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Technology Hiring Among the First to Rebound

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The coronavirus pandemic has impacted hiring in virtually every industry.With mandated closures, reduced sales, and everyone working from home, it’s no wonder that hiring came to a standstill at many companies. According to Glassdoor, a quarter of organizations paused all job openings from mid-March to the end of April. Additionally, 42% reduced their number of job openings, likely signifying that they are hiring only essential staff.

Below are some ways the technology industry has been impacted and how it’s expected to recover.

1. Hiring might be beginning to rebound.

While technology companies were also impacted, the latest data suggests that they will be among the first to recover. Data from Glassdoor shows that the number of job openings in white-collar industries (including technology) bottomed out around the third week of the crisis and then began climbing again. Job openings in the technology industry rose by 4.9 percent from April 13 to April 27.

2. Organizations across industries will still need tech talent.

Data from Emsi also shows that technology professionals are still in high demand. Although job posts for software engineers has declined 18% from February 2020 to April 2020, it is still among the most in-demand roles. In fact, through April 2020, it was the seventh most common job title among job ads.

The need for software engineers is likely spread across multiple industries. As individuals strive to stay home, many people are finding themselves running errands online. Mobile banking might replace bank visits, and online orders might replace visits to the stores. This creates a demand for talented individuals who can create or improve an organization’s digital services.

3. Some technology organizations might come out on top.

Many technology organizations, such as those in gaming, movie streaming, and video conferencing, have already seen great growth that might lead to hiring surges. One side effect of social distancing is that while people strive to stay away from others, they have increased their dependence on technology for both entertainment and human connections. James McCann, CEO and Co-founder of ClearStory International, shared some research that found that interest in remote working and video calling had increased by 14,000% and 17,500% respectively.

4. Hiring star performers might be the best long-term strategy.

For organizations that can afford it, investing in strategic hiring can give them a significant advantage.

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, writing for the Harvard Business Review, emphasizes the importance of investing in strong talent while it is available. He explains that “Throughout history, economic hardships have created windows in which exceptional employees and leaders are widely available for a limited time.” Hewlett-Packard, for example, was one of many companies struggling in the 1940s—but their strategy of investing in key talent (such as engineers newly available after the closing of U.S. military labs) helped the company overcome adversity and become the mammoth organization we know today.

Competition for technology talent has been fierce for many years. Organizations that want to invest in top talent might want to consider looking today—even if the climate doesn’t seem ideal for hiring new team members.

5. Recovery will differ across geographical divides.

Recovery isn’t moving at the same rate for every region of the US. For example, Emsi data shows that in New York County, a hub for both growing organizations and young professionals, the number of posts for software engineers increased by 28% between February and April, despite the impact of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles this number fell by 21%.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted organizations across the globe in unprecedented ways. However, for organizations in the technology industry, the light at the end of the tunnel is inching closer. As hiring begins to rebound and cities re-open slowly, having a strategic plan for hiring will help organizations come out on top.