The COVID business slowdown is having a profound impact on the hiring environment for IT professionals.
Employers are finding it easier to hire the kind of tech talent that just a year ago wouldn’t even open their emails.
Job board Indeed says that since the beginning of the COVID shutdown, interest in tech jobs – as measured by the number of clicks each received — is on the rise. At the same time, Indeed says job listings for such IT positions as data scientist and software development are down 30% to as much as 42% since 2019.
The lingering economic impact of the pandemic is giving many businesses second thoughts about hiring permanent workers. Except for their most immediate tech needs, employers in the hard hit travel, retail and hospitality sectors are hesitant about moving forward with planned projects.
This is putting employers “back in the driver’s seat,” says Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel.
While the hiring dynamics have changed, it would be wrong to think of it as a buyer’s market for tech. The industry unemployment rate is 4.6%, well below the national 8.4%.
Many of those contributing to the increase in job clicks Indeed is recording are tech professionals who no longer feel bound to a geographic area. Google Trends shows a steady increase in searches for “remote IT jobs.”
As we pointed out last week large numbers of remote working tech professionals are thinking of moving out of the nation’s expensive tech centers. The obligatory COVID shutdown has shown them — and employers — they don’t need to commute to an office in order to do their work.
When Twitter and Facebook announced permanent work at home policies a few months ago, job searches for the two companies spiked.
Employers are also recognizing the benefits of remote work. In August, Pinterest paid $90 million to cancel the lease of office space citing the company’s shift to work from home. An ever increasing number of advertised IT jobs are either remote or optionally so.
This is creating opportunities for employers willing to hire remote workers. Geography will no longer be a barrier to hiring. And with the larger pool of IT professionals, employers will be able to more successfully compete for talent.
Says Tim Herbert, EVP for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, the tech industry association, “We will continue to see employers evaluate their recruiting and hiring practices.”