Tech talent management insight from ADP Marketplace partner, iCIMS.
Technology continues to advance at an unprecedented rate, creating more open positions for skilled technology professionals every day. But can we keep up?
Our recent survey report found that 49% of tech hiring professionals say it's more difficult to find skilled technology professionals to fill their open positions than they it was two years ago. Of that 49%, 82% agree that this is driven by a shortage of applicants who have the right skills and experience.
But this may only be the beginning of this trend. By 2022, the demand for people with the skills needed to advance artificial intelligence, the internet of things, blockchain and cybersecurity will exceed the supply of workers. The Wall Street Journal reports that this could result in a shortage of 900,000 highly compensated jobs.
Certain roles in tech have been advancing more rapidly than others. Over the last two years, the roles of data scientist and computer and information research scientist have seen the highest increase in hires, according to our system data. This data comes from the organization's database of more than 75 million applications and 4 million jobs posted per year.
Because of this rapid growth, employers are being forced to think creatively about where to find candidates and how to create training programs that help bridge the widening skills gap.
Look to the Gig Economy to Fill Roles
To combat the talent shortage, 74% of tech hiring professionals have increased their hiring of freelance or contingent technology workers. The top reasons for hiring these workers are cost, availability of specialized skills and flexibility.
Our aforementioned survey offers a breakdown of why businesses said they turned to freelance or contingent tech workers:
- Their salaries are more affordable – 35%
- Their benefits are more reasonable or affordable – 34%
- They have more diverse work experience – 32%
- Their hours are more flexible – 29%
- They are easier to hire than full-time workers – 27%
Consider Hiring Tech Candidates with Alternative Educations
Historically, U.S. workers have defined job types as either white collar or blue collar. Seeing a widening skills gap and an increased demand for tech talent, IBM CEO, Ginni Rometty, coined the term "new collar jobs" to describe occupations that focus more on a candidate's skills rather than their education level. The concept of the new collar job provides an alternative to expensive, four-year college degrees and enables employers to redefine job qualifications.
Today, businesses are eager to staff newly created technology positions with candidates who have a particular skill, even if they don't have a traditional four-year college degree. According to our survey, 96% of technology hiring professionals agree that, over the past few years, there has been more acceptance of hiring technology candidates with alternative qualifications, such as coding boot camps or certification courses.
People with non-traditional backgrounds are also becoming more valuable to the tech industry. In fact, 45% of tech hiring professionals agree that, in the next two years, time spent at a coding boot camp will be as meaningful of a qualification for skilled tech jobs as a college degree.
As the technology landscape continues to evolve, the next hot tech role may not even exist yet. Employers will need to continue finding new and creative ways to bring in talent with the skills and potential to solve the tech problems of the future. These methods could include:
- Looking beyond traditional tech degrees
- Engaging candidates who have demonstrated the right soft skills
- Leveraging freelancers
- Developing in-house training programs
- Creating long-term partnerships with local colleges for a pipeline of qualified talent
Learn more about iCIMS on ADP Marketplace.
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