IT Worker Shortage — A Quest for Unicorns in 2024

IT Worker Shortage — A Quest for Unicorns in 2024

Facing a tech talent shortage? Discover strategies to tackle the IT worker shortage and find top tech talent for your business needs.



12 min read

Jul 11

IT worker shortage is one of the most talked-about issues in 2024. Finding qualified IT professionals is like searching for unicorns, as there are 11.3 million job opportunities in the US alone. In a race to attract top IT talent, many businesses are reevaluating their hiring practices. That's why this article examines tech talent scarcity figures, business issues, and techniques to recruit top talents despite the labor market.

Some data for tech jobs 2024 illustration

Did you know? Over 44% of major organizations foresee a significant talent gap in the next five years. Right now, there are only 65 potential candidates for every 100 tech job openings. This imbalance means longer hiring times and higher costs. And it’s not just a local problem. Globally, the tech-skill workers' shortage is real. Even if every unemployed person in the US got a job today, there’d still be 5 million vacancies. Sweden faces a gap of 70,000 tech specialists. Israel has a 15% deficit of software developers. Russia? They’ll need 6 million more skilled workers by 2039, and China’s shortage could be twice as large. The projections are grim: by 2030, we’re looking at a global shortfall of 85.2 million tech workers.

Why are we here? Tech talent shortage and challenges

So, what’s behind this tech talent drought? Let's break it down:

  • Tech boom. We’re living in a golden age of tech. Automation and digital advances are replacing lower-skilled jobs, but they’re creating a huge demand for highly skilled workers. Our education systems just can't keep up, churning out graduates with the necessary skills. Picture it like a busy kitchen where the chefs are ready to cook, but the pantry is missing half the ingredients. It’s chaotic and frustrating for everyone involved.
  • The great resignation. Tech workers are leaving jobs in droves, and companies are struggling to retain and attract them. It’s not just about numbers; it’s about finding the right fit. Imagine a game of musical chairs but with more players than seats. As soon as the music stops, someone’s left scrambling. In addition to the sheer number of job openings, there’s a mismatch in expectations. Companies want experienced professionals, but they’re not always willing to invest in training new talent.
  • Aging population. As the global population ages, fewer people are in the workforce. By 2030, 1 in 6 people will be over 60, which further strains the talent pool. It’s like trying to keep a garden vibrant with fewer gardeners each year. The work doesn’t get any easier, and the demand only grows.
  • Pandemic pressure. COVID-19 pushed many companies to go digital, creating a surge in demand for tech experts. This shift has made hiring even more competitive. The pandemic was like a sudden storm, forcing everyone indoors and online. The tech world had to adapt quickly, and the demand for skilled workers skyrocketed.

Moreover, there’s a big mismatch between what employers and tech workers want. Companies prefer experienced hires with a laundry list of skills, but seasoned developers want flexibility, interesting projects, and good pay. It’s like dating in the modern world — everyone has a long list of must-haves, but finding the perfect match is rare.

The consequences of IT worker shortage for business

This talent shortage is more than a headache for HR; it’s a barrier to progress:

  • Digital transformation challenges. 64% of emerging technologies face adoption delays due to the talent gap. Think about AI, blockchain, and IoT. Imagine trying to drive a high-speed train without enough fuel. The potential is there, but it’s not going anywhere fast without the right resources.
  • Impact of tech talent gap on business growth and development. Half of all Chief Information Officers say the lack of skilled IT workers makes it hard to grow and stay competitive. It’s like trying to run a marathon with a sprained ankle. Progress is slow and painful.
  • Unrealized profit. By 2030, the talent shortage could lead to $8.5 trillion in lost revenue annually. The US alone might miss out on €132 billion each year. This is like leaving money on the table because there’s no one to pick it up.

Finally, think about increased hiring costs. In 2020, 69% of US companies struggled to fill positions, and the UK spends €7.6 billion annually on temporary staffing and recruitment, a 39% increase from 2017. It’s like trying to fill a leaky bucket. No matter how much you pour in, it never seems enough.

Despite the growth in tech job openings, some positions are tougher to fill:

  • Software engineers. Demand is booming for everyone from WordPress developers to machine learning experts. Companies want tech skills plus soft skills, remote work experience, and more. Think of it like trying to find a Swiss Army knife of employees — they need to be versatile and multifaceted.
  • Project managers. They need a mix of tech and business savvy, plus leadership and communication skills. It’s a tall order. Imagine trying to find a unicorn that also knows how to juggle — it’s rare and highly sought after.
  • Data protection specialists. With the rise in security tech, the need for these specialists has shot up. It’s akin to hiring more security guards in a world of increasing digital heists.
  • Quality assurance experts. Essential for software testing, they need skills in both automated and manual testing. High demand and specific skills make these roles hard to fill. It’s like searching for a needle in a haystack, but the needle needs to be a particular type of steel.

IT pros hiring best practices for filling the talent gap

So, how to hire software developers during tech talent shortage? Some suggestions are as follows:

  • Upskill your team. Invest in training your current developers. It’s more cost-effective than hiring new senior developers, and it builds loyalty. Create educational programs to keep your team up-to-date with the latest tech. It’s like watering your own garden instead of buying new plants every season.
  • Retention is key. Find out what your employees want and work to meet those needs. Happy employees are less likely to jump ship. Use surveys to get insights and create a better work environment. Think of it as maintaining a happy, harmonious family — everyone’s needs should be met to keep the peace.
  • Smart hiring. Sometimes you need new blood. Partner with global tech talent sourcing solutions to speed up the hiring process and cut costs. This can be especially useful for finding niche skills quickly. Imagine having a matchmaker who knows exactly what you’re looking for and can find the perfect fit.

Briefly put, the scarcity of qualified IT workers will not go away very soon. But businesses can get through these rough patches if they have a plan. Train your present employees better, concentrate on keeping them, and search outside of your country for fresh recruits. You can remain ahead of the competition and ensure the continued success of your company in the digital sector by making strategic steps.

Let’s investigate how companies can creatively overcoming tech talent shortage in Canada:

  • Cultivate early talent. Some forward-thinking companies are reaching out to high school students and offering early career programs. This approach is like planting seeds early to ensure a bountiful harvest. By investing in future talent now, companies can build a pipeline of skilled workers ready to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.
  • Flexible work environments. Offering remote or hybrid work options can attract top talent. Many skilled workers value flexibility as much as salary. Imagine a workplace where the best perk isn’t the coffee machine but the freedom to work from anywhere.
  • Diverse hiring practices. By prioritizing diversity in hiring, new talent pools may be discovered. Taking into account a broader variety of experiences and backgrounds is essential, as is going beyond conventional credentials. Imagine it as enhancing your color pallet to make a more colorful and rich painting.

Also, there is a growing demand for qualified cybersecurity experts due to the proliferation of cyber threats. Recruiting and training in this crucial sector should be a top priority for companies. It's similar to a security system that keeps an eye out for suspicious behavior in addition to locking the doors.

Sourcing-as-a-service is the most efficient tech talent shortage solution

If the local talent pool is dry, look globally. One of the best strategies for retaining IT talent in 2024 is the use of services like New Wave Devs where you can hire across three continents. Sourcing-as-a-service can help you find candidates that fit your needs perfectly. It’s cheaper and faster, automating most of the hiring process. Leveraging a global talent pool can help you build a strong, remote team. Plus, it’s cost-effective, often cutting hiring expenses by 60%. Most companies find this subscription-based solution ideal for building their talent pools and meeting changing project requirements.

These strategies and insights can transform the shortage of technical personnel from a daunting challenge to a manageable task for companies. Keeping oneself ahead of the curve, inventive, and adaptable is key. You may find answers by welcoming global talent pools, savvy recruiting, or by upskilling yourself. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and start digging for those unicorns!

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