Innovative, creative talent acquisition strategies are leading the shift in modern hiring trends to combat rising demand. 

It is no secret that the IT labor market has been in flux since the pandemic began; wages are rising, employees are resigning in droves, and the lack of talent is glaringly apparent. As the challenges to technical hiring evolve, we have realized the need to redesign the overall approach to talent acquisition. For organizations to stay relevant, productive, and operational they will need to pivot to meet demands of the current talent acquisition landscape. In this article, we explore the trends impacting the IT talent marketplace and strategies for meeting these demands head on with a more creative, holistic approach to talent management.

Location Independent Workforce

As the pandemic forced companies into a remote first working structure, employers are still seeing the benefits of hiring talent across the country. This shift to a location independent workforce exposes more options for obtaining the best talent, even for those candidates who may not live in traditional big city tech hubs. Location independence also enables hiring managers to consider a more diverse set of candidates with valuable perspectives, skill sets, and experience.

Our recruiters have found that nearly 95% of potential candidates will not consider opportunities that require any onsite presence. Taking a location independent approach not only provides employers a competitive advantage from a benefits perspective, but also enables value-based pay. In working to optimize talent management programs for our clients, we have consistently found budget constrictions to be a challenge. A value-based pay structure that prioritizes the skills and work employees are providing rather than location-based cost of living is enabling employers to be more competitive in their effort to win the war for talent.

More than 60% of employees said the pandemic drove them to rethink their professional priorities

Think Holistically About Employee Benefits

In the current workforce landscape, technical professionals seeking new opportunities have no shortage of options. One study found that more than 60% of employees said the pandemic drove them to rethink their professional priorities, leading employers to get creative around benefits to attract top talent. Organizations will need to prioritize employee well-being and work-life balance in order to obtain and retain the technical talent they require.

Worker recognition, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and sustainability goals are all holding more weight in today’s extremely competitive market and are driving many of our clients to rethink a more holistic, human-centered approach to their talent management programs. Leverage learning as another benefit to potential employees, providing upskilling opportunity and the ability to grow internally rather than consistently hiring outside the organization. Build the teams you need by leveraging the talent at hand and harnessing the creativity and drive of those team members who may be looking to grow.

Evolution of Roles vs. Skills

In taking a more tactical approach to talent acquisition and management, we are challenging clients to focus on skills rather than roles. Roles describe the individual responsibilities and hierarchical organization of team members. When an organization prioritizes the skills of its employees, the focus remains on business challenges and how the individuals involved are driving the entire company forward.

Expanding the hiring approach to a more abstract, skill-focused structure is driving the innovation at the core of success for technical companies. This shift also uniquely positions employers to provide the upskilling and reskilling opportunities that contribute to employee satisfaction and drive retention long term.

Similarly, the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in work may impact the current definition of roles in IT organizations. As AI advances and more and more practical applications are defined, monotonous and repetitive tasks are likely to be automated. Workers instead will be able to focus on creative ideation and critical thinking in their day-to-day work, driving satisfaction and enabling a more meaningful experience for employees. Organizations that take a strategic look at investing in automation technologies for the benefit of both their business outcomes and employee satisfaction will be ahead of the curve in obtaining and retaining the best talent. 

Looking Ahead

As demand for technical resources continues to grow, innovative talent management strategies will be key for success. Consider shifting to a location independent approach, rethinking employee benefits, and prioritizing skill sets over traditional roles to mitigate hiring challenges in the current workforce landscape.


Director of Strategic Solutions Darin Stevenson also contributed to this article.