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Given the speed at which the IT sector evolves and new technologies develop, it's essential for businesses to ensure their IT recruitment and tech talent strategies are keeping up with the latest trends.
This is especially important as organisations of all types and sizes become more reliant on technology with each passing year. As the IT industry grows, hiring tactics and talent management will also need to change, so employers can feel confident they're acquiring the skills and experience they need to reach their key goals.
Let's take a look at five of the most important IT talent trends you should be aware of in 2022 and beyond.
tech talent shortages
IT talent shortages have been a concern for businesses around the world for several years, and all the signs suggest this will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. The situation is particularly challenging in niche segments such as cybersecurity, data science and cloud computing.
According to research by Gartner, IT executives see a lack of skills as the most significant barrier to the adoption of 64% of emerging technologies. This is seen as a bigger issue than other concerns such as implementation cost (29%) and security risk (7%).
If your business is feeling the effects of talent scarcity, you need to come up with a strategy that will help you get the people and expertise you need at the right time. That could involve hiring contingent workers to access niche skills that are only required for a short period of time or coming up with a plan to reskill your workforce.
escalating demand for tech talent
The shortage of tech talent supply in key areas is being exacerbated by the fact that business demand for people with specialist IT skills and experience is higher than ever.
IT was once a fairly self-contained industry, but now faces intense competition from many other sectors for the most capable and experienced workers. Technologies that were viewed as emerging only a few years ago, like cloud computing, are now mainstream and being frequently utilised by a huge range of companies, many of which have a need for high-quality talent.
This trend accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which sped up the adoption of digital solutions by several years and pushed many companies 'over the technology tipping point', according to McKinsey. A survey by Gartner found that 69% of boards responded to the health crisis with digital business acceleration.
In this increasingly competitive environment, you should have a clear plan not only to identify the talent you need but to engage with candidates and demonstrate what you have to offer as an employer.
growth of AI and machine learning
One particular field where companies are showing higher demand for experienced workers is artificial intelligence and related areas such as machine learning.
A quarter of organisations taking part in PwC's AI Predictions 2021 survey reported widespread adoption of these technologies, up from 18% a year earlier. A separate poll by CNBC of 44 technology executives found that 91% of respondents saw machine learning as critical or very important to their companies in 2022, while 81% said the same about AI.
From a recruitment perspective, the challenge of finding competent professionals in a niche area like AI means it's crucial to ensure the key steps in your hiring cycle - such as initial assessment, interviewing and reference checking - are functioning at a high level and delivering reliable results.
re-hiring proven performers
Considering the challenges and concerns associated with acquiring new talent to meet a company's needs - the risk of making a bad hire, for example - many employers could view re-hiring former workers as a cost-effective and less time-consuming way to acquire reliable professionals.
'Boomerang' employees are past team members who can contribute even more to your organisation the second time around. They have accumulated knowledge and experience during their time spent with other employers, and they're familiar with your company and understand its mission. In short, they're proven workers who will find it easier to integrate into your culture and working methods than brand new hires.
With this in mind, it's worth thinking about how you can maintain positive relationships with former employees in the hope of tempting them back. That might involve staying connected with them on LinkedIn and using their exit interview to make it clear you would be open to them returning.
understanding the needs of candidates
To stand out from other employers and present a compelling picture of the benefits and experiences you're able to offer as an employer, one of the most powerful assets you can have at your disposal is a strong understanding of what your ideal candidates are looking for.
This is now more important than ever for businesses seeking tech talent, given the level of competition for experienced workers in this area.
Our recent research into the engineering and ITC sectors provides a range of insights into what really matters to professionals working in these industries, including the job factors that hold the greatest appeal for them and their switching behaviour.
Take a look at the report to learn more and boost your efforts to acquire high-level tech talent.download the report