Staffing Trends in the Tech Space in 2020 (and Predictions for 2021)

There’s little doubt 2020 has been an unpredictable year. Economic disruptions affected staffing trends in all industries. Technology and IT recruiting was no exception, but some trends that were apparent at the beginning of the year will remain constant into 2021. Here’s what to expect as the calendar turns and you are thinking of switching up — or adding to — your IT team.

Talent Shortages in The Tech Space

What’s often been the story of IT remained true as 2020 began. There was plenty of demand for IT talent and not enough available candidates to go around. In January 2020, CIO reported that 67 percent of IT managers had their eye on growing their teams in business intelligence, cloud computing, and security. But in that same survey, 89 percent of those managers said it was hard to find the talent they needed. Heading into 2021, there’s still a great need for that same talent — even if the recruiting process has moved online and companies are looking into short-term arrangements.

Analytics in Hiring

Big data has influenced several business processes. Recruitment is no different. Translating this hiring data — everything from the cost of acquiring a new employee to predicting the number of days a position will stay vacant — can make staffing procedures more predictable for companies. This applies not just to taking on new technology staff, but in all positions. More and more companies will harness the data to create a streamlined onboarding and recruitment strategy. Besides big data, AI and digital assessment tools, like games that measure skills, will find a new place in the recruitment processes of 2021 and beyond.

Remote Work and Recruitment

Managing a dispersed workforce is nothing new for many companies. But 2020 brought remote work to the forefront. A staffing trend prediction for technology positions in 2021 is the use of videoconferencing software to conduct preliminary interviews. In theory, businesses can continue to do everything remotely. But since online interviews and working arrangements have challenges — technical glitches and a feeling of disconnection from colleagues — it’s more likely that many companies will have a combination of online and offline communication procedures. These provide a balance between the in-person and remote recruitment and working experience.

Diversity and Inclusion

The year 2020 marked a renewed focus on the importance and benefits of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of society. Staffing trends in technology should reflect this renewed focus. In fact, diversity and inclusion has been at the forefront of corporate staffing concerns over the past couple of years. A 2019 Glassdoor survey found 77 percent of employees say their workplaces are diverse, but 55 percent — a majority — say their employers still have work to do in this respect.

Contingent and Contract Workers

As much as tech skills are in high demand, 2020 has put financial strain on companies across industries. That doesn’t mean they won’t hire, but may choose to hire differently. Instead of bringing on a new full-time, permanent IT employee, they may seek to fill contracts on a time-limited or project basis. TechTarget reported in October 2020 that 80 percent of firms across the globe are using more contingent employees. That can spell opportunity for technology professionals who want more variety in the positions they hold. It also gives companies more financial flexibility as they enter what could be continued economic uncertainty in 2021.

Looking to Hire or to Get Hired? We Can Help

Staffing trends for 2021 offer opportunities for tech talent and new options for companies looking for candidates. Locus specializes in staffing the tech space. We can get you the position you want or find a new, valuable IT professional for your team. Talk to us today!