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TD Magazine Article

Scarcity Is a Reality

As talent shortages persist, technology leaders need to prepare for the future.


Fri Mar 01 2024

Scarcity Is a Reality

There were more than 109,000 unfilled IT positions in January 2023 due to a dearth of qualified candidates, according to General Assembly's The State of Tech Talent Acquisition 2023 whitepaper—a problem that continues on a global scale. Venture capital firm Atomico's 2022 State of European Tech report shows that Europe's technology industry had lost more than $400 billion in value.

Technology sector recruitment and layoffs rise and fall with economic downturns and expansions, per General Assembly's research. Dismissals hit European-headquartered firms particularly hard in 2022. In preparation for an economic recession, those companies laid off more than 14,000 employees, which accounted for 7 percent of layoffs globally. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics' January 2023 report reveals that the unemployment rate in technology dropped from 1.8 percent in December 2022 to 1.5 percent in January 2023, with the report concluding technology companies must have over-hired before scaling back.


"There is a talent shortage that's not going away. The demand for technology workers is increasing at a rapid pace," says Interapt CEO Ankur Gopal in The State of Tech Talent Acquisition 2023. "The supply side isn't keeping up. It's not going to keep up for multiple years, so companies that don't adopt creative new talent acquisition strategies are going to be left behind."

Specialized roles make hiring difficult as well. Eighty-five percent of the 500 US-based respondents, all of whom have a minimum seniority of director, for General Assembly's A New Frontier report "strongly or somewhat agree" that open positions at their companies are difficult to fill because the skills candidates need to succeed are too specialized. Nearly half of the respondents said software engineering skills are the most difficult to find, followed by data science and artificial intelligence.

Despite those demand issues, technology leaders are optimistic about the industry's immediate future. Fifty-five percent of respondents predicted that technology talent hiring will "pick back up" in the first half of 2024.

"The best thing tech and talent leaders can do to prepare is assess the current state versus the future state of your tech organization, and pinpoint the headcount, roles, and skill profiles needed to set your team and company up for success," A New Frontier notes. "The more groundwork that can be laid now, the easier it will be to navigate a rapidly changing marketplace."

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March 2024 - TD Magazine

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