As we look ahead to 2022, and predict the tech recruitment trends we might see next year, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the past 18 months.
It would be an understatement to say the pandemic has transformed the way businesses operate and what many of us want from work, and how we want to work.
1. Adapting to a tighter candidate-driven market
Millions of people were forced to work from home during the pandemic, businesses had to adapt and embrace this seismic change by moving operations to the cloud and the demand for tech talent exploded. What also became apparent was there simply weren’t enough highly skilled tech workers to go around.
The lack of qualified tech candidates is likely to continue to be a major challenge for companies into next year and for the foreseeable future. Demand for skilled tech talent is unlikely to ease with remote working here to stay, the digitisation of businesses, and as we move into a new era of automation in manufacturing.
If businesses are going to survive and thrive, they need to hire for tech roles. But competition is fierce and to attract the best tech talent a competitive salary alone won’t be enough. The most talented developers will be in such high demand next year they can effectively name their price, and they’re not under pressure to accept the first job.
In this candidate-driven tech recruitment market, the power lies with the applicants and companies have to do more than dangle a financial carrot to attract the best tech candidates. Applicants will be able to demand more from a role such as the technical challenge, the option to remote work and investment in training and development
When we polled developers earlier this year and asked them what they looked for when applying for a job position, they ranked the technical challenge and work-life balance above salary, while company culture and advancement opportunities ranked just behind salary.
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2. Redefining employer branding and EVP
What a business stands for and the company culture will be even more important in 2022 to attract and retain tech talent With candidates becoming more picky about the company they want to work for, businesses will have to work harder on promoting their values and what they stand through an enhanced and more accurate employer value proposition (EVP).
Candidates can afford to be much more selective about the jobs they apply for, and recruiters face an uphill struggle to attract the very best tech talent if they can’t meet these needs. Businesses will also need to assess and revise their hiring strategies, and think creatively when it comes to recruiting, if they are going to steal a march on the competition.
3. Embracing HR tech to foster unbiased hiring practices and widen talent pool
HR tech will become a must-have in 2022. Tech recruitment will be a lot more data-driven, with companies using objective bias-free hiring tools to get a competitive edge.
With a lack of local tech talent a barrier for many businesses, we are likely to see more companies adopting remote hiring in 2022 to enable them to recruit from a wider pool of talent. Virtual interviews and remote assessment are also time-saving and efficient ways of screening.
Unconscious bias will continue to blight the tech recruiting process in 2022 unless companies make a concerted effort to remove it. If the emphasis when recruiters hire was on skills not CVs, businesses could select from a more diverse and larger pool of tech talent, at a time when there is a talent shortage.
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4. Focusing on talent retention and employee experience
With a tech talent shortage likely to persist next year, it’s all too easy for businesses to focus all their energies on hiring and forget about the tech employees they already have. This is a mistake – they need to devote as much attention to their existing employees as they do to new hires.
There is a growing trend called The Great Resignation, which has been fueled by multiple lockdowns, with a large number of disenchanted workers leaving their jobs. This has hit the tech sector particularly hard, and one of the main reasons cited is employees feel their employer focuses more on attracting new talent than supporting and investing in existing employees.
A recent survey revealed that almost three quarters of tech workers polled were considering leaving their jobs. There’s a danger in the current candidate-driven market, this trend may gather pace in 2022.
If companies aren’t nurturing and investing in their skilled tech staff then they will just leave and find a new job with a company that will. And it could be a lengthy and costly process to replace a highly skilled tech employee.
Companies need to pay attention to their employees’ needs. That might include incorporating flexible working as company policy, and not taking away the option to work from home that was offered during lockdown.
Opportunities for advancement and training need to be offered in an ever-changing tech environment. Acquiring new skills, particularly in hot areas such as AI, machine learning and DevOps processes, will keep tech staff engaged and loyal.
As previously mentioned, the company culture and values are just as important to existing employees as new hires. Almost two thirds of developers in a recent survey said they would leave their current company, if a conflict arose with their personal values.
Next year may not be the transformative year we’ve just experienced, but those businesses that are slow to adapt will be at the back of the queue when developers are looking for their next role.