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5 staffing trends for adapting to a post-pandemic world

Covid-19 changed the way businesses function, forcing companies to quickly reshape their work landscape. The only way for them to thrive in the wake of the pandemic was to learn how to build and maintain their talent pipeline in a virtual environment. 

We decided to explore what the ‘new normal’ of staffing and recruiting will look like in 2022. These are the top five staffing trends that will dominate the IT recruitment market in the nearest future:

  • Tech talent shortage 
  • Employer branding
  • Talent retention
  • Remote working
  • Diminished job requirements

Growing tech talent gap

What’s always been the story of the IT staffing market remains true for 2022 as well. With technology continuing to drive digital transformation across all industries, the demand for tech skills is at a fever pitch. 

As of 2021, the global talent gap has already amounted to 40M specialists. If left unchecked the shortfall will more than double in the next decade. According to the Korn Ferry market research report, the global talent shortage is expected to reach 85M people by 2030.

In the US alone, the number of unfilled software engineering jobs has exceeded 900K and can total up to 1.2M by 2026. This made talent availability the primary concern for 46% of enterprises across the country. 

A recent Gartner survey reveals that businesses cite talent shortage as the biggest hurdle to the adoption of 64% of new technologies. This affects all tech industry domains from computer infrastructure and digital workplace, to cybersecurity, IT automation and cloud computing.

Greater focus on employer branding

With the number of open positions overweighting the number of available developers, the tech industry is deemed to remain a candidate-driven market. Due to supply-demand mismatch, seasoned software engineers are now enjoying the power to select employers based on who best meets their needs and aligns with their values.

To stay on top of their game, IT companies need to create a compelling narrative that will convince prospective employees to choose them. A good way to start is by building a reputation as a credible employer and a great place to work. This strategy helps attract and retain the right talent and therefore gain a competitive edge over other companies and staffing agencies. 

Recruiting managers worldwide claim that a robust employer brand leads to 50% more qualified applicants and reduced time-to-hire. Companies that create a welcoming image for potential employees on average see a 43% decrease in recruitment expenses. Meanwhile, organizations that fail to invest in their employer branding have to shell out up to 4.7K per candidate hired. 

Shaping your brand identity not only can equate to millions of dollars in savings but also aids in building a dynamic workforce. Astounding 88% of young professionals say being part of the right business culture is very important for them. Furthermore, 67% of job-seekers are willing to accept lower pay if the company they are interested in has a strong employer brand.

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Talent retention as a new business imperative

Though job-hopping and employee turnover have long been technology hiring trends, the pandemic has brought these issues to a whole new level. In 2021, one in four workers was considering a career change, while 15% said they’ve already switched employers since Covid 19 outbreak. This situation led to what economists are calling “the great resignation”. 

Employees are now reconsidering where they work and why. They increasingly look for more from their work than just a way to pay the bills. When asked about their rationale for joining the organization most candidates cite inspiring purpose, meaningful work, and respect for people as the top deciding factors.

Work culture, corporate benefits, and effective management are still among the top priorities for IT professionals. At the same time, pandemic gave rise to such previously overlooked factors as flexible work arrangements, which has seen a 12.3% increase in demand, inclusive workplace (+7.3%) and work-life balance (+6.3%). 

The challenges posed by the global health crisis also empowered people to put their own well-being above their employer. Thanks to this shift, employees are now more vocal about what they really want.

Benefits employees want don’t always match what they get

The major reason for high employee turnover rates may be because companies fall short to deliver what talent needs. Employers have to think about what they can offer beyond the initial hire. This can include a broader range of growth opportunities, regular upskilling, challenging tasks, and more rewarding benefits. 

Remote work is going strong

After more than 18 months of work-from-home mode, it’s hard to imagine a future in which some form of remote working won’t feature. Roughly one-third of people say they expect their employer to adopt a hybrid work model once the pandemic is over. 

Before the Covid 19 crisis, many businesses opposed the idea of having their workforce operating away from the office. The pandemic helped to demystify this practice and now companies are far more willing to embrace off-site resourcing

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Many businesses expect their staff to work in the office only three days per week. However, this is still a bit less than what employees themselves want. People would prefer to work remotely on average 2.5 days a week. For professionals engaged in the digital and technology sectors, these numbers are even higher, varying between 2.95 and 3.13 days. 

Loosening degree requirements

A four-year college degree has become a common requirement for many jobs. However, academic qualification does not necessarily guarantee career readiness. Business leaders worldwide say there is a troubling discrepancy between the skills learned in college and the competencies people need to stay future-proof. 

Ten years from now, 66% of all new jobs will mainly rely on soft skills. The most in-demand know-hows that are often cited by organizations are: 

  • communication and interpersonal skills – 55% 
  • ability to adopt change – 53% 
  • problem-solving – 45% 
  • flexibility and adaptability – 43% 
  • people management skills – 41%. 

As college education often overlooks these areas, business executives start questioning the need for four-year degrees. Apple was one of the first companies that realized that book smarts don’t necessarily equal strong work ethic, grit and coding talent. In 2019, about 50% of its US workforce was made up of people who did not have a college diploma. 

This hiring trend got caught on pretty quickly. Now, top tech companies like Google, Siemens, Tesla and IBM also use this talent acquisition strategy to close the tech talent gap. They are hiring employees who have the skills required to get jobs done, with or without a degree. 

The future of recruiting in a post-pandemic world

COVID-19 fast-forwarded digital adoption by several years. Currently, 64% of IT executives say they lack in-house expertise to launch their digital transformation initiatives. Sparked by confidence they can manage distributed teams, they’re now far more open to alternative talent sources.

If you consider taking this route, Grid Dynamics is the perfect partner for you. With offices across the Americas, Europe, and India, we provide access to a vast pool of first-class technical talent. Our global delivery model allows us to rapidly assemble teams customized to each client’s needs, whether augmenting existing software development units or building dedicated engineering teams from the ground up.

Want to learn more about how our distributed teams can accelerate your key initiatives? Contact us today to discuss your needs and we will craft a customized proposal matching your business goals.

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