applicants For Fit
The suitable specialist should have soft skills specific to the company. For example, flexibility and adaptability to changes are crucial, because in IT, change happens constantly. In this case, hard skills are secondary, as they are acquired later: If a future employee resonates with a company, he/she quickly gets involved and acquires the necessary skills, and in two or three months, the company begins to profit.
A specialist who doesn’t share the organization’s values and principles is unlikely to stay with the team. Just like a candidate with inflated requirements, the task of competent HR is to manage expectations and filter out those whose professional goals cannot be achieved in a given position.
What IT Applicants Will Look For In A Position
1. Career growth: IT professionals today want fast career growth. HR teams responsible for staff development and training can:
• Help create a career track based on the candidate’s goals, identifying which skills need to be developed and how in order for them to move into a higher position.
• Offer development opportunities such as internal training, mentoring, strategic sessions, conferences, events like breakfast meetings with leadership to discuss company values, etc.
2. Hard skills development: According to Gallup, only 21% of employees are engaged with their work. The HR department can stimulate team members’ engagement and their desire to improve their professionalism by expanding their opportunities to learn new skills while providing support and trust. For example, the specialist can engage in the self-development of a product within the company, expanding their sphere of influence. Or they can occupy a new position or lead a new direction, which would result in an increase in salary.
3. Flexible work conditions: In 2023, access to technology will increase the number of digital nomads. In the U.S., the number of nomads has grown by 130% to 16.9 million in the last three years. Seventy-three million Americans plan to become digital nomads in the next two to three years, and 71% want to stay in this status for at least two to three years. To provide comfortable remote or hybrid work conditions, HR departments can use digital tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams or Workplace by Facebook and hold regular meetings with their subordinates and managers.
Beyond finding a qualified IT specialist, it’s important to ensure that he/she has the necessary competencies and fits into the corporate culture. In this case, the match will be long and fruitful for both sides.