December 22, 2021

Why hiring a skilled IT professional in 2021-2022 is so complicated

Let's take a look at some of the most common mistakes that prevent HRs from hiring qualified IT professionals.

The demand for IT specialists is growing every year. HR managers point out that the competition for IT specialists is constantly on the rise. The industry is developing at such a high rate that even universities cannot keep up with the demand for producing IT specialists.

Therefore, the first difficulty is self-evident:

There are far fewer experienced candidates with strong IT backgrounds than there is demand for them

According to US Labor statistics, as of December 2020, the global talent shortage amounted to 40 million skilled workers worldwide. By 2030, the global talent shortage is expected to reach 85.2 million — сompanies worldwide risk losing $8.4 trillion in revenue because of the lack of skilled talent. 

It isn't easy to find qualified developers faster than competitors and interview them to assess their level of competence. Let's dive into some of the most common challenges that anyone looking to hire IT professionals will have to contend with in 2022.

So it's not surprising that when your recruiters reach out to a candidate, they are simply not interested. He has a good salary and is happy with everything. And therein lies another problem.

Your offer or company is not interesting to the candidate

A problem your company may face, regardless of how interesting your current project is, is that it may not be interesting to the candidate you have in mind at first. If this is the case, you just need to learn how to write a quality and persuasive Job Description.

Here are some tips:

  • Think about the answers to candidates' possible objections in advance. Most often, these are the negative aspects of the job and you are already aware of them.
  • Write in simple words, avoiding clerical and cold official tone.
  • Provide more facts about your company.
  • Describe the features, advantages, and benefits of your company for the candidate.
  • Add visual aid (photo or video of the team).

If  your company's values are outdated and do not match the values of the candidates, then even beautiful advertising will not help you to persuade them. You should study what your candidates are really looking for. That is one of the key factors to make them interested.

What you need to do:

  1. Think about what's going on in your company right now and collect feedback from the employees. Try to evaluate your company’s culture and its values from the outside.
  2. Examine the profiles of the candidates you are attempting to win over. What is important to them? Can you deliver what they’re looking for?

Many recruiters place too much emphasis on a prospect’s level of education 

If this applies to you, it won’t be long until you are forced to change your recruiting strategy.

A lack of specialized education should not be a disqualifier. Almost 80% of recruiters have hired developers without a technical degree, and 24.4% regularly hire self-taught specialists. At the same time, most developers (58.8%) learned to program at a university or technical school, but only 35% consider themselves self-taught.

Today, a technical degree is often considered irrelevant for IT specialists. The primary qualifications are technical expertise and ability, regardless of education.

Sam Lad, Head of HR at IBM, says that 10-15% of new IBM employees do not have a four-year education because they prefer to hire "people who are really passionate about technology”. 

IT workforce recruiting is hard when you only rely on youth

Instead, most companies prefer to hire younger programmers over older and more experienced ones. 

This is because:

  • Young developers have lower salaries 
  • They tend to be faster learners
  • They are more active and ambitious

Nevertheless, it's always a good idea to balance different generations, experiences, ways of thinking and other forms of diversity. For instance, Microsoft maintains an age balance in its workforce. The company employs approximately the same number of young employees and experienced programmers.

Here's what you should consider when outlining your hiring strategy:

  • Resilience. Older IT professionals tend to stay with the same company longer. Senior developers are more loyal and reliable compared to their younger counterparts. 
  • Maturity. People who have already experienced the ups and downs of the IT sphere can be pillars of stability for their team at the right moment. 

Candidates aren’t interested in lengthy interviews or test assignments

It may sound strange, but the IT industry has not developed uniform criteria for assessing candidates’ qualifications. Thus, most programmers today prefer companies with a straightforward hiring process.

General recruitment stages may include:

  • General interview and skill assessment
  • Real-time coding test
  • Psychological and Personality Tests (you can find more about that types in this review).
But we strongly recommend that you do not artificially complicate the hiring process.
Ideally it will be just one call, that would include a tech assessment (live coding exercise) and a C-level final call (if it's really needed). And that's it.

Believe us, there are many companies that have shortened the job interview stages, and candidates will most likely go to them.

Moreover, bet on evaluating your candidate’s past projects, and don't forget to provide timely feedback. The former reduces the need to test a candidate’s previous achievements, while the latter will positively impact the candidate and let them know you take them seriously.

The salary at your company does not stand up to the market competition

According to the US Bureau of Labor, there were 1.4 million new developer job openings in 2020. Meanwhile, there were only around 400,000 new IT graduates capable of filling them. It's no exaggeration to say that this gap will double in 2022.

The gap explains how software developer salaries continue to increase as companies offer higher wages to acquire technical talent. 

Hiring a talented senior developer has become nearly impossible. This leads to a persistent lowering of requirements for candidates and an increase in salary expectations.

Maintaining a highly qualified in-house team will cost a pretty penny. For this reason, many companies are turning to outsourcing and outstaffing.

Sometimes a company's compensation isn’t competitive enough. However, benefits, discounts, insurance, and other privileges will help you attract the best IT professionals and retain them.

You are a startup

If you are a young startup, hiring developers will be tough. All of the above factors will work against you. Your salary budgets are low, and you have a lot of work to get done and not much time to do it. Plus, you cannot guarantee a stable future for more than a year or two.

In this case, your recruiters and talent acquisition managers have only one magic offer to candidates — stock options. Ambitious candidates will also appreciate the opportunity to grow a future team for themselves if they are one of your first hires.

Not all executives want to place a portion of their business in the hands of their employees. But in 2022, with competition only becoming more fierce, this is your best option for attracting the most qualified candidates.

Consider outsourcing if you have a clear business idea that hinges on launching a single MVP. 

Outsourcing is an excellent option for startups that are just testing their business ideas and business model. It is especially useful for those startups that do not require regular changes to their product or service.

You can learn more on the topic, in this article:

Recruiting for a startup: 10 major roles and all you should know before starting

You have not accepted remote work as the new standard

Today, only 5% of developers prefer to work from the office on a daily basis. And 43.2% prefer to work remotely a few days out of the week.

In 2020 only 4% of companies offered programmers the opportunity to work 100% remotely. In 2021 this number grew to 48%. By 2022, we expect this number to reach 75%. 

36.5% of HR managers are looking for IT professionals abroad, and the growing demand for remote work is only fueling this trend. 

Considering this, we recommend allowing your developers to work remotely as often as they like and consider hiring developers in regions with a large market of professionals. 

For example, Make It In Ukraine can help you hire the best IT professionals in Eastern Europe. Ukrainian developers have contributed to the unicorn status of several startups (Grammarly and GitHub, to name a few).

While these are not all the factors that prevent you from hiring the best IT professionals, starting with correcting the most common errors will raise your chances for better prospects in the future. 

In short, identify the right IT professionals and convince them to come join your organization. And we are here to help.

Shad Paterson
About author
Shad's been a digital nomad since he was 16, living and working remotely. After working in marketing and selling crap to people constantly, he decided to change his life and do something good. Now he helps other people transform their lives, by landing them high-paying jobs across the world.
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