The year 2023 has been a challenging year for the tech industry, with global job losses reaching 150,000, as reported by the tracker website Layoffs.fyi. However, despite the downsizing, there is still a high demand for technology talent. In fact, according to a survey by Gartner, 86% of CIOs are facing more competition for qualified candidates, and 73% are worried about IT talent attrition.
Gartner’s survey, which covered around 18,000 employees in November and December of 2022, revealed that certain tech skills are still hard to find. These include application development, AI and machine learning, Python programming, software engineering, and enterprise cloud architecture. Mbula Schoen, a Gartner senior director and analyst, advised CIOs to focus on retaining their top tech talent, as it takes four to six months to backfill a position, and the cost of finding a replacement can be high.
Despite the talent shortage, tech workers with the right skills can still expect to command relatively high salaries. Schoen emphasized that compensation is the number one attraction and acquisition driver, and recommended that employers benchmark their compensation and ensure that they are not too far away from the market rate.
Some tech giants, such as Twitter, Salesforce, Microsoft, and Meta, have laid off a significant number of employees. However, publicly available data shows that most of the job losses at Meta were among business professionals rather than tech jobs. Nonetheless, employers looking to hire IT staff are not out of the woods yet, as the talent shortage has forced them to consider seeking out passive candidates who are not necessarily looking to move.
According to Schoen, with all the massive layoffs happening, there is a sense of uncertainty, and this is an opportunity for CIOs to collaborate with HR and start reaching out proactively. She also suggested that employers invest in training and upskilling their current staff to fill gaps in their teams. This not only helps to retain top talent but also ensures that the company has the right skillset for future projects.
To stay competitive in the race for top talent, employers must also offer hybrid work options. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work, and workers now expect flexibility. Employers that do not offer hybrid work options risk losing out on top talent.
In conclusion, the tech industry is facing a talent shortage, despite the layoffs in 2023. Employers must focus on retaining their top tech talent, benchmark their compensation, seek out passive candidates, and offer hybrid work options to stay competitive. Additionally, investing in training and upskilling is key to filling gaps in teams and preparing for future projects. The current job market is challenging, but with the right strategies, employers can attract and retain the talent they need to succeed.