How to Solve Shortage of Software Engineers: The Top Effective Ways
The demand for software engineers grows rapidly. There are tons of reasons and not all of them by far are related to the global digital transformation. The face of the IT industry is constantly changing, resulting in a shortage of software engineers. The world is in dire need of specialists who provide solutions to a wide range of software issues, efficiently managing workloads, new technologies, and new ways of getting things done.
Given the specifics of remote work requirements during the pandemic, it is very important to find and retain the right IT talent. Having extensive experience in the matter, the Requestum specialists decided to put this problem under the microscope and figure out possible ways to solve it.
Demand for Software Engineers
In the coming years, the rate of introduction of new technologies will remain unchanged, and it will accelerate in certain areas. Cloud computing, Big Data, open-source and eCommerce solutions will be top priorities, so the global software developer demand will be intense.
According to statistics, software engineers remain one of the most demanded specialists out there. The growing interest in encryption, AI, and ML is driving the need for professionals with new, up-to-date knowledge and qualifications. What's more, Gartner cites talent shortages among the top five business risks today. Approximately 63% of surveyed senior executives acknowledge this.
Based on the official data, at the end of 2019, there were over 900 thousand vacancies in IT departments around the world. This is although applicants were considered even among the graduates of the annual camps where programming and computer science were taught.
Companies are trying to fill skill gaps. A recent McKinsey poll shows that 87% of companies are either experiencing related issues right now or are expecting them in the next 5 years
According to some estimates, by 2030 the need for new specialists may exceed 85 million people, which will lead to huge losses in the income of knowledge-intensive industries. In the United States alone, there are currently more than a million software developers lacking. Their employment is projected to grow by 21% by 2028, much faster than the industry average. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for skilled engineers will increase by 22% by 2029!
Even a lucrative career with an average annual salary of $100,000 cannot satisfy the dramatic software engineer demand. An inadequate talent pool, coupled with a lack of new technology skills, is creating and putting unprecedented stress on the hiring market. What does this mean for the average company out there?
The Software Engineers Shortage Impact On Businesses
Talent shortages are holding back the progress of the industry and related businesses. It has operational implications that affect the budget and timing of hiring. A certain study states that recruiting talent for tech jobs takes 50% longer than other jobs. On average, it takes two months to find a suitable candidate. And that’s only a candidate - a potential future employee, not the definite one.
Shortage of developers hinders innovation, slowing down business growth. More than 50% of surveyed CIOs say their companies have a hard time keeping up with technology due to a lack of properly skilled talent. And 60% are sure that they are losing competitive edge because of this.
Major Reasons for Software Engineers Shortage
The number of applicants for vacancies in technology is almost double that for other types of vacancies. So where does software engineer shortage come from?
First of all, it can be explained by the small number of highly qualified engineering personnel. Employers present requirements for which candidates for positions are poorly prepared or not at all ready. They also do not keep pace with the emergence of trendy programming languages and technological trends. And on top of that, mastering new stuff takes time, knowledge, and practice.
An important reason for the shortage of software developers is the inability of educational institutions to adapt to new conditions. The education system is transforming more slowly than the IT industry. On the other hand, it's never too late to learn. There are many known cases when people switched to IT already in adulthood, coming from another specialization.
According to The App Association, there are over 223,000 software developer job openings in the US alone. At the same time, colleges and universities annually graduate only 30 thousand computer scientists. At this rate, it will take almost eight years to close the demand gap. Very few states have adopted up-to-date computer science standards, although more than half of new STEM jobs are in computing. Meanwhile, senior employees retire.
As a result, even if it is possible to find a dozen software developers, employers face the following problems:
- Lack of experience;
- Lack of tech, hard, and soft workflow skills (leadership, communication, teamwork, work ethics, etc.);
- Lack of formal education;
- Inflated compensation requirements.
While it is often a challenge for small businesses and startups to hire developers, companies with a big budget and prestige find it easier. Tech giants usually have no problem choosing the right people. In general, the business has become slower in recent years. Career advancement has slowed, and burnout makes employees want more and not compromise.
The pandemic has also affected the employment picture. Employees want to work remotely so as not to deprive themselves of the opportunity to live a normal life. According to a Citrix study, 86% of professionals choose a company that is judged by value, rather than by the amount of work done. As a result, employers need to be creative to attract and retain the best.
How to Handle Software Engineers Shortage?
The solutions are the same, regardless of the size and status of the company:
- Hiring new talent ─ on your own or with the help of a recruiting agency.
- Training of own employees.
- Partnership with outsourcing companies.
If you are looking to hire high-quality professionals, go by the following algorithm:
- In the vacancy, publish a salary range to attract talent of the right level and boost your position on Google for Jobs;
- Look for people smarter than yourself. You will become a magnet for the best, and in the long term, a recognized forge of personnel;
- Don't get hung up on a CV, lack of experience, or lack of a technology degree. Select candidates who demonstrate the ability;
- Test-drive candidates with real-world problems.
Training your employees is a long and expensive process. The training and professional development system must be integrated within your organization. Not everyone can handle it. It is all the more annoying when trained employees are lured away by competitors. This is why they need to be properly motivated.
Most existing recruiting agencies don't bother with client requirements and goals, technical stack, or SDLC. That’s why they need to provide a complete list of requirements for candidates, including knowledge of the technologies that you need.
Partnership with outsourcing companies provides optimal opportunities for obtaining cost-efficient, pinpointed human resources. According to the latest data, 41% of organizations will soon increase their outsourcing costs to cope with software developer shortages. The advantages of such a solution are many:
- As a rule, the outside team is professional and starts working with you right away;
- The goals, objectives, and timing of the project are agreed in advance, and the achievement of certain milestones is documented;
- Your relationship does not relate to other issues (for instance, remuneration), except exclusively for working specifics.
In the limited time conditions, outsourcing may as well be your best bet. With this being said, we would like to also add that the shortage of programmers in your company is our task to cope with!
The Requestum team is ready and willing to help clients leverage the power of technology to address pressing business challenges. From business analysis to design and the final product - we provide a full range of services for the development of functional applications that meet and exceed user expectations.
Our specialists possess the in-depth expertise in the latest technologies that allow us to offer high-performance solutions for enterprises in a wide variety of areas:
- Web applications that perfectly match individual business goals, industry needs, and customer expectations;
- External interfaces with rich functionality and high performance;
- Back-end: complex server-side code, system architecture, integration levels, and API;
- Mobile applications lead from idea to launch and support;
- Artificial Intelligence technologies;
- Effective deep learning models for a wide range of tasks;
- Algorithms for business optimization, routing to save and increase the productivity of transport services;
- Speech recognition, natural language understanding, and content analysis;
- Blockchain: we will develop a smart contract and establish the most proper way for it to interact with all required platforms.
Let’s partner up so we could help you build a unique, strong team for your company's needs.
With the right approach, the software developer demand can be easily downgraded at any given company. If you are planning a promising project and need a suitable team, please contact us to communicate your requirements. We will help you effectively deal with the tech talent shortage problem in the shortest possible terms and at a reasonable cost! You will be able to use the best talent, regardless of the saturation of the labor market and the shifting needs of the technology environment.