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Despite Meta’s Mass Layoffs, It’s Still Hard To Hire The Right Tech Talent

March 18, 2023
minute read

Recent layoff announcements in the IT sector, from Meta Platforms to Palantir and Eventbrite, demonstrate that tech businesses are still laying off employees. According to Crunchbase, the IT business laid off 234,000 people last year, with another 94,000 laid off since January.

Yet, finding and retaining IT talent is becoming more difficult, according to a poll of 1,000 human resources professionals conducted by General Assembly, a professional placement and talent recruitment organization.

When a January job report indicated a slowing in IT unemployment, a contemporaneous survey from consultancy firm Janco identified 109,000 vacant IT jobs due to a shortage of "qualified individuals."

"I believe traditional hiring approaches are ineffective because they are so reactive," said Lupe Colangelo, GA's interim head of personnel and operations. She stated that over 90% of recruiting teams were concerned about their ability to find qualified candidates.

"One of the reasons companies are failing is that they don't have the correct recruitment tactics," Colangelo noted.

She feels the mismatch is twofold: the recruiting process takes too lengthy, and hiring excludes minority groups. According to Colangelo, barely half of Generation Z workers want to get a four-year degree. Businesses that continue to need four-year college degrees are so limiting the pool of talent from whom they may recruit.

"On average, hiring for IT roles takes seven weeks, and by the time the job is listed, a firm has required that talent for months," she explained.


When you consider that demand for digital expertise is coming from practically every area of the economy, the situation becomes more difficult. Colangelo explained that a firm like John Deere, which has long been recognized for farm equipment, has placed a considerable bit of software and other technology into its tractors and hence needs tech expertise to interpret the data it collects.

As a result, Colangelo claims that IT professionals are migrating into employment at organizations in fields other than "tech," such as food and fashion. Some organizations' most competitive recruiters set up outreach activities during industry conventions to uncover talent well before the demand becomes urgent.

"I believe it's better for IT people since they aren't limited to seeking a job at a 'tech business,'" she says. "That means that every business is a tech business."

Borderless head hunters

Employees may have migrated well beyond commuting distance in the post-Covid age, but national boundaries and time zones remain a concern, according to Louis Demetroulakos, head of partnerships at Payroll, a business that specializes in cross-border employment. He believes that a significant shift in mentality is required to broaden the talent pool.

"Company doesn't want to offshore because there are a lot of possible liabilities with sensitive information," he explained. "They want to recruit workers in another nation at a reduced cost while maintaining operational and legal full-time employees."

Payroll can employ in 170 countries, handling legal, benefits, and tax issues for firms looking to hire globally.

For example, if a company wants to employ a software developer in Brazil but has never done business there before, Payroll can source that talent and onboard them on their behalf. Payroll does the administrative duties, so the offshore employee is almost in-house.

Create a vision, not just a job

Companies must be deliberate, especially when it comes to specialized expertise. According to Owen Healy, a blockchain recruiter, Web3 talent has always been used to working remotely and is always in demand. Salary expectations for top coders are the same throughout the world, according to Healy.

When the whole business is distant, there are few incentives to keep developers on board. According to Healy, 80% of available roles are extremely technical, with recruiting teams competing for only a few thousand highly skilled developers.

He stated that the only way to get them on the team is to have a compelling mission.

"These developers are experts in their fields," he says. "People want to believe in a vision. It's all about legacy for the best coders in particular."

It’s about listening

According to Colangelo, success in hiring tech talent comes down to good listening skills. Figuring out what the team needs leads to more accurate hiring. And recruiting more diverse talent begins with rewriting job descriptions, evaluating prejudices during interviews, and listening to workers.

"For example, do specific teams enjoy the workplace atmosphere, and do they receive valuable mentorship? "she explained. "Is there strong in-person networking or a culture for new atypical talent? ”

According to Healy, maintaining talented remote talent entails keeping them linked to other members of the team.

"It may be as easy as having a monthly meeting with your manager and asking, 'How are you, are things all right?'" he added. "Businesses are attempting to expand their initiatives, but human capital aspects must also be scaled."

In terms of the general IT talent market, Colangelo believes the supply and demand relationship is rebalancing.

"We observed firms that were perhaps a little overly aggressive with employment and expansion, and they opted for volume rather than strategy," she explained. "It's not a matter of saying, 'You need 100 developers.' It's a matter of determining what you truly require."

Demetroulakos stated that many businesses still assume they may only recruit inside their culture or region, such as hiring just within the United Kingdom. Businesses that hire across time zones yet establish work hours within a range to keep projects on track with a workforce split hundreds of miles apart are gaining access to the greatest people.

"Companies are allowing employees to work remotely in the United States," Demetroulakos explained. "Why not, if it's just as simple to have individuals work remotely across Central and South America? ”

Bryan Curtis
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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