Tech Hiring Trends and Insights

workers reviewing a sheet

We posted this guest blog with our friends at Relode this week.

The next year will be critical for tech employers looking to attract and hire the skills and talent they need to navigate their changing business needs. With the pandemic, labor shortage, and recent layoffs and hiring freezes, it needs to be clarified to understand where tech hiring stands today and what companies should consider for the future. Many news stories around layoffs and hiring freezes impact some of the largest tech giants. For example, in October, Twitter announced 50% of their workforce was cut at the very end of the month, and Meta and Apply announced layoffs in November. But, the reality of tech hiring is more complicated than what news outlets are highlighting.

According to Appcast’s Recruitonomics, “Information (the BLS category) added a modest 4,000 new jobs in October, despite all the news of layoffs. On the other hand, professional and Business Services (which can also contain tech jobs) added 39,000 new jobs. So overall, the tech sector is a mixed bag.” 

While several large tech giants remain cautious for the next year, many companies continue expanding their workforce in both traditional and non-traditional ways. We found that high-growth tech companies are still increasing their headcount.

A Closer Look at High-Growth Tech Companies

Aptitude Research found that one in two tech companies identify as a high-growth company and most of these companies are tech companies. High-growth companies include any organization performing better or expected to perform better than its industry or the market as a whole. These high-growth companies face unique challenges and opportunities when attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. We found that companies have several business priorities influencing high growth today, including an increase in headcount, global expansion, new market opportunities, and mergers and acquisitions.

According to this study, these companies are two times more likely to increase the number of hires this year. Talent is the most important factor in success. It impacts all other priorities, including their ability to expand globally, enter new markets, and achieve a successful exit. Unfortunately, for many of these companies, the pressure to move quickly makes recruiting and retaining talent challenging, especially in a labor shortage.

As the tech market becomes increasingly more complex and confusing, we identified a few trends influencing tech hiring today:

Invest in More Automation: Companies that want to hire the best tech talent cannot afford to rely on legacy systems and technology. World-class technology is the differentiator and helps tech companies compete for talent. Yet, not all tech companies are making the right investments. 62% of tech companies state that their recruitment activities are too administrative, and only 1 in 2 of these companies are looking outside of their ATS for better options. Tech talent expects solutions that offer a simple and dynamic experience.

Focus on Internal Mobility:  Companies must carefully consider the culture around career development, ensure employees have fair and equitable opportunities and communicate feedback consistently. For tech companies, careful planning and preparation around internal mobility are critical to a talent acquisition strategy. It requires companies to shift how they think about talent and prioritize the individual. Currently, 73% of tech companies are developing a strategy to support internal mobility.

Focus on Speed: It is a common characteristic among all high-growth companies, regardless of their priorities. Companies want to see results, and business success is measured by its ability to adjust to change. As a result, HR and talent acquisition leaders face pressure to adopt new strategies and technology overnight. While this focus on speed has created opportunities, it has also presented challenges with attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. As a result, high-growth companies must carefully balance their focus on speed with their focus on talent.

Embrace the Contingent Workforce: According to Aptitude Research, 82% of tech companies are using contingent or freelance workers, and 1 in 2 companies plan to increase their use of a more flexible workforce next year. Companies must consider talent that will fill critical talent gaps and help companies stay ahead, and talent acquisition strategies must include a complete view of total talent.

Tech hiring remains one of the most misunderstood areas of talent acquisition today. As companies look to another year of unknowns, staying prepared and investing in the right support is critical to effectively attract and retain quality talent and meet changing business goals.

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano is the founder and chief analyst of Aptitude Research. For over 18 years, Madeline’s primary focus has been on the HCM market, specializing in talent acquisition and employee experience. Her work helps companies both validate and re-evaluate their strategies and understand the role technology can play in driving business outcomes. She has watched HCM transform from a back-office function to a strategic company initiative with a focus on partnerships, experience and efficiency.

Before founding Aptitude Research, Madeline held research roles at Aberdeen, Bersin by Deloitte, ERE Media and Brandon Hall Group. She is the co-author of Best Practices in Leading a Global Workforce and is often quoted in leading business publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Yahoo News, The New York Times and The Financial Times. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the HR Technology Conference and Exposition, SHRM, IHRIM, HCI’s Strategic Talent Acquisition conference, Unleash, GDS International’s HCM Summit, and HRO Today.

In her spare time, she is a runner, an avid sports fan and juggles a house full of boys (where a spontaneous indoor hockey game is not unheard of!).