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Tech talent shortage: The war rages on

Posted David Brown, Executive Vice President, Veredus | Hays on Friday, May 1, 2015

Tech war graphicIn the book, Average is Over, economist Tyler Cowen offers a wake-up call for all workers including those in high-tech professions. While employment is increasing, so are skill shortages, especially in IT. Within the American labor market he argues, the “hollowing out” of mid-level white-collar roles is creating a polarization between low and high-skilled workers. The key drivers of this trend? Automation and cloud services.

This creates opportunities for adaptable IT professionals, while presenting quite a challenge for employers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a leap in demand for programmers in the US of 23 percent between 2012 and 2022. In June 2014, a US survey by Dice of more than 700 technology-focused recruiters and managers indicated 70 percent expected to hire more IT candidates in the short term, but 60 percent noted difficulties filling roles for the salaries they were offering, indicating that the best candidates are to some extent already beginning to call the shots on pay.

As ever, companies need to attract the best talent, but they should also bear in mind the need to engage candidates with more than just cash. That means adapting to the behaviors and expectations of the post-industrial millennials. The Gen Y workforce expect investment into new technologies and approaches, as well as a workplace that encourages flexibility, particularly around the use of the mobile technologies and social tools they have grown up with.

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