Finding the right tech talent in this era of the Great Resignation can sometimes feel like searching for the Holy Grail. But there are ways to solve for today’s and tomorrow’s tech needs, says Luis Paiva.
Paiva, senior vice president, people, technology and operations at BairesDev, a software development company based in San Francisco, spoke with StrategicCIO360 about how to find talent, how to develop talent and why soft skills are becoming as important as hard skills in tech.
What are the greatest business needs today when it comes to tech talent?
One of the biggest concerns for businesses right now is finding talent that is flexible and adaptable. More than ever, companies are looking to quickly scale teams with developers who can seamlessly integrate with already standing in-house teams. This is a particularly difficult challenge in the current talent market in the United States.
Also, companies are looking for developers who are flexible enough to work on a variety of different projects that may require multiple different skillsets. That is part of the reason why more than 60% of tech companies are outsourcing at least a part of their application development. Many companies are finding that outsourcing allows them to increase productivity, innovation and efficiency while reducing costs.
What tech skillsets are most important for businesses to be focusing on today? What about in the next year?
In today’s work environment, businesses are looking for developers who have the skillsets to work with cutting-edge technology like AI, machine-learning and blockchain. Technology keeps advancing so quickly, and many companies end up falling behind because engineers do not have experience with the newest tech.
However, companies do not always need to go out and find new talent to fill those knowledge gaps. Leaders also need to be looking at talent that is willing to keep learning, so that ongoing training can help bridge the talent gap in the short- and long-term.
As we’ve all been moving toward a hybrid and remote workforce, digital transformation remains a priority for most companies, and, in turn, companies are looking to hire those with skillsets that will help accelerate it. Specifically, companies have been increasingly seeking out developers with experience in data science and cybersecurity.
Business leaders are seeing how data-driven everything is becoming critical and are starting to place stronger value on skilled employees with data-related technical skills such as data science, machine learning and data engineering. Cybersecurity is another extremely important technical skill for employees to foster as cyberattacks are becoming a growing concern for most companies.
In the future, I expect businesses will start seeking out talent with more soft skillsets, in addition to hard skillsets. Business leaders are noticing the necessity of soft skillsets to craft well rounded teams, particularly in a hybrid work environment.
Having a group of developers that all know how to work in Java and Python but don’t know how to communicate with each other won’t get businesses far in the long run. That’s why I think we’ll see business leaders start to seek out talent with more soft skills, like collaboration, time management, creative problem solving and organization.
The U.S. tech talent market is experiencing shortages—how does that compare globally?
Though the current tech talent shortage is a global issue, it’s been specifically hitting the U.S. hard in recent months, and this is for a variety of reasons. The first being the Great Resignation. U.S. workers are currently quitting their jobs in record numbers, including those in the tech industry, which has led to larger shortages in tech talent. And this is an issue which the U.S. has already been struggling with for a while.
As one of the global tech superpowers, the U.S. is one of the biggest hotspots for new startups and tech companies. With such rapid technological growth, it makes sense that the U.S. doesn’t have the amount of talent to match its constantly growing demand, something that’s only been exacerbated by the Great Resignation.
The other reason is America’s “local-first” mindset when it comes to hiring tech talent. U.S. companies, especially tech companies and startups, often look for local “in-person” talent to fill their roles, despite the global shift toward a remote workforce and the pressures of the Great Resignation. If the U.S. continues to fail to embrace hiring solutions like outsourcing and hiring remote workers, the shortages that their tech talent market are facing will only worsen.
Are there any other major trends you’re watching out for this year?
The main trends I’ve been focusing on this year are in the realm of cybersecurity. It will be really interesting to see how the cybersecurity landscape will continue to shift with the increased adoption of remote work options and rising prevalence of cyberattacks due to global tensions.
With 81% of remote-capable workers now working remote or hybrid, there are significant concerns of increased risk of ransomware attacks, especially with the increased accessibility of Ransomware-as-a-Service kits.
Companies have already started responding to this through implementing more companywide cybersecurity trainings and investing in stronger IT departments. Gartner predicted a 12.4% jump between 2020 and 2021, which will likely continue in 2022. Business and tech leaders will need to see how efforts in cybersecurity will continue to evolve as companies continue to undergo digital transformation and adopt new technologies. Partnering with the right people and investing in the right technology is critical.