In the last few years, the war for tech talent continued to rage in the job market. The demand for tech talent rose to unprecedented highs, and the tech talent shortage was extremely palpable across various positions in many tech companies.
According to data, in the UK and US, the hiring rate in the tech industry was at an all-time high in 2021 and was the largest hiring spree since 2016. The labor market also opened in 2022 with a bang by adding 467,000 new jobs in January. The first five months of the current year saw job postings increase by 52 percent compared to the same period last year. Indeed, the number of jobs available for tech workers continued its upswing.
However, based on the news lately, there have been movements, especially coming from big tech companies, that seem to be pointing in the opposite direction and dampening the tech industry that used to be red hot in hiring tech talent.
A Decline in Demand? Recent Layoffs in Tech Talent
The hiring spree in the first five months of the year was snapped by the first month-to-month decline in June, when job posts went down by 17 percent compared to the month before. Then, in the last few months, you have probably heard of high-profile tech companies making significant layoffs and letting go of manpower.
Data shows that Netflix has laid off around 500 employees, while San Francisco-based enterprise software firm Twilio has let go of 800 workers. On the other hand, Snap laid off 20 percent of its manpower, totaling 1,200 employees, while Fintech firm Robinhood shed 30 percent of its workforce and let go of more than a thousand employees.
Similarly, companies such as Shopify, Invitae, GoPuff, Coinbase, Carvana, Better, and Peloton have all laid off thousands of employees collectively. News is also rife that the top technology companies in the world, such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Meta Platforms have also laid off employees.
In fact, some job candidates who already have job offers from various tech companies have been called to have their job offers revoked. This has happened even with big tech companies such as Twitter and Amazon.
With these recent developments, you might be asking if there is still a tech talent shortage or has the labor market has been fully saturated. Is there a global tech crunch, and are we on the brink of it?
Is the war for tech talent over?
Tech Talent Shortage: Looking at the Forest Instead of the Trees
First, analysts quickly point out that there is no reason to panic. When the pandemic happened, and the global economy pivoted online, the products and services offered by tech companies became extremely crucial for businesses and organizations to continue to operate amidst lockdowns and other public health hazards. This led many companies to be extremely dependent on technology to continue to thrive.
As a result, many tech companies padded their employee ranks rapidly during the pandemic to keep up with demand. For instance, e-commerce giant Amazon doubled its workforce during the pandemic as consumers migrated online to shop. Other e-commerce giants, such as Shopify, did the same.
Now, as the global economy slowly emerges from the pandemic and people have begun to go out more for business and leisure, many tech companies realize that they are overstaffed. As a result, they need to streamline and downsize to cut costs and shore up capital. Many tech companies are also making this move to secure their coffers amid ongoing uncertainty in the face of inflation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.
In hindsight, tech job candidates like you should know that the move by tech companies to cut jobs is mainly a move for greater profitability, stability, and efficiency. With pandemic-led growth now winding down, tech companies must pivot from a period of high growth/high demand toward long-term stability amid rising costs and the threat of a possible recession.
However, you must remember that companies do not represent an entire sector or industry. Moreover, one sector cannot represent an entire economy, so let’s look at the forest, not the individual trees.
The War for Tech Talent is Still ON
Is there still a tech talent shortage? The answer is YES.
Data pulled from July revealed that more than 500,000 new jobs in the IT sector were created in that month alone. This is way higher than what analysts projected of only 258,000 new jobs. Moreover, the unemployment rate for the IT sector currently stands at 3.5 percent, the lowest in many decades.
Software development job posts, for instance, increased by 125 percent from 2019, just before the pandemic hit. Aside from this, positions for data scientists, web developers, cybersecurity experts, cloud computing engineers, network architects, and web designers are still plentiful and very much sought after.
So how can YOU as a candidate navigate the future of work in the tech industry with flying colors? How can YOU make the most of the best and worst of times in this war for tech talent?
Continue to upskill and reskill.
Active job seekers and candidates should consider gaining more certifications and learning new tech skills, especially in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and other related fields. These fields and related positions have the highest demand in the job market now and in the foreseeable future.
Widen your options by considering non-big tech companies.
You must be open-minded about working for more companies instead of just high-profile ones. While it remains understandable if you are still obsessing about how to get a job at a big tech company, know that having a career in medium-sized companies or startups is also worth exploring. Not all IT professionals work for Big Tech. Non-tech industries and government agencies also need top-tech talent, so it’s best to expand your options.
Work with a dedicated recruitment or staffing agency.
Consider getting the services of a top staffing agency to help you find that ideal IT job, even during challenging times. Staffing agencies are equipped with personnel who are experts in matching top-tech talent with companies that are suitable and ideal for your particular profile.
Looking for a job on your own can narrow down and limit your options as you cannot cover all possible bases or platforms at the same time. This is where recruitment agencies can help, as they can tap into other platforms and various channels to give you options for prospective companies and a career in IT.
FIND THE TECH OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU WITH FOX SEARCH GROUP.
The Fox Search Group has a long history of helping IT job seekers find professional success. Our team, comprised of experts in recruiting and placement of top IT talent, ensures that you are front and center when it comes to companies that are looking to hire someone of your skillset and caliber. Reach out to the Fox Search Group and win the war for top tech talent with flying colors!