Hiring Developers: Fighting with Tech Talent Shortage

Hiring Developers: Fighting with Tech Talent Shortage
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We all know that the tech industry is constantly changing. Due to recruitment challenges, companies look for other, more creative solutions to fill a position.

Needless to say that the situation with tech talent pool depends on location and many other factors and, for some companies it’s very hard to find and hire dedicated developers, especially if the required set of skills is rare.

Hiring Tech Talent Is Harder Now

In recent years, technical hiring has become one of the hardest challenges. HR professionals, recruitment agencies, and tech CEOs alike are bemoaning the shortage of tech talent.

The problem has become so severe, particularly in advanced economies, that it now occupies a role in the mainstream discussion.

Solutions to the Tech Talent Gap

Governments in North America and Europe have debated how they can create programs to teach coding to more people, for example. Meanwhile, venture capitalists and investors complain that the lack of developer talent is holding their VC portfolio companies back.

Technical Skills in High Demand

Due to the high demand for tech experts in Western Europe and North America, among other regions, recruiting developers is much harder now. For example, according to EuroStat, about 20% of EU enterprises needed ICT specialists.

In this group, in all EU countries, employers had challenges hiring the ICT specialists they needed. The situation was worse for employers in advanced economies such as the Netherlands, Austria, and Denmark.

Hiring Developers: Fighting with Tech Talent Shortage
Chart: Employers Who Experienced Challenges Finding Tech Talent

Among advanced economies, Spain and France have lower recruitment challenges for tech roles.

Reasons for Shortage of Skilled Human Resources

Behind the tech, shortage lies a number of trends which have resulted in the supply of talent not matching with demand.

The following are important causes of the current situation, according to Hackernoon.

1. Technology Advances

Software engineering has advanced in the last decade. New stacks have emerged, and new tools and techniques. The majority of talent has not yet sufficiently caught up with the latest advances that employers demand in the marketplace.

Some relatively new skills that are hard to recruit for include data science, Node.js, No-SQL, big data, and machine learning.

2. Employer Expectations for Tech Jobs

Employers want to use the best, most cutting-edge technologies available and are willing to pay higher technical recruiter salary to conduct tech pro-research.

Some of the businesses in tech are among the best companies to work for. For them, using an older technology stack that has more candidates available is seen as a strategic disadvantage.

3. Tech Graduates Not Sufficient for Demand

In advanced economies, the supply of new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates is not sufficient to cover the needs of all companies.

For example, many countries have to augment their labor pools for STEM areas with foreign workers and high skill visas. These solutions are not always enough for what businesses need.

3 Ways to Fight the Tech Talent Shortage

Smart companies are not waiting for policymakers to change the business landscape but are finding their own solutions. With these approaches, they are able to fight the tech talent shortage and hire developers regardless of recruitment difficulties.

1. Outsourcing

Outsourcing is one major avenue by which businesses are finding tech talent around the world. With outsourcing, a company will send an entire project to, say, a software development company in Ukraine or the Philippines, and get back a completed project.

Outsourcing has some advantages when done properly. Important ones are:

  • Lower tech development costs – Outsourcing companies are often able to complete projects for less than the company that needs the work can get it done internally. Outsourcing from, say, the US, to an Eastern European or Asian country is attractive for this reason.
  • Access to hard to find talent – With outsourcing, the company that needs talent will often be able to hire hard to find skills that might not be available locally. For example, if it needs data science talent, it can send the project to another country where there are many data science specialists.

Outsourcing has some potential drawbacks which companies have complained about, including product quality, projects not being on schedule, and poor communication with offshore team personnel.

2. IT outstaffing

The outstaffing model is often seen as an improvement on outsourcing, particularly for product quality. Instead of shipping out the execution of a project and its oversight, in outstaffing, the company that needs talent creates a tightly knit team in another location where talent is available.

The project managers of this company then work with that team. The outstaffing company provides the entire team of dedicated developers for a project.

Some advantages of this model are:

  • Higher software quality – Because the company sponsoring the project has control and insight into the team of software developers working on it, work processes can be improved. The entire team can work to quality specifications controlled by the company that needs the product. When you hire dedicated developers, the quality of the end product is sometimes superior to what you could achieve internally.
  • Better communication – Because the client and development team are tightly integrated into the project execution, communication is often better. This makes it easier to identify and solve problems or brainstorm together.

The potential drawback with outstaffing is that if the client has no team managers able to collaborate with the outstaffing firm, the collaboration can create logistical overhead.

Hiring Freelancers

Another solution to the tech talent shortage is to hire freelancers. Hiring freelancers let a client company augment its existing staff with the talent for one-off projects or contingencies.

Advantages of freelancers include:

  • Fast access to talent – Individual freelancers outnumber companies, so finding a single freelancer for a small project is often easier than locating a company that can work on big projects.
  • Few restrictions on finding talent – While a company might not be able to outsource an entire project to certain regions, there may still be freelancers in those countries that can help. For example, if a company in Europe needs financial development talent but has no intention to set up an office in New York, freelancers can help. The company can simply hire experienced financial developers who have worked on Wall Street so they work on its project, collaborating over the internet.

A drawback with freelancers is that it’s harder to complete large, complex projects with freelancers. Managing time zone differences and different work schedules makes team collaboration more challenging.

Best Countries in Which to Hire Developers

One area that has emerged as a winner in the tech talent race is Central and Eastern Europe. This region includes nations like Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Poland, which have rapidly growing tech communities.

This makes it easier for companies that are hard-pressed to find tech talent elsewhere. Given the high quality of talent in this region of the world, these countries are likely to become very important for the future of the tech industry globally.

How Companies Can Circumvent Tech Recruitment Challenges

The intense need for software developers and tech experts around the world has created a shortage of skilled talent.

This creates opportunities for developers and challenges for businesses. Some options that many businesses are now using to solve this problem include outsourcing, outstaffing, and hiring freelancers.

Each solution has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. All, however, provide an opportunity for any business or developer looking to work on cutting-edge projects.

Author: Anastasia Stefanuk

Anastasia Stefanuk is a passionate writer and a Marketing Manager at Mobilunity. The company provides professional staffing services, so she is always aware of technology news and wants to share her experience to help tech startups and companies to be up-to-date. View all posts by Anastasia Stefanuk