2023 is a year of big changes in the IT sector. Many companies underwent restructuring, some were forced to reduce their staff. The end of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns cancellation resulted in IT services demand reduction, which fell to 2019 levels. According to experts, it is not going back to what it was. However, a high pace of change and global uncertainty influence the companies’ planning.
According to recruitment market data, almost 80% of employees do not feel financially and professionally secure. About 1/3 say they want to find a new job. Recruitment report 2023 shows that 63% of job seekers consider the option of full-time, remote and hybrid work as the most important factor in their decision. At the same time 48% of seekers would prefer a full-time, traditional office work. 2 out of 5 employees feel they lack the necessary work-life balance. Statistically, last year candidates participated in 2-3 job interviews before signing a contract. 58% of people indicated difficulty in applying for open positions at the companies and organizations where they currently work. Statistically, the IT hiring process took 41 days.
IT hiring process challenges – employer branding and talent acquisition
2023 is a year of difficulties for the technology industry. Inflation, slowdown, market volatility, job cuts in the US GigTechs and a decline in available job offers are causing many people to analyze the situation carefully and wonder what the IT sector is heading for and what skills are worth investing in.
It’s worth noting that despite labor market fluctuations, IT salaries are on the rise. IT investment is projected to grow by 8.6% globally in 2024, and 62% of companies continue to expand their teams. Multinational corporations are eager to employ cheaper workers from Eastern and Central Europe. According to annual reports, IT salaries, a key job satisfaction factor to many professionals, rose 13.1% last year.
Talent shortage surveys show that in Poland 75% and globally 78% of organizations say there is a shortage of qualified IT and technology professionals. About half of professionals surveyed were satisfied with their earnings in 2023. Nearly 70% of IT companies have planned and are planning raises. Hiring costs are important for every company. Despite the crisis, the industry continues to experience a shortage of candidates of various specializations, which will continue until at least 2026.
The ability to work remotely in the technology industry is still important in 2023. Despite the end of the pandemic, remote work is not expected to go away in the coming years. Recruitment report 2023 shows that companies offer flexible work possibilities, a mixed model is very popular: 2-3 days home office, and the rest of the time at company premises.
Analyzing the current situation, it is impossible to ignore the artificial intelligence contribution aspect. Its application contributes to increased labor efficiency. Still, there is a need for human input. Creative thinking, empathy and interpersonal skills are beyond the reach of AI.
IT 2023 recruitment trends – biggest layoffs of the past year
According to recruitment report 2023 more than 240,000 IT jobs will be eliminated in 2023, 50% more than last year. In the United States alone, more than 186 thousand people were laid off as of Dec. 1, 2023. Surprisingly, the layoffs involved technology giants that have been at the forefront of the industry for years and have not signaled any crisis. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, Meta or Zoom started the new year with massive job cuts. Layoffs slowed down in the summer and fall, but picked up again at the end of the year. Here are some figures on the leading companies in the industry:
- Google – 12,000 layoffs (6% of employees)
- Meta – 11 thousand laid off (13% of employees)
- Amazon – 10 thousand laid off (3% of employees)
- Microsoft – 10 thousand laid off (5% of employees)
- Other companies include Ericsson – 8.5 thousand laid off (8% of employees), Booking.com – 4.375 thousand laid off (25% of employees), and Twitter – 3.7 thousand laid off (50% of employees).
Employees and candidates facing the IT labor market problems
Many companies in the technology sector are complaining about inflation and the economic crisis. Budget cuts influence their current hiring. As we all know, during the lockdowns the demand for IT services was huge, growing steadily. Layoffs at tech giants (according to layoffs.fyi, in the first quarter the largest tech companies laid off nearly 160,000 employees) meant that IT workers can no longer feel stable in their jobs. Last year was not only a year of layoffs, but also a year of freezing projects, including recruitment industry projects. It was also a year of huge competition in the IT market, a year of AI-enabled technology race, all at the same time with a severely trimmed budget.
What do employees make of this? Until now IT professionals thought they were safe. Future trends make them feel insecure. Companies recruiters and HR are very cautious about new projects and job postings. It leads to cautious, severely limited recruitment. As a result, job seekers in the AI market feel that finding a job is not at all as easy as they thought.
With the use AI, IT automation and artificial intelligence specialists are needed more than ever. The biggest problem in the job market is for juniors. Job analysis and the number of advertisements for them is the lowest. Companies prefer to hire mid and seniors top talents who can count on salary increases.
IT recruitment trends that shaped this report are changing compared to previous years. Previously, technology companies trained their employees for months. They were ready to invest in a complete layman and make him a specialist in new technologies. Now HR leaders prefer to choose from qualified candidates as is more profitable to take on one experienced senior than several juniors.
Talent acquisition specialists estimate the Polish IT market is currently short of as many as 150,000 workers. Admittedly, the economy is not ready to hire that many people. The data-driven conclusion is that the industry is simply going through a stage of significant change and, as a result, companies are taking a more cautious approach to the recruitment process.
The 2023 biggest challenges and opportunities of IT staff and recruiters
According to the trends reports, responding and adapting to the changing priorities and business goals of the organization are among the top challenges. According to recruitment report 2023 flexibility and ability to respond quickly to changes are now the key. Maintaining motivation within the team and achieving strategic goals came next. Compared to 2022, building an effective remote or hybrid work environment has slipped down the list.
It is extremely important to stand out from the competition and hit the tastes of users. What are the future directions in IT? Which direction is worth training in? It is worth mentioning UX Designer, Big Data analyst, cyber security specialist, artificial intelligence engineer, ethical hacker. Choosing one of the listed professions can bring satisfaction and an attractive salary. However, candidates should remember that in addition to hard skills, leaders in recruitment consider soft skills, too. The top priority is to recruit employees who are resistant to stress, reliable, disciplined, as well as able to think analytically, critically and act in teams. It is also difficult to find leadership qualities in candidates. Even the best IT specialists, experienced, with extensive knowledge and technical skills, will not achieve much if they do not know how to work in a team and are not open to new solutions.
IT recruitment trends in 2024
As for 2024, we still have uncertainty concerning staffing and recruitment. Instability and caution on the one hand, and on the other hand, tremendous growth, progress and innovation influence the number of hires. It is likely that the deceleration will not last long. The need for automation, implementation of advanced technologies, rapid data processing and digitalization requires many hands and heads to work. According to Gartener analysts’ forecasts, global IT spending is expected to reach $5.1 trillion in 2024, up 8% from 2023. Still, IT leaders cite managing a truncated budget as the biggest challenge in the new year, many are planning further cuts, and some, when asked for their opinions and plans, are simply holding off on decisions for the time being.
It’s worth noting that despite the huge need for technology development, we have more and more IT specialists. Plenty of young people have decided to tie their future to IT and technology. Poles are among the best programmers in the world! The crux of the matter, however, is whether there will be a rewarding IT job for each of them in 2024 and beyond.