Navigating the Software Developer Talent Shortage in 2022

In nearly every industry, we’re facing a global talent shortage. When it comes to software development, however, the shortage is perhaps the most severe. Companies are struggling to find qualified software engineers to fill jobs, and it’s happening in record numbers.

Tech advancements in recent years have increased the demand for software engineers. The growing demand also requires more specialization in programming languages, automation, and emerging technologies such as AI and neural networks, machine learning, big data, augmented reality, DevOps. and IoT. 

All of this has left companies that need to fill jobs fighting for a smaller talent pool that may not have all of the skill sets you need.

Why is the Talent Shortage Happening?

Software developers collaborating on a project at workstation

It’s estimated that there is a global shortage of more than 40 million skilled workers. By 2030, analysts expect the supply shortage to be more than 85.2 million. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that puts more than $8.4 trillion in company revenue at risk — all because companies are struggling to find the talent they need.

Trying to overcome the tech talent challenges requires more than just complaining and commiserating about them—it also requires some introspection into the hiring process for software engineering jobs.

For example, organizations and recruiters are finding it challenging amid this developer shortage to find strong candidates from a simple resume skim. The traditional resume only tells you so much about a candidate.

Automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) may discount those with the right formal education, yet candidates may possess all the skills you need. One survey of more than 100,000 developers and software engineers by Stack Overflow showed that 8 out of 10 developers are self-taught in part, learning skills, languages, frameworks, and tools outside of any formal education.

In order to accommodate candidates with certification, self-taught coursework, or hands-on experience with coding or programming languages beyond a computer science degree, it’s becoming more encouraged for companies to look beyond the resume and traditional screening method.

Other contributing factors to the plethora of available software development jobs and the software engineer talent shortage include:

  • The Great Resignation: People are quitting their jobs in record numbers. If companies are not invested in retaining their development teams and enhancing their tech roles, there are plenty of more suitable opportunities out there, some of which are paying above-average salaries.  
  • Remote opportunities: As more companies have embraced remote work, it’s helped in some way by removing geographical limitations for software development jobs. Employers are realizing that individuals can add value and expertise to the organization without being physically present in the office. However, this type of flexible work dynamic has created more opportunities for software engineering jobs and in turn, added to the software engineer talent shortage. 68% of developers that changed jobs said they did so because of remote opportunities.
  • Competition: Plus, there is increased competition as more companies continue their digital transformations. Spending for digital transformation is projected to top $1.8 trillion in 2022 and grow to $2.8 trillion by 2025. This has only increased pressure on the job market as more companies need to hire developers.

The Impact of the Software Developer Shortage

decrease of sales and profit, bankruptcy business concept, financial crisis in company

While companies go on the hunt for the “perfect” developer, they may find themselves in a holding pattern that can have a negatively profound impact on the organization. A long, drawn-out hiring process can throw schedules out of whack, impact software rollouts and updates, and decrease customer satisfaction, And, all of this affects REVENUE!

It’s a contributing factor to why 74% of companies that started modernizing their legacy IT systems never completed their projects and seven out of ten companies fail to meet their objectives.

Beyond blown schedules and cost overruns, a lack of internal expertise and knowledge can put basic company functions at risk, lead to loss of credibility, and accelerate turnover in other areas from frustration.

For HR teams and hiring managers, there’s an incredible loss of productivity spent on searching and recruiting the “perfect candidate” while current software engineers are forced to take on extra duties to pick up the slack. That’s led to unprecedented job burnout, primarily due to the high workload. 83% of software developers say they are suffering from severe burnout.

It’s especially difficult for small and mid-sized companies to compete with the poaching of tech talent by the tech giants that can afford to make better offers.

This leaves companies with huge gaps in their talent pool, growth delays, limited revenue generation, and mountains of missed opportunities.

There is a Solution to the Software Engineer Shortage

If all of the above sounds all too familiar, we’ve got a solution: find an offshore partner.

By using an offshore development partner, you can fill the talent gap while continuing to recruit, use on an ad-hoc project basis, or create an ongoing relationship to outsource software development.

At the same time, companies need to deploy other strategies including:

  • Retention: By employing a specific internal strategy on the retention of your top tech talent, you can keep the shortage from becoming any worse. Often, companies just continue to load up their best workers only to find they leave because of the workload and burnout.
  • Salaries: Unfortunately, companies are going to have to accept that in a shortage, salaries will have to evolve to be competitive with the job market.
  • Flexibility: Forget the ping-pong tables and coffee bars — developers today want flexible job hours, remote or hybrid work environments, cultural fit, and work-life balance.
  • Hiring for skills:  Companies need to be open-minded about finding people with skills relevant to the job at hand, whether these skills were learned during formal education or not.

How Does Offshore Help Fill the Talent Gap and Benefit Your Company?

Offshore software development team collaborating on a new project

As companies are turning to remote options for software engineers, why not consider offshore?  Since the pandemic, companies have already adapted to remote infrastructure so not having a team physically in the workplace shouldn’t deter you from working with high-talent teams to bring your product to life.

Modern communication tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Asana have made remote communication and collaboration simple. It’s become the norm for virtual and distributed teams over the past two years anyway.

With offshore tech talent, you get:

  • Dedicated resources
  • Specialists with the required knowledge you need
  • Full control of the time frame, project length, and duration
  • Less concern about upskilling current workforce for projects
  • Reduced workload for your already overloaded in-house staff
  • Skills to augment your current team members and fill any skill gaps.

When projects are completed, there’s also no ongoing commitment, although many companies find they want to continue to partner with their offshore software development partner for years to come.

Removing the geographic boundaries in your hiring also prevents competing with limited talent that is in your area.

When you factor in all the costs, offshoring allows you to hire the exact skill set you need and, because of wage differences elsewhere, it’s typically cheaper than onshore resources — especially when you consider the costs for recruiting, attracting, onboarding, and training.

Start Exploring Offshore Options Today

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With KMS Technology, we can help you with offshore software development and finding the tech talent you need to thrive. We have offices in Atlanta and California and tech talent in one of the fastest-growing tech countries in the world, Vietnam. We provide onshore resources and can connect you quickly with the offshore software engineers, developers, and expertise you need 

Contact KMS Technology today to learn more.

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