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How Are Leaders Battling the Tech Talent War?

Current Landscape

It’s no secret that retaining technology talent has become one of today’s greatest struggles in business. This mass turnover of technology professionals has been referred to as “The Great Resignation,” “The Turnover Tsunami,” “The Great Reshuffle,” and even the “Tech Talent War.” Why has it become so hard to retain technology employees? 

“Recent surveys found that 26 percent of workers in the United States are already preparing to look for new employment opportunities and 40 percent of workers globally are considering leaving their current employers by the end of the year.” (McKinsey)

There are many factors leading to this “Great Resignation.” Employees that didn’t feel comfortable leaving their jobs during the pandemic are now exploring new opportunities. With new remote and hybrid work options, many professionals are opting for companies that offer this flexibility. Also, businesses are driving their own digital transformations which have increased demand for technology skills.

The competition has always been fierce for technology professionals, but this competition has now been coined as a “war” due to the high demand for highly skilled professionals. Companies are facing the challenge of developing their employees or extending their current resources to fight for new tech talent.

Hiring Trends

The latest and most popular hiring trend in 2021 is remote flexibility. Many companies are no longer cutting the pay of remote workers to gain a hiring edge on competitors. Work-life balance has become one of the most sought-after benefits for professionals hunting for new jobs. Although the average tenure for technology professionals is around 2-3 years, companies are feeling more pressure to retain employees.

Over 80% of companies are being forced to provide counteroffers to retain current technology talent.

Joe Gross, President, CIO Partners

Out of the companies providing counteroffers to current employees, around 95% of them are retaining their talent. This high percentage of counteroffers does provoke the question: Why are companies not just paying their staff more, to begin with? Not only does this high number of counteroffers speak to the mindset of current tech talent, but it can also insinuate cracks in corporate culture.

Leadership Challenges

The technology leader’s role has evolved into not only a business value driver but also an IT talent agent. CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs are expected to lead digital transformations and to drive business value. How can they do this without the necessary skills?

I was very surprised to find a significant number of applicants – the well-qualified ones wanting more than double our posted budget. When I found one solid person, a day later they had already accepted another job before we could schedule a second interview.  A week later the same thing happened.

Lonnie Snyder, 2022 Special Olympics Games

Companies are beginning to adopt more and more emerging technologies to keep up with digital demands. Some argue that the technology staffing shortage is creating a lag in the adoption of these technologies. This adoption requires special skill sets and high-level capabilities from technology teams.

Lonnie Snyder said after searching and finally finding the right candidate to work for him, “The process gave me a whole new appreciation for having a large HR team behind you and being able to use recruiters and temp to perm positions.” The responsibility of delivering these innovative measures falls on the technology leaders, so making sure they have adequate human resources is more important than ever.

Gaining a Hiring Edge with Professional Development

Many technology leaders agree that developing talent internally is the best way to promote and plan successions. Not only does promotion from within boost company culture, but it also encourages existing employees. Recently, the development of talent has faced many new challenges and opportunities.

The concept I’m practicing is ~hire and retain for talent and passion then mentor and educate along the way~. I’m an “Inspirer” so I love this approach, and with an emerging, more remote work culture, it opens access to the endless talent pool across the globe.

Samir Mammadov, LegaSystems

With the high rates of talent leaving, companies have been presented with the opportunity to really focus on developing existing talent to take over the necessary roles. This also presents the challenge to leadership to provide the best training they can to ensure employee retention as well as accurate project deliveries.

Conclusion

The current competition for technology talent has not only been heightened by increased demand for digital transformations but also recent hiring trends that favor the flexibility of remote work. Organizations and leaders are faced with the challenge of both fighting for tech talent and retaining it. Overcoming this talent shortage by looking for opportunities to succeed in the midst of a crisis could help your company gain a competitive edge in the current landscape. After all, tech leaders are the masters of risk mitigation.

Emory Woods, TNCR Contributing Writer
Emory Woods, TNCR Contributing Writer
Emory is a marketing associate and technology content writer. She specializes in digital marketing and brand strategy.
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