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8 Tech Hiring Trends to Be Aware of in 2024

IT male professional coding at a desk with three computers

The tech industry has undergone a transformation in the last few years, with a landscape marked by massive layoffs and economic uncertainty. And yet, despite the negative headlines, the outlook on the ground is what we’d describe as cautiously optimistic. Job openings are expected to grow and recruiters feel a sense of having regained their footing after years of grappling with an intense candidate’s market. From the shifting employer-employee dynamic to the rise of AI, here are the top tech hiring trends to keep in mind as you scout for talent in 2024.  

The Tech Hiring Trends Recruiters Should Expect This Year

Job openings grow

Though global economic uncertainties persist, experts forecast strong job growth in the tech industry in 2024. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the IT sector is expected to grow much faster than average, adding around 377,000 jobs a year over the next decade. 

With concerns over a recession waning, companies feel more confident and ramp up hiring, at least slightly. A quarter of recruiters say they’ll have more money to hire tech talent this year than they did in 2023. The outlook for startups is also a bit rosier after a few rough years, with experts favoring the growth of smaller, early-stage startups.

Shifting dynamic between candidates and employers

For nearly a decade, it was an overwhelming candidate market. It was the norm for recruiters to feel like filling technical roles was insurmountable. In 2023, however, layoffs from the likes of Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Meta sent shockwaves through the field and put hundreds of thousands of people out of work. The result has been a pendulum swing in the other direction, with companies seeing a volume of applicants for tech roles that they haven’t experienced in years. 

While it’s good news for organizations looking to scoop up talented team members, this shift in the candidate-employer dynamic also presents a level of risk. Companies must be careful not to get too comfortable and put employee engagement initiatives on the back burner. Even if a candidate jumps to accept a job today, it won’t be long before they search again if your company culture and employee experience are subpar. 

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Technical skills see continuously high demand

If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in the last few years, it’s the demand for technical skills. They drive expansion and innovation, and because of that, recruiters are hunting for them in 2024. According to Deloitte’s 2024 Technology Industry Growth Outlook, companies focused on growth prioritize cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity–and they’re willing to pay for workers with those skills.  

Unfortunately, the skills gap that has plagued the tech industry for years isn’t shrinking. If anything, it’s growing as new technology disrupts the global economy and unprecedentedly changes job requirements. Experts cite lagging education, ineffective hiring methods, and unnecessary barriers to entry as primary reasons for the persistent skills gap. 

One way to overcome these challenges and hire for the necessary skills is to incorporate pre-employment assessments into your tech hiring process rather than relying on resumes and interviews alone. 

Soft skills play a bigger role 

While technical skills are the bread and butter of the IT field, soft skills play an increasingly important role as the lines between traditional industries blur, and every company, in some shape or form, takes on characteristics of a tech company.  

Soft skills are critical for building teams, motivating employees, and forming mutually beneficial external partnerships. In a survey of business executives, 44% said soft skills—not technical skills—were lacking the most in the contemporary workforce. 

Some of the biggest soft skills tech recruiters should be on the hunt for in 2024 are:

  • Communication—Technology teams constantly struggle to convey complex topics to customers, colleagues, and the general public. Companies need capable communicators who can convey the message clearly without losing meaning. 
  • Problem-solving—The industry’s core value proposition is using technology to solve problems. Employers need creative, results-oriented workers who can discover new avenues to solutions and profits. 
  • Critical thinking—As more and more companies move away from top-down management in favor of a more collaborative work style, teams with strong critical thinking skills become even more essential to innovation. 
  • Adaptability – In this era of rapid technology adoption, change is one of the only constants. Flexible workers who can adapt in a dynamic landscape will help position organizations for longevity. 

When screening candidates for soft skills, use a mix of behavioral and situational interview questions can help you probe for what you’re looking for. 

AI joins the workforce

There’s a new team member who has shaken up the industry more than any other in the last 24 months, and it does not require a cubicle or health insurance: artificial intelligence. Sixty-seven percent of tech professionals say they use AI to do their jobs (with ChatGPT being a leading tool), and this number is likely to grow in the months ahead. 

What’s noteworthy is that a large portion of workers are optimistic rather than doubtful or fearful of AI’s impact. However, many employers don’t share the same sentiment. Twenty-eight percent of developers, for example, say their company is opposed to employees using AI to assist with their work. 

Forward-thinking companies must look ahead to see how AI will reshape rather than merely replace roles. Successful firms will embrace AI as a tool to help workers do their jobs faster and with greater accuracy and will promote these aspects as selling points when recruiting.

Hybrid roles offer a win-win

Aside from salary, which is always a strong motivator, work-life balance and the ability to work remotely are the top priorities tech candidates consider when looking for a job in 2024. Yet the volume of fully remote roles has declined considerably since its peak in 2022, with more companies requiring workers to be in the office. 

Hybrid roles are an effective compromise, offering employees more of the flexibility they crave while giving companies oversight and the ability to build cohesive teams. Expanding your hybrid job offerings (or offering fully remote roles when you can) can help you reach a wider, more skilled talent pool. Including the option to work from anywhere, some or all of the time, as part of your job listings helps you reach candidates who may not have previously considered a position because of the onsite constraints. 

Rise in upskilling

Modern workplaces critically lack the infrastructure and support systems needed to keep the skills of existing employees on the cutting edge. This is not just a threat to innovation but also puts retention at risk. As many as three-quarters of millennial and Gen Z workers say they will likely quit their jobs next year due to a lack of skill development opportunities. 

Upskilling can help companies keep pace with operational demands while providing important engagement opportunities to workers. 

Upskilling uses structured training programs to arm employees with new skills that will aid them in their work, help the organization stay competitive, and comply with business best practices. PwC, for example, committed $3 billion to its ‘New World, New Skills’ program that gives all 276,000 of the firm’s employees digital skills training and incentivizes the creation of digital tools or time-saving processes. Lincoln Financial is taking a similar approach, offering hundreds of the company’s actuarial employees access to ‘future of work’ training that will improve their mastery of emerging trends like big data and predictive analytics. 

Declining emphasis on college degrees

It no longer takes an engineering degree to break into the tech field—far from it, in fact. Employers increasingly say they’re moving away from using four-year degrees as a be-all, end-all requirement for job seekers. Most recruiters now say they hire tech talent with non-academic backgrounds, which doubled between 2021 and 2022 alone. 

This is on par with trends for the workforce as a whole, as student debt continues to skyrocket and public opinion leans away from higher education as the gold standard for future success. In a Gallup poll of 2,000 Americans, only half said they view having a college degree as ‘very important.’ 

Reducing the emphasis on traditional degrees and focusing instead on skills-based hiring for technical roles can help employers broaden their talent pool and foster more diverse teams. 

Adapt a Hiring Strategy for the Future with Help from 4 Corner Resources 

From evolving technology to new post-pandemic norms, the current recruiting landscape is tough to navigate. With help from the IT hiring experts at 4 Corner Resources, you can stay competitive and show candidates you’re prepared for the new normal. 

Our headhunting professionals will help you attract, screen, and hire the best candidates for your open technology jobs, from developers to engineers to project managers and beyond. Our deep expertise in the industry ensures you’ll find the technical skills you need faster and hire the right candidate the first time, eliminating future headaches and facilitating smoother onboarding. 

Schedule a free consultation with our team today, and let’s discuss how we can help you meet your tech hiring needs for the year ahead.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn