The first time I heard the term “the war for talent,” I was a fresh engineer graduate, looking for my first tech job. That was the early 90s, but the challenge for finding and retaining top talent in today’s competitive landscape continues—and is more acute than ever. Especially in the tech sector.
Today, almost every company is a tech company, to some degree, regardless of the industry. Two-thirds of the demand for IT jobs comes from non-tech industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing and banking. Despite high unemployment for many other professions, tech unemployment in certain North American cities is under 4%. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020 there will be 1 million more IT jobs than computer science students in the U.S.
The fight to attract—and keep—top talent is more competitive than ever before. The time to find new, qualified hires for tech and IT positions is increasing. Consequently, the cost per hire is growing, as salaries and compensation packages also increase in order to attract and keep skilled people.
As companies battle while positions remain vacant, the pace of the tech industry only speeds up. So, how do companies overcome this challenge?
How successful companies manage the war for talent
Leaders with a progressive mindset consider talent management to be a crucial part of their job. They understand that strengthening their talent pool is key to a better corporate performance. They are committed to taking action to build the pool they need.
Google is one example. A recent New York Times article revealed that almost half of Google’s talent comes from contractors and temporary workers. This is a common practice among companies in the Silicon Valley. And contingent labor accounts for 40 to 50 percent of the workers at most technology firms, according to estimates by OnContracting. With nearly half of CIOs from larger organizations increasing their investment in outsourcing [source: Harvey Nash/KPMG], OnContracting also estimates that a technology company can, on average, save $100,000 USD a year per job by using a contractor instead of a full-time employee.
Find new talent through innovative work models using nearshore partners
The first step for companies is to develop new tech talent sourcing strategies. This often means talent-aware leaders partnering with managed service providers (MSPs). Together they create new models to build pools of people with the skills and experience the company needs. These models do not restrict the tech team to a particular city or region, as today’s leaders recognize that satisfying the demands of these technical positions can be remote. They can leverage the benefits of today’s technology to create an “in-office” environment and team collaboration. (Read my previous post)
As my own experience over the past few decades has shown, the battle for tech talent isn’t slowing down. But if your company is feeling the effects of a tech talent shortage, know that there are innovative solutions available. Or perhaps you have already adopted some successful recruiting strategies of your own. Either way, we would love to hear about your experience and offer any support or guidance your business may need.
Founder and CEO