How Technical Professionals’ Fears Will Play into the 2019 Hiring Process

By Chelsea Babin

They say that fear is a powerful motivator and, when predicting how the technical hiring process might start to shift in 2019, it’s certainly a powerful factor. A few constants from 2018 and earlier are expected to remain: there will be a shortage of available talent, an unemployment rate that is low across the board and particularly low with technical professionals, and a growing number of companies looking for top technical talent.

1. Rampant Growth in Newer Technologies: While Java, C, C++, and Python will continue to hold their top spots in the TIOBE Index, these older technologies are holding on thanks to legacy applications. However, newer technologies like Swift and Go have made aggressive year-over-year gains in the rankings, both climbing several spots thanks to the popularity of iOS apps and Go finding its home among enterprise and industrial applications. They’re expected to be hot, in-demand languages in 2019 and to continue that growth spurt, which is promising for technical professionals who keep their knowledge up to date and worrisome for technologists whose bread and butter is still driven by legacy applications.

2. Salary Concerns: According to a recent study by, 64% of responding employees report their income level as the most worrisome aspect of their current employment. A similar Blind study conducted this summer showed that 61% of tech pros feel they’re underpaid. This fear is driving a lot of employed technical professionals to look for greener pastures and higher salaries elsewhere. If they find them, they’re eager to switch jobs, which is great news for employers looking for new talent who are willing to pay well and not so great news for employers looking to retain their current technical talent without offering significant raises.

3. Job Loss Fears: In the aforementioned study conducted by, 22% cited potential job loss as their number one concern with their current position. This percentage is on the rise and, if technical employees sense their employer is on a downward trend, they’ll be more likely to jump ship in 2019.

4. Whiteboard Induced Woes: According to a recent Dice survey, the aspect of the interview process that worries technical professionals most is whiteboarding. A whopping 42% dread this aspect of the interview process the most and many said it leaves them feeling dumb. Because technical professionals are so afraid this portion of the interview process, there’s even a GitHub repo dedicated to listing companies that don’t do whiteboards, which means there are already tech pros avoiding putting themselves out there for certain positions solely because of whiteboarding. If your company uses these in the interview process, you may scare off some top technical talent or see a lot of talent come in and freeze up at the whiteboard despite their coding competence once on the job.

While fears may drive a few shifts 2019’s technical hiring process, the general consensus is that more of the same low unemployment rates and strong competition for top technical talent is expected. However, offering higher salaries, stability, access to more than legacy application work, and a reduction or shift in whiteboarding could put your company ahead of the competition.