Tech Talent Shortage Holding Back Business

Survey shows hiring managers face challenges in filling IT positions, impacting the bottom line.

Marcia Savage

December 6, 2016

2 Min Read
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We often hear reports about how hard it is for businesses to hire qualified IT professionals. Today, job site Indeed released results of its nationwide poll of more than 1,000 hiring managers and recruiters that indicates the problem is getting worse and actually hurting business.

According to the survey, 86% of companies polled said they find it challenging to find and hire technical talent. Seventy-five percent of HR managers believe the time it takes to fill IT positions has increased in the past three years. Fifty-three percent reported hiring people who didn't meet the job requirements because of immediate need.

All this is damaging the bottom line, the study showed. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed believe the difficulties in hiring tech talent has hurt their business either from lost revenue, slow product development, sluggish market expansion, or even employee burnout and tension on the IT team.

"With companies unable to fill open positions, current employees are expected to fill the gaps. In many cases this results in employee turnover. Over a third of respondents we surveyed (36%) said the lack of timely hiring has caused burnout in existing employees and affected their businesses," according to an Indeed blog on the survey.

Moreover, 91% of HR managers and recruiters said their companies would be more innovative if they could hire the technical talent to meet their needs.  

The survey shows that the "tech talent war is not going away and that is going to continue to stymie innovation," Raj Mukherjee, SVP of product at Indeed, said in a prepared statement. "Hiring the right people is one of the most strategic things a business can do to grow."  

It should be noted that the tech talent shortage also has been called a myth. Some in the industry argue that businesses have an ample pool of qualified candidates, but either simply don't want to pay for talent or screen out older candidates.

Skills and credentials

However, the Indeed survey indicated that companies may be softening their rigid view of what constitutes a high-quality IT candidate. While 27% of those surveyed said an Ivy League degree is very important when evaluating technical talent, candidates from technical schools that specialize in coding and software engineering are getting more attention, according to Indeed.


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Ninety-two percent of employers polled said a candidate's performance on a coding challenge is important in the evaluation process. Indeed said the number of resumes it sees with "coding bootcamp" experience has almost doubled over the past year.

Businesses also value soft skills, the survey showed. Fifty-eight percent said soft skills are most important when evaluating technical talent. That's a bit less than the 56% that place the most value on a computer science degree.

About the Author(s)

Marcia Savage

Executive Editor, Network Computing

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