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IT Workers Are the Real Unicorns or Tech Talent Shortage 2022

IT Workers Are the Real Unicorns or Tech Talent Shortage 2022

As of January 2022, there were 11,3 million job openings in the US only. This year, the tech talent shortage becomes more significant, making companies rethink their approaches to hiring and retention. That’s why in this article, we suggest taking a look at tech talent shortage statistics, the business challenges it triggers, and the ways to hire top candidates despite the current situation on the labor market. 

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The tech talent shortage in numbers

According to a McKinsey & Company survey, over 44% of well-known organizations expect a significant talent gap in the next five years. Right now, there are only 65 potential candidates for every 100 new job openings, which means a longer time to hire and a higher hiring cost. 

What’s more, tech talent shortage is a global issue. Just imagine – if every unemployed person in the US found a job, there would still be 5 million vacancies. In 2022, Sweden faces an IT talent gap of 70,000 tech and digital-related specialists.  Israel also has a 15% software developer deficit. 6 million skilled people will be lacking in Russia by 2039, while China could be facing a shortage twice as large. Japan, Indonesia, and Brazil, in turn, could have shortages of up to 18 million skilled workers. 

Is Brazil a Good Place for Offshore Software Development?

The figures above clearly show the current talent crisis, but the projections are even more shocking. By 2030, the global talent shortage is expected to reach 85.2 million, with the deepest talent gap in the ICT industry. 

What are the reasons behind the tech talent shortage?

Given the numbers above, it is logical to wonder – what is causing the talent shortage? Let’s overview the main factors. 

  • Technological advancement. Technical progress and digital advancement created opportunities for replacing low-to-mid-level skilled workers with robotic process automation (RPA) solutions, allowing companies to cut costs and achieve better efficiency. But in exchange, they triggered unprecedented demand for workers whose skills complement new technologies. At the same time, the tech education system just can’t keep pace with the times and graduate enough students with the required skills.  
  • Great Resignation. In one of our recent articles, we have dwelled on the Great Resignation and its impact. Long story short, tech workers are massively fleeing the workplaces and most companies fail to both retain and attract them. In addition to quantitative IT talent shortage, companies struggle to find the right candidates and meet their expectations. 
  • Aging population. The aging population is a social-economic reason for the global tech talent shortage since it affects the working-age population share. By 2030, 1 in 6 people in the world will be aged 60 years or over and by 2050, this figure will double. 
  • High demand for tech talent caused by the pandemic. COVID-19 and the massive switch to remote work created additional demand for tech specialists as many companies went digital, changed their development strategies, and reconsidered their approaches to data security. In one of our recent articles, we discussed two ways to hire more effectively in a post-pandemic world so you are welcome to check it out. 
  • Much higher expectations coming from both employers and tech workers. Another reason for a tech talent shortage in 2022 is a significant expectations mismatch. While companies are mostly uneager to train entry-level employees, Senior software developers have pretty high requirements for their workplace. They would like to get well-paid, contribute to interesting projects and work flexibly, while not all companies can offer these benefits. The company’s expectations are also usually high – they would like to hire employees with multiple degrees, a long list of proven technical skills, and an impressive employment history. 

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How does the tech talent shortage affect businesses in 2022

The business impact of the IT worker shortage is also significant. Below are some of the barriers, challenges, and stumbling blocks it creates. 

  • A barrier to digital transformation. The talent shortage is the most significant barrier to the adoption of 64% of emerging technologies. These technologies cover Robotic Process Automation, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things. 
  • Slowed down growth and development. 50% of Chief Information Officers say that due to the lack of skilled IT labor, it is difficult to grow and compete with other companies.
  • Unrealized revenues. By 2030, the talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues. Similarly, the US could lose out on €132 billion worth of revenue annually because of tech talent shortages. 
  • More costs and efforts to hire. According to ManpowerGroup’s US skills shortage figures, 69% of US companies struggled to fill positions in 2020. €7.6bn is spent in the UK every year on temporary staffing, recruitment fees, and training — a 39% increase from 2017. 

Struggling to Hire the Right Tech Talent? Here’s What’s Wrong With Your IT Staffing Strategy

The top 5 hardest-to-fill positions in tech


While job openings for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers are projected to grow by 22% year over year between 2020 to 2030, filling these positions will still be difficult. Here is why. 

  • Software engineers. From WordPress developers to machine learning programmers, the demand for software engineers will only grow. In addition, most companies look for not only strong tech knowledge but also project-specific soft skills, remote work experience, English proficiency, and relevant background. 
  • Information security analysts. From 2020 to 2021, the number of security technologies in deployment rose sharply — from 15% to 84% of evaluated technologies, creating additional demand for security specialists. 
  • Project Managers. Hiring a Project Manager is difficult since this position requires a candidate to have a strong understanding of tech and business, plus leadership and communication skills. Finding such a match, preferably with a background in a specific industry, is, in most cases, challenging. 
  • QA specialists. Software testing is a development stage you can’t skip, while QA specialists are required to be skilled with both automated and manual testing. High demand and a specific skill set make hiring these specialists difficult. 

How to respond to the global tech talent shortage in a more effective way?

So, how to hire software developers in spite of the global tech talent shortage? While hiring them from scratch is actually challenging, there are still some tips that can help you overcome a talent gap and stay competitive. 

  • Upskill. Training and upskilling your developers is the top way to bridge the talent gap without the need to hire additional specialists. Consider running dedicated educational programs for your software developers and train them with the technologies your business would like to use. Training entry-level employees are also more cost-effective than hiring Senior developers, while your Junior specialists are likely to be more thankful for the experience you provide them. 
  • Retain. The expectations of modern software developers are growing, but meeting them is still easier and cheaper than hiring from scratch. The tip is simple – discover what your employees want using surveys, and try to create more favorable work environments for them. 
  • Hire in a smarter way. Sometimes, you can’t avoid hiring new team members but finding the right candidates can take a lot of time and effort. So partnering with a tech talent sourcing vendor is a wiser solution to speed up the hiring process and cut overhead costs. 

Use sourcing-as-a-service as the fastest solution to fight the tech talent shortage

Where can you hire software developers if the tech talent shortage is global? With Bridge, you can hire across three continents, increasing your chances of finding suitable candidates and building highly-performant remote teams

With our sourcing-as-a-service, you can leverage the benefits of global and automated talent sourcing with a single solution. Our data-driven engine allows us to find the finest-tuned candidates according to multiple search criteria, taking into account the necessary skill set, background, developer’s location, and more. For example, we’ve recently helped Obvious.ly, an influencer marketing agency, find 5-10 qualified data specialists on a weekly basis.  

What’s more, with sourcing-as-a-service, you can hire 60% cheaper, automating 80% of the process. That’s why most of our customers use it as a subscription-based solution, building their talent pools step-by-step, quickly meeting the changing project requirements, and overcoming the challenges tech talent shortage triggers. 

Apply for sourcing-as-a-service now and get your first candidates in 5 days!

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