Amidst the swirling currents of global economic uncertainty, there is a glimmer of hope as per the Linux Foundation’s latest State of Tech Talent Report for 2023. Hiring trends indicate that significant number of organizations (44%) are gearing up to expand their workforce this year, displaying remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. What’s even more remarkable is that these organizations don’t foresee any downsizing or employment freezes to offset their growth plans.
However, it’s not all smooth sailing on the economic front. The unsettling ripples of anxiety have prompted 59% of organizations to reassess their hiring strategies for tech roles considering these uncertain times. Consequently, many have chosen to put a hold on creating new positions, opting to freeze them temporarily. This cautious approach stems from a multitude of concerns, including the far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation rates, and the persistent shadow of geopolitical conflicts.
Here are some key insights from the report.
Hiring Trends in 2023
Despite the economic challenges and job cuts that have affected the technology industry, the latest findings from the 2023 State of Tech Talent Survey indicate that hiring trends remain robust. There is a consistent demand for skilled technical professionals, particularly at the entry-level, with a focus on individuals possessing developer skills. This trend is especially pronounced in sectors such as cloud computing and telecommunications, which continue to play a crucial role in the technology landscape. The outlook for tech industry hiring appears positive, as numerous organizations are planning to expand their technical workforce in the coming years.
- When it comes to specific technology areas, a significant number of organizations are actively seeking to hire staff with expertise in cloud and container technologies (50%), cybersecurity (50%), AI/ML (46%), database and data management (37%), as well as advanced analytics and data science (37%).
- Leading technology areas where organizations prioritize hiring include augmented/virtual reality (137%), AI/ML (110%), blockchain (98%), CI/CD and DevOps (91%), and Kubernetes (90%). These statistics demonstrate the current focus of organizations in their recruitment strategies is to meet evolving technological demands.
- The roles of developers and IT management are in high demand among organizations. 67% of organizations are expanding their technical staff with a specific focus on developers and engineers.
- When considering all types of engineers, software developers are the most frequently recruited role, with 54% of organizations actively seeking to hire more developers for their technical teams.
- Following closely behind, IT management positions are the second most sought-after role, with 46% of organizations looking to fill these positions.
Increased focus on upskilling and certification programs
To address the growing need for upskilling in emerging technology areas, organizations are adopting a two-pronged approach: training existing employees and hiring new talent.
- According to the report, 71% of organizations are recruiting new IT professionals with experience in the relevant technology to ensure their technical staff possesses the necessary skills. Additionally, 70% of organizations provide training opportunities for their existing technical staff when introducing new technologies.
- Upskilling is now the primary approach that organizations employ to expand and enhance their technology skills. These organizations recognize the value of investing in their existing workforce to bridge the skill gaps and meet the demands of evolving technologies.
- 58% of organizations seek to train their current staff when suitable technical candidates are not readily available. This figure has increased from 50% in the previous year, showcasing a 16% year-over-year growth in the prioritization of training existing employees.
- Upskilling and certification programs provide a means to validate the technical skills of internal candidates through pre-placement testing and certification. Effective onboarding and upskilling initiatives are highly regarded and crucial for achieving success in addressing the talent shortage.
Investing in upskilling initiatives is of paramount importance for companies seeking to stay abreast of emerging technologies and stay competitive in the market.
Strategies to attract and retain technical talent
Filling a technical position often requires a significant amount of time, underscoring the importance for organizations to plan and take proactive measures to attract and retain skilled technical talent. Key steps in achieving this include:
- Offering competitive compensation and benefits packages, providing opportunities for professional development and growth, and fostering a positive workplace culture.
- The report reveals that many organizations choose to provide additional training opportunities or certification (50%) as an incentive, while offering flexible work schedules or telecommuting options (49%) and eligibility for bonuses (43%) are also popular choices.
- Recognition for accomplishments is cited by 39% of respondents as an important factor, indicating the significance of acknowledging employees’ achievements.
- Furthermore, 29% express interest in contributing to open-source projects aligned with their interests.
- Additionally, 21% of respondents value additional stock options/RSUs/equity as an incentive.
Hiring managers must recognize the significance of offering competitive compensation, benefits, and opportunities for professional development and work-life balance to retain their technical workforce.
Source: 2023 State of Tech Talent Report