IT Strategy

Top 5 IT Staffing Trends for Product Startups in 2020

When it comes to IT staffing, the common theme across countries and industries is fierce competition for a small talent pool. As we head into a new decade, you can bet that it’s going to get even more competitive. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, 84% of US-based Chief Financial Officers also predict a recession during the first quarter of 2020. 

According to John Graham, Director of the Global Business Outlook Survey and finance professor at Duke University, “what we’re saying here is that if consumer spending were to take a negative turn, or if commodity prices, or interest rates, that might be what pushes us into the recession sooner rather than later.”

He added, “I think we’re at the stage of the recovery, and there are enough uncertainties out there, that I think a recession is out there on the horizon.” So startups can expect to fight for top tech talent in 2020 with limited budgets.

However, it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom. There are ways to thrive in this fiercely competitive environment if you get a little creative.

Let’s take a look at the top five IT staffing trends in 2020. 

1. Robots Will Work With Humans

While the fear has always been robots vs. humans, 2020 will usher in a new age where humans work with robots. Machine Learning and automation technologies have more than lived up to the hype, and they have just started to deliver. 

Automation solutions will also continue to evolve and get better over the next decade. While we can expect end-to-end automated processes, human intervention will remain and the center to solve problems that stump the algorithms. 

To maintain momentum, product startups will need to build dedicated teams to innovate and meet the demands of the marketplace. It’s one of Gartner’s top ten strategic trends forecasted for 2020. In other words, while smart algorithms will solve some staffing problems, they will also create a demand for more software engineers. 

IT staffing trends: Robots Will Work With Humans

2. Shortage of Top Tech Talent Will Continue

The ongoing talent shortage will force startups and established companies to get creative and embrace staff augmentation models to build robust dedicated teams. 

According to Deloitte, 37% of brands will employ more contractors, 13% more gig workers, and 23% more freelancers by next year. 

For product-based startups, it will be critical to embrace a new approach to accelerate time to market and maintain a competitive advantage. However, dedicated team placement can quickly become challenging, especially when you’re trying to attract the best minds in the business on a tight budget.

However, this problem can be resolved by partnering with a company that’s highly experienced in IT staff augmentation services to build a successful dedicated team. 

3. The Hiring Process Will Be Disrupted and Accelerated 

While the demand for top tech talent remains relentless, the hiring process is shockingly slow. According to Workable, the time to hire within the IT sector is approximately 51 days in North America and 56 days, globally.

Whenever this is the case, you risk losing your best candidates to a competitor. If your time to hire is even longer than the industry average, you also risk creating a bad reputation within the industry. 

It’s also critical to accelerate this process because candidates might feel undervalued and become disinterested. To overcome this issue, companies have become highly transparent about their recruiting cycles. But this isn’t enough.

Going into 2020 and beyond,  you can expect both startups and corporate giants to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) to significantly reduce their time to hire. The stage is already set, as 45% of recruiters already believe that automation will make their job a lot better in the future. Anothe 13% already see AI as part of their job.

4. Upskilling Initiatives Will Become the Norm

IT staffing protocols in the future will include reskilling and upskilling efforts to fill the gaps and put bodies on seats. It’s a great idea that helps companies create talent from inside when they can’t find it out in the real world. 

Going forward, you can expect companies to start investing more in their employees by paying for online courses, training programs, workshops, and hackathons. While this approach will fill resolve the tech talent gap, it will also help employers build loyalty. 

Fully Remote Dedicated Teams Will Provide a Competitive Advantage

5. Fully Remote Dedicated Teams Will Provide a Competitive Advantage 

With the industry-wide adoption of cloud technologies, the stage is set for product startups to innovate with fully remote dedicated teams. 

While the talent pool might be limited in North America, there are plenty of technology professionals in countries like Canada, Mexico, and Ukraine that can add real value to your next project. 

These remote workers can help augment in-house teams or work completely remotely all on their own. This approach will take the pressure off those tasked with dedicated team placement. 

Remote work has also seen an increase of 115% over the last 15 years. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that 50% of the overall workforce in the US is forecasted to be remote in 2020. However, companies looking to adopt this model need to adapt their culture and infrastructure to accommodate a remote workforce. 

Remote working can also be the key differentiator that attracts top tech talent to your startup. While you may not have the resources to compete with corporate giants, remote work options, and opportunities to learn can help level the field. 

Do you need help putting together a robust dedicated team for your next project? We can help!

IT Storyteller and Copywriter
Andrew's current undertaking is big data analytics and AI as well as digital design and branding. He is a contributor to various publications with the focus on emerging technology and digital marketing.