2024 Tech Hiring Trends

If 2024 has a theme, it’s uncertainty. In an attempt to control inflation, the Fed raised interest rates eight times between March 2022 and February 2023. According to the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), the odds of the United States falling into a recession are more than 50%. Geopolitically, the landscape remains tense, with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, increasingly strained U.S.-China relations, and social unrest in numerous countries.

Despite this volatile scenario, companies across the country plan to increase hiring. According to a survey by Robert Half international, 58% of companies plan to add permanent positions and 72% plan to hire more contract staff in the first half of the year.

What does all this mean for tech leaders and hiring managers? As you look to recruit and hire top tech talent in 2024, keep an eye on the following five tech hiring trends.

5 Tech Hiring Trends to Watch in 2024

1. Despite headlines, tech jobs will continue to grow. 

Tech layoffs have dominated headlines for months. From Alphabet and Apple to Microsoft and Salesforce, tech giants have cut back on staff they acquired during the hiring sprees of late 2020 and 2021. Despite what seems to be a sea of bad news for the industry, zooming out paints a different picture. 

The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) indicates U.S. corporations added 517,000 jobs in January, while unemployment was 3.4%, the lowest rate in more than 50 years. According to CompTIA’s analysis of the BLS data, the tech unemployment rate in January was a mere 1.5%. This is because laid off workers are finding other jobs quickly, with 79% landing new positions within three months. Companies across industries are scooping up tech talent at a remarkable pace and plan to continue adding tech workers. Robert Half’s survey indicates that 64% of tech managers plan to hire full-time staff. 

According to Gartner, global information technology industry spending will grow 2.4% this year. National and international government, banking, and investment services will see the highest level of IT spending growth and, consequently, recruitment and hiring.

2. Companies will focus on doing more with less, but plan to add workers.

With the Fed raising interest rates, the cost of borrowing money is increasing, which has led to a financial pinch for many businesses. Tech companies, in particular, have felt this strain because they are more reliant on outside funding than those in other industries.

Despite shrinking budgets, companies will be tasked with delivering on objectives that are linked to investments in tech, many of which are linked to the pandemic’s hastening of industry-wide digital transformation. Long-term demand for tech talent will remain high in many industry sectors, as evidenced by low-tech unemployment and strong hiring activity.

According to Dice, more than 375,000 tech jobs remained unfilled as of October 2022, and tech job postings were up 25% year-over-year. Established industries such as healthcare, aerospace, finance, and consulting have hired massive numbers of tech professionals to support innovation efforts. The latest jobs report indicates this trend will continue. 

Now is the time to consider recruiting tech talent globally, especially as we enter into recession territory. Look no further than Latin America, which abounds with skilled tech talent that is less costly, in corresponding time zones, and has strong English skills and a similar work culture.

3. Wage growth won’t be as strong as last year, but for in-demand tech sectors, it will continue.

From mid-2021 to mid-2022, 60.9% of tech professionals saw their salaries rise in the last 12 months, while 7.5% suffered a decrease. With the Fed working to control inflation, there will be less pressure on wage increases in 2024, but that isn’t the whole picture. 

As companies embrace digital transformation and prevent cyberattacks and data breaches, they need experienced IT professionals to support their core teams. However, the pool of experienced IT talent continues to shrink.  

With demand high and supply tight, tech worker salaries overall will remain steady. Some IT pros with niche skills such as cybersecurity, blockchain, cloud, and executive leadership could see 2024 wages jump 8%, exceeding inflation. However, we anticipate downward pressure on salaries for individual contributors and middle managers.

4. Growth in cloud and infrastructure will continue to outpace other tech careers.

Supporting the new remote/hybrid work environment and the amount of data clients need to process and analyze means organizations are continuing to invest in tech, no matter what the market brings. For example, job postings for software development and backend engineers more than doubled in 2022 compared with 2021.

According to Gartner, more than half of enterprise IT spending in key markets will shift to the cloud by 2025. The industry research firm anticipates global cloud spending will reach $600 billion by the end of the year. With this aggressive shift, IT segments such as infrastructure, which to date has a lower level of cloud penetration, will see significant investment and job growth. Gartner’s forecast has Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) spending increasing by almost 30% in 2023 to $150.2 billion.

Despite what you might be reading, the tech job market remains strong. Continue investing in your tech talent pool and get creative about how you might expand it so you attract and retain the best tech talent available. Doing so will ensure that, no matter what 2024 brings, your organization will stay ahead and be prepared to embrace opportunity.

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