US companies facing a huge tech talent deficit in 2020

If you are thinking about hiring tech talent in 2020, make sure you take enough time to get the hire you want.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Companies are more and more challenged in finding and hiring the required technology talent -- yet it is not due to a lack of applicants, according to a recent report.

Cloud-based talent acquisition platform iCIMS analysed applicant data across the US economy from January to May 2019.  Its benchmark report on hiring discovered that hiring across the tech sector is growing faster than all other hires.

There were 18% more net new tech hires compared to 2017, outpacing overall US hiring of 14% net new hires. However, only six positions were filled for every 10 open positions.

US companies facing a huge tech talent deficit in 2020 zdnet

This is a huge contrast to other types of hired roles. Companies made 12 hires per 10 job openings for all types of positions over the same timeframe

It does take time to find new talent. In the first five months of 2019, it took US employers an average of 66 days to hire a new tech employee, up from 55 days in 2016, versus just 43 days for all types of hires. It takes 50% longer to hire a tech position than other roles.

Roles matter too. It is not a dearth of software app developers. The hardest tech roles to hire are security analysts, data research scientists, and database administrators. Employers are only able to fill less than half of their open positions.

Software application developers are, by far, the most sought-after role, accounting for nearly one-third of all tech jobs, followed by user support (14%) and network administrators (10%).

US companies facing a huge tech talent deficit in 2020 zdnet

The gender gap is still consistent. More females apply than are hired, with 27% of tech applications from women. This is in sync with 28% of all STEM graduates that are female. However, only 24% of those hired are women, which has been a consistent gender gap over the last three years

There is no shortage of technology applicants, however. Despite a large number of unfilled positions, there were, on average, 43 applicants for every tech hire in 2018 (up from 36 in 2016), compared to 21 applicants for every (all types) hire. The increasing number of tech openings is attracting an increasing number of tech applicants.

The problem is that employers find it increasingly difficult to find qualified technology candidates even though there is an increasing number of applicants for several of the most-needed positions.

So, if you are looking to hire top tech talent, here are some steps you can take to make sure you get the right hire:

  • Publish the salary range for the role. This will help to attract the right level of talent and candidates and enhance your position with Google for Jobs -- an important source of candidates.
  • Plan to take for three months from the time you post the job to on-boarding your new tech hire. Do not hire to achieve the metric; ensure you hire the right person for the role so that retaining them is easy.
  • Seek out candidates who have demonstrated aptitude, even though they may not have a degree in technology. Having a degree just means that the candidate can apply themselves diligently to the role, work hard, and focus on getting the job done.

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