There is no doubt that recent global events are having a strong effect on tech talent. The technology sector has experienced a lot of drastic and sudden changes over the past few years. From COVID-19 to the Ukrainian conflict.
The pandemic accelerated digital transformation on a global scale. This resulted in a huge increase in demand for developers who can help companies keep up with rapid advancements. Businesses had to dramatically adjust their operations, and it has been proven to significantly hinder business performance if new changes are not introduced successfully.
Furthermore, the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has had a crucial effect on Ukraine’s IT outsourcing industry. This is an industry that exports $6.8 billion worth of IT services each year. With Ukraine and surrounding countries making up half of the 1.5 million IT industry workers of Europe. Most IT services have decided to pull out of Russia and instead relocate to neighboring nations including Poland and Romania.
Nevertheless, tech still remains one of the most resilient industries for employment. In Glassdoor’s top 25 best jobs in the UK for 2022, Java Developers come out top. Full Stack Engineer and Front End Engineer appear in fourth and ninth places.
So, when it comes to talent, how has the tech industry responded to recent disruption?
Tech talent relocation and the offer of secure employment
Over the past two years, the tech industry has quickly rallied in response to the pandemic and is now uniting in efforts to help the people of Ukraine. As a result of the ongoing conflict, a lot of software developers and other technology professionals are finding themselves misplaced. Global firms acted quickly to relocate their Ukraine-based employees, a humanitarian action no one predicted until the events unfolded.
According to Sifted, Central and Eastern Europe has over one million engineers. Slovakia was named the number one country in the world for finding the best developers, with Poland, Hungary, and Ukraine being featured in the top five. This further supports why the tech industry must make a united effort to support and nurture misplaced Ukrainian tech talent, in order to not lose quality developers.
Many companies have pledged to offer secure employment and job opportunities for Ukraine-based tech talent finding themselves without a workplace. Startups are also matchmaking Ukrainians with tech jobs according to their skillset.
The above demonstrates the strong community bond and resiliency of the global technology sector, coming together to support tech talent as a response to the disruption.
The effects of the pandemic and the pitfalls of short-term solutions
The effect of the pandemic drastically altered the technology sector’s focus. Previously seen as the field to disrupt and transform industries, the tech industry had to shift its focus to help stabilise businesses and bring them back on track. Businesses had no choice but to rapidly adopt new technologies in order to acclimatise to the new landscape. This included new technology to assist with remote working or help with the increasing demand for customer support.
Businesses had to be robust and proactive in order to get through these challenging times. With the need to adopt new technology solutions at a higher volume, companies felt the pressure to hire new talent as quickly as possible in order to keep up. Following the pandemic, employers turned to contractors to fill their increasing skills gaps. In some scenarios, this change has led to a decrease in the loyalty of a development team and the overall quality of projects.
Using low-cost contractors and freelancers as a quick short-term solution certainly has its benefits. Contractors can allocate their time exclusively to a project and be seen as an augmentation of the company’s IT team. However, once a project is complete, they move on. When it comes to delivering long-term quality results and the ability to rapidly scale up, hiring high-quality tech talent may be the right solution instead.
The bottom line
As the past two years have shown us, companies need to be more robust and agile than ever in today’s changing landscape in order to be ready to respond to any world catastrophe. In a job market where the demand for developers is significantly higher than the supply, a new approach to finding and retaining quality tech talent is needed. This means coming together to support talented technology professionals being affected by unprecedented circumstances and focusing on quality, long-term solutions.