Are Tech Companies Taking a Breather In the Race for Talent?

Imagine the thrill of being extended the job offer of your dreams. After multiple rounds of interviews, it finally happened. Now imagine that offer disappearing just as quickly as it arrived. 

Unfortunately, this scenario has been playing out for a growing number of technology professionals. What was once touted as a race for technology talent with no end in sight suddenly appears to be slowing down. Even while facing a still tight labor market, some employers are opting to pump the brakes. What, exactly, is happening here, and what does it mean for the future of tech hiring? 

Big Tech Signals the Red Light 

As the calendar turned from spring to summer, headlines began pouring out with news of hiring freezes, rescinded job offers and layoffs. The companies earning this ink were a virtual who’s who of tech giants, including heavy hitters like Netflix, Tesla, Coinbase, Facebook, Uber and Peloton. In a recent poll of tech leaders, CNBC found that approximately nearly one-third of tech leaders believe they will likely need to make adjustments to their own headcount in the coming year.

Yet, the labor market remains tight, with historically low jobless rates, wage growth on the rise and new job postings a full 54 percent higher than before the pandemic. In the month of May alone, U.S. employers posted 620,000 new tech jobs. So, are employers really throwing in the towel all together when it comes to snapping up top talent?

The short answer is: It’s complicated. The same CNBC poll found that among those tech leaders expecting changes in their headcount on the horizon, over half said, “the churn in the labor market gives them the chance to bring in top-level talent that they otherwise might not have attracted.” While some companies may be slowing their hiring efforts, others may reap the benefits of skilled workers becoming available at a time when the talent pool felt like it was drying up. 

Keeping Your Talent in the Race

Of course, one way to stay ahead of the competition is to double down on retaining the talent you currently employ. In the rush of the post-lockdown hiring surge that the technology industry experienced, many organizations attracted new hires by transforming their corporate culture. Suddenly, employees were being offered higher rates of compensation, new services that catered to their mental health and wellbeing, as well as changes to the way (and where) they worked.

This last transformative point has been the focus of countless think pieces, with the question of remote work forcing tech leaders to pick a side. On the one hand, employers like Elon Musk have vocally come out against adhering to the work-from-home model long term. In the case of Tesla, workers were even warned that a failure to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the offer per work would lead to termination. On the other hand, there are employers that recognize this moment as a permanent shift. Take IBM, for example. In a recent interview, CEO Arvind Krishna noted that only 20 percent of IBM’s U.S. employees report into an office three days a week or more, adding that, “he does not see a scenario where the balance ever gets back to over 60% of workers in the office more often than not.”

Employers now face a dilemma. To retain their employees and attract new talent, they may need to maintain the cultural and workplace changes that have made a positive impact on their workforce. However, with uncertainty in the air, how long will it last?

There is No Finish Line

After months of racing against each other for top talent, it’s understandable that some tech employers may be getting a little winded. As market forces cause a few front runners to take a breather, other teams might just find the talent they need to win the day. It may require creative hiring techniques and a renewed commitment to retention, but the right people can make all the difference. The fact is, when you run with a top team, there truly is no finish line. 

Do you need help keeping pace with the changing talent market in technology? Learn how Medix Technology is positively impacting today’s tech workforce to power the projects of tomorrow. 

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