In June of this year the U.S. boasted 6.2 million job openings, which set a new record and showed that American employers are ready to hire. Unfortunately, employers are increasingly claiming that they can’t find skilled and available workers to fill their open positions. This is especially true in the IT industry, whose unemployment rate is hovering well below the national average of 4.3 percent. It was just 2.5 percent in the month of July.
With a plethora of job openings to choose from, technical professionals are becoming more selective than ever. And while competitive salaries, work-life balance improving benefits, and training opportunities are still the most effective lures for top-tier technical professionals, a few other key factors are coming into play.
For example, a growing number of developers are shifting their preferences away from Java and C and setting their sights on up and coming technologies. According to the most recent TIOBE technology ranking, the top 5 technologies remain unchanged and are as follows: Java, C, C++, C#, and Python. But, as slow-climbers like Swift, Go, R, and Visual Basic .Net continue to creep higher up the list, Java and C have all-time low scores. So, while they still remain supreme, these technologies are starting to lose favor among developers. If companies want to attract cutting-edge technical talent, offering opportunities to work with up-and-coming technologies like Swift or Go may be a better bet than sticking to old standards like Java and C.
Additionally, many large companies are having a hard time attracting the best technical talent because of their expansive, open offices. Open offices are widely lamented by developers and others who enjoy having their own space to spread out and code. According to The Wall Street Journal, “coders and programmers are concerned that their work surroundings will be too noisy and distracting in open workspaces.” While technologists can limit their distractions by wearing headphones, that limits the ability to collaborate. And, without the headphones, their productivity and focus levels sink to all-time lows. If you want the best technical talent to want to work at your company, consider offering individual offices, small group offices, or even cubicles to limit some of the potential distractions.
It’s more challenging than ever to fill open technical positions in America. That’s why, if companies want to stay ahead of the competition and attract the best technical talent, they need to think outside of the box of offering competitive salaries, work-life improving benefits, and training. When you pay attention to other trends among developers, like the slow decline of Java and C and the general loathing of open office spaces, you’ll be able to craft a work environment that attracts the best of the best technical talent and reduces your turnover rate.