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Tech hiring: how it’s different now for employers in 2023

Companies in the technology sector should be excited about the opportunities available to them in 2023. Several recent developments have resulted in an expanded labor market, which means more talent is available and, in many cases, can be secured at a lower cost.

Michael Gibbs

Michael Gibbs

In addition, the latest tech innovations are providing employers with powerful new tools for multiplying the effectiveness of their employees.

Taking advantage of a larger talent pool

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new era in terms of workplace norms. The pandemic proved, for the most part, that geography is irrelevant when it comes to hiring. The technology developed and deployed to allow employees to work from home during COVID now allows tech professionals to do their work from any location.

In short: Thanks to COVID and the changes it inspired, it doesn’t matter if your programmer lives in California, Cambodia, Chicago, the Cayman Islands, or Cameroon.

In addition to having more options available when it comes to prospective employees, the new landscape also allows employers to use labor arbitrage to build a more cost-efficient workforce. Hiring an engineer in the US may cost a company $200,000 a year, whereas an equally skilled engineer based in India can do the same work for $56,000 a year.

When adjusted for the cost of living in each engineer’s location, the compensation is equivalent and the company receives the same volume and quality of work. This represents an opportunity for significant savings for tech companies.

Salary based on location vs. salary based on value is a topic of debate. Read the Evil HR Lady’s take on this.

Identifying top talent released in layoffs

Layoffs are another development adding opportunities to the talent pool. Typically, big technology companies stack rank their employees on an annual basis, which involves rating employees based on their performance. When layoffs happen, it is most often those perceived to be the lowest performers or contributors who are let go. In recent years, however, tech companies have both overhired and held on to weaker talent due to labor shortages and lower employee productivity.

As 2022 came to a close, shifts in the US economy created an environment with high levels of inflation, high levels of interest rates, and a softening housing market. There has also been an inverted yield curve in the 10 year-3 month Treasury Yield Spread, which has historically signaled an impending recession. These developments have triggered major tech players like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google to launch layoffs.

While some of the technology professionals now available for hire were let go due to low performance in their past roles, others are out of work as a result of overhiring in the tech field in recent years. In some cases, tech companies closed entire divisions to trim their staff size, sending many seasons and highly capable professionals into the talent pool. This means companies have a phenomenal opportunity to hire top performers in 2023, provided they choose carefully.

Boosting productivity with new technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) is causing a huge stir in the tech space as we move into 2023. Microsoft, which laid off 10,000 workers to start the year, also invested $10 million in the ChatGPT AI platform in early 2023.

Why? Because the AI-based language model chatbot, which is still in its infancy in terms of development, can code, automate, configure tech, and find problems with software, among other things.

In some cases, AI-driven tools like ChatGPT can take the place of hands-on tech workers. In others, technology professionals equipped with AI-driven tools can deliver as much as 10 times the output of those working without AI. Employers who commit to leveraging AI tools stand to gain considerably in terms of increased productivity.

Targeting talent with business savvy

There was a time when those who could support technology were in high demand. That time has passed. Not only is today’s tech more reliable, but AI-driven solutions promise to provide the support that tech workers once delivered. As a result, the most valuable tech workers will be those like cloud architects and enterprise architects who understand how technology can be used to solve business problems.

Tech companies hiring in 2023 should be looking for employees who can provide more than technical expertise. Professionals who bring business acumen, leadership skills, sales skills, executive presence, and emotional intelligence will prove to be those who can thrive in their positions and add value to the company.

They have what it takes to go beyond working with technology to design solutions that can improve business performance and transform organizations.

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