2020 was undoubtedly a historic year that brought about numerous events that changed the world. Despite the tragedy of the pandemic, things changed for the better in 2021, when industries began mobilizing and kicking operations into high gear again. Online hiring processes have swiftly replaced in-person interviews, which is expected to continue in 2021 and beyond. These changes have transformed the job-seeking and hiring landscape, with both recruiters and applicants needing to adjust their previous strategies to adapt to the new normal.
Tech hiring has surged due to the demand for tech specialists and IT professionals that can meet the growing need for better infrastructure to support a remote work environment. Although some trends are expected to change, certain adjustments—especially those concerning remote working, the new normal—are here to stay. Here are the 2021 tech hiring trends to know about:
- Tech Hiring Has Skyrocketed
In 2020, many companies went on a hiring freeze to save money and focus on staying afloat. According to a Fortune survey, 59 percent of CEOs halted hiring processes during the pandemic. However, now that things have mostly stabilized, hiring is expected to surge. According to the Congressional Research Service report, the unemployment rate reached 14.8 percent in April 2020. This figure is the highest rate observed since the organization began data collection in 1948. Although the unemployment rate is higher at 5.4 percent in July 2021 than in February 2020 at 3.5 percent, the labor force participation rate increased to 61.7 percent in July 2021, just 1.7 percentage points below the January 2020 level.
Given the hiring freezes in 2020, companies have had to make up for the lack of talent they usually would have taken on before the pandemic. With the hiring surge well underway, recruiting teams must prepare themselves for higher volumes of applicants as they’ll be searching for, screening, and interviewing talent at new levels.
- Remote Hiring Is the Norm
Whether your organization wants to hire a salesperson or the top talent for a software sales job, you’ll now be contending with other companies for the top talent. Remote hiring is here to stay, as it naturally opens more opportunities for job seekers since geographical confines no longer bind them. While tech and IT hiring has traditionally been sourced close to the company’s headquarters, the pandemic has changed the game considerably.
Companies have soon discovered that tech talent isn’t restricted to a particular area; it could be found worldwide. Additionally, tech roles are ideally suited for remote work. Given the persistent skill gap, removing geography as a hiring factor has successfully attracted top tech specialists to businesses that have desperately needed them. The talent pool is more massive than ever before since they have the freedom to work from anywhere. This benefit may see organizations sticking to remote hiring even after the pandemic.
- More Diversity in Tech Talent
Now that there’s geographic freedom in hiring for tech roles like the best software sales job, organizations will enjoy more diversity in their talent pool. Due to current conditions, it is more challenging to secure a visa to work in a different country, making remote hiring a more attractive option. Companies can now source their tech specialists from various countries without undergoing expensive migration and visa processes.
In July 2020, the White House signed an executive order that mandated the federal government to hire based on skills instead of a college degree to help decrease the unemployment rate. With fewer barriers to entry, the hiring environment has become much more inclusive and diverse, welcoming tech specialists with undeniable skills and knowledge from various backgrounds.
Additionally, the tech world is notorious for hiring biases. Women in STEM still face discrimination, with almost half of a survey’s respondents stating that they have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace. A staggering 20 percent have resigned because of workplace harassment or discrimination. Additionally, women are usually employed as software testers instead of in core coding jobs, primarily due to the bias that favors putting them in low complexity roles. With the renewed emphasis on diversity, more women and other minorities have a fairer chance of getting hired where they were previously overlooked.
- No-Code and Low Code Platforms Need Specialists
Organizations have taken advantage of no-code and low-code solutions to develop applications without needing a developer onboard. Gartner surmises that over 50 percent of medium to large enterprises will have adopted a low-code application platform by 2023, ultimately affecting the type of talent in demand. As these platforms progress and mature, companies will start looking for tech specialists instead of generalists, which means job seekers must adapt to stay competitive and desirable in the IT landscape.
As technology grows more sophisticated, simple and general tasks are now quickly done by non-tech individuals. That has also led to an increase in the value of specialization, where organizations will need tech experts with specific skills. Still, most companies are in the early stages of adopting no-code and low code platforms, although they are continuously assessing platforms and the tech teams they have in-house.
- L&D and Continuous Learning are the New Priorities
The need for learning and development (L&D) exploded during the pandemic as businesses have needed to explore new digital tools to engage their workforce and continue upskilling them even when working remotely. The tech world constantly sees developments and introductions in innovations, tools, skill sets, and languages, so staying updated on the latest trends is essential to avoid falling behind.
Coursera, a popular online learning platform, had 43 million users in the summer of 2019. That number ballooned to 73 million in 2020, further evidence of the popularity of remote productivity. Although this platform focuses on providing high-quality content and not assessing talent, customers have voiced the need to evaluate applicants after initial screenings or interviews. With this capability, employers can develop guided training and upskilling initiatives to enable more growth for the employees and the company.
- Increased Emphasis on Improving Candidate Experience
Given the changes in the hiring landscape, recruiters and hiring managers emphasize candidate experience during remote interviews. According to a survey, managers prefer using coding interview tools over other methods. They have also found more success with pair-programming tools, where the interviewer and the applicant work on a piece of code together, pushing whiteboard interviews to the side for good.
Recruiters have also become more aware of developer interests, integrating them into reworked employee value propositions and communication plans. They have also added health insurance and flexi-work to the list of company benefits in response to the changing demands brought by the pandemic, along with more opportunities for learning and development. Platforms that help organizations develop guided training and upskilling initiatives experienced a surge in demand in the past year, which is expected to continue as many companies permanently shift to a remote or hybrid work environment.
- Developer Assessment Tools are Necessary
According to a survey, almost half of Indian recruiters had not used a virtual assessment tool before COVID, but this changed after the pandemic ravaged the world. Experts agree that this is a significant step in designing a seamless tech hiring model that emphasizes merit and skill instead of focusing solely on the applicant’s academic background.
Towards the end of 2020, developer assessment platforms saw widescale adoption, which helps companies hire talent based on skill. Blind hiring features have also become more popular due to their extra emphasis on demonstrated expertise instead of other hiring factors, especially when looking for someone to fill a software sales job. Organizations must adopt developer assessment tools to ensure they get the cream of the crop while continuing to hone the skills of their current talents, helping them stay competitive and relevant.
The Future of Tech Hiring in 2021 and Beyond
These trends all have one thing in common: they’re all future-forward, paving the way for organizations to stay productive and active even when movement is limited. Remote hiring has encouraged the breaking of barriers, opening the talent pool to skilled people worldwide and giving millions more the opportunity to work with top-tier companies without worrying about their geographic location.
Companies are in a much more different hiring environment this year than they were in early 2020, where face-to-face interviews and geographic proximity were the norms. Thanks to the distribution of vaccines, there have been surges in hiring throughout the tech world to compensate for the time lost due to the earlier lockdowns. Enterprises that previously scoffed at remote work have now embraced it due to its many benefits, of which the industry has only seen the tip of the iceberg. Remote hiring is here to stay, with many exciting developments along the way that will transform the world as we know it.
Discover the best software sales jobs with Mave! We are the only career platform exclusively for software sales professionals. You can create a dynamic resume, track your sales performance, and search for new opportunities through our innovative features. Explore more job opportunities by creating an account with us today!