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The Future of Work: Adapting to a Changing Tech Talent Landscape

It's not hard to see we are going through a rather tumultuous period. The changing talent landscape is affecting everyone — workers and companies alike. Adapting to it will require great skill and resilience, something you can achieve by following these suggestions.
Daniel Zacharias

Erick Cardenas

May 19, 2023
talent landscape

In January 2020, the unemployment rate in the U.S. hovered around 3.5%. A reasonable number, you could say. Then COVID-19 kicked in and, by May, it shot up to 14.7%, a number to rival those of the Great Depression. You’d think the country was over – but it wasn’t. Within a few months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a slow but steady return to normal.  

In the meantime, some industries had to lay people off. Others made cuts on one end, only to increase hiring on the other. Then, in 2022, the tech layoffs became a reality, with giants like Twitter and Coinbase getting rid of much of their staff.

It’s not hard to see we are going through a rather tumultuous period. The changing talent landscape is affecting everyone — workers and companies alike. Adapting to it will require great skill and resilience, something you can achieve by following these suggestions. 

Turning inwards

Recruiting managers now have the option to rethink current job descriptions and consider transferable skills within the existing teams. After all, not all hiring happens on the open job market. Turning inwards, within the organization, is a way to pivot and use existing talent that’s already familiar with your company

After all, why not leverage something that is already available? Simply shifting team members from where they are no longer required to where more muscle is needed is something businesses always do in times of crisis.

The logic behind this reasoning is purely financial. After all, it costs no less than $3,500 for an average company to hire a new team member. The number can easily go up in the case of highly skilled tech experts. It’s definitely not something your average startup or medium-sized company can afford. Instead, look out for transferable skills and make the most of what you already have.

Taking advantage of the layoffs

There is, however, another way to approach the situation. We have already mentioned the tech layoffs. Why not take advantage of that? There’s lots of genuinely impressive talent floating around. If you are looking to hire, you might as well be in luck. It’s low-hanging fruit!

Is this the right route for you? Try to answer these three questions, and you’ll find out.

  1. Does the potential candidate’s skill set align with your current job opening?
  2. Are you able to offer the salary, equity, and benefits that such a candidate will expect? 
  3. Are you looking for a jack-of-all-trades or someone specialized in one niche? Consider if your business is large enough to need a specialist.

Building a culture of trust

There’s no denying that the world of business is becoming more dynamic with each passing day. Everything is speeding up. Jobs for life are a thing of the past in this volatile world. Still, most people will seek at least a minimal dose of safety and security. Are you able to offer this? If the answer is “yes,” you may be at an advantage. 

Making an effort to build trust could elevate your brand and show your company culture in a better light. Transparency is very much appreciated. Work on your relationship management, give space — and answer questions openly.

The big freeze

Interestingly enough, some companies are trying to weather the storm by freezing their hiring altogether. Waiting for it to blow over seems like a smart move, but is it really so? In the era of digital acceleration, few can afford to lay low and pretend nothing is happening. If you are considering this option, make sure you have a very specific and clearly defined reason. Even then, consider that moving onto a slower and more selective recruiting strategy could be the safest bet.

The digital and the virtual

The old-fashioned inbox hiring is almost completely behind us. The hiring process has entered a new phase of digitalization. If you want to hop onto this bandwagon, you’ll need a robust Applicant Tracking System. The ATS is a piece of software used to track candidates throughout the recruiting and hiring process. It makes it easier to connect and engage with potential employees — and pick the best.

Another segment of digitalization is migration into the virtual realm. From Zoom calls replacing traditional face-to-face interviews to virtual job fairs — it’s all done remotely. This became a necessity during the pandemic, but employers and workers alike have seen other benefits. From cutting traveling costs to creating a more personalized experience, the virtual approach fits the changing talent landscape. Furthermore, it makes your company more attractive to a wider talent pool, unrestricted by geographic location.

Big data and artificial intelligence

Speaking of digital trends, a particularly popular one is the practice of leveraging talent management platforms. It allows you to turn raw data into a potent tool for further development. You can use it to arm yourself with valuable analytics to guide and build your talent strategy. Larger enterprises, in particular, can benefit from this. If you don’t have the data yet, start building it.

Another comparatively new technology that can aid big businesses is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Integrated with other automation methods, it can “learn” to effectively recognize the best potential candidates. Make sure you choose a scalable, elastic platform that can support the hiring process’s needs.

Finding strength in diversity

One thing that a low unemployment rate always brings is a talent shortage. Recruiting teams ought to ask themselves if they’re casting too small a net. After all, HR sectors are proverbially focused on tick lists that favor good education and experience. Maybe it’s time to open up the horizons a bit. Diverse backgrounds and skill sets can bring a breath of fresh air into your team. Innovation, increased productivity, and faster progress are just some of the potential benefits.

Reverse recruiting is one of the ways to achieve this. In this model, organizations apply for candidates versus the other way around. Think of your company as a collector of precious objects. It’s your job to attract the best talent. Make a tantalizing offer and see what happens.

Keep it flexible in the changing talent landscape

Ultimately, it’s critical to remain flexible. The talent landscape is changing faster than ever before. We’re still feeling the shockwaves of the pandemic and the tech layoffs across the globe. Building a culture of trust and stability, all while boosting the diversity of talent, can bring twofold benefits. On the one hand, it can help your business grow. On the other, it can help displaced workers get back on their feet. It’s a win-win situation.

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