New technologies and applications in the tech industry are demanding a more specialized workforce. Today the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence is driving the rise of job openings for Node.js developers. Web applications built with Ruby are also causing a shortage of developers capable and available to program in this language. Lastly, 2021 is seeing a dramatic rise in React’s demand because of its extra simplicity and flexibility and the constant pressure for building more friendly mobile apps.
It’s a sunny job outlook for developers specializing in these technologies, but for employers and recruiters looking for candidates, it’s turned into a nightmare.
We recently released our 2021 edition of the TI salary report. We analyzed the salaries of more than 20 roles in high demand and the technologies they use (programming languages and frameworks). When we conducted the surveys for this report, the COVID19 pandemic was wreaking havoc on the job market. So, Node.js and React developers weren’t exactly the most expensive in the industry (Ruby is the exception in this case since, for years, this skill has become more and more expensive).
Worldwide, the demand for these roles has increased, and unfortunately, there is also a shortage of candidates worldwide. However, for IT Managers, CTOs and recruiters, accessing talent pools in nearby countries has made it easier to fill available job vacancies.
For US tech companies, Mexico’s untapped talent has been the best option so far.
Now, to understand what is happening, we need to see the numbers a little closer. To do this, we will consider the portal where we find most of the candidates and jobs in the technology sector: LinkedIn.
In the following graph, I compare the available talent (separating it between employed and unemployed) with the job vacancies open at the time of doing this research.
Node.js Mexico: 13,000 (approximately 572 unemployed)
Node.js USA: 281,000 (approximately 6,744 unemployed)
Node.js Mexico: 1008
Node.js USA: 28,599
Ruby (Ruby on Rails) Mexico: 3,200 (approximately 140 unemployed)
Ruby (Ruby on Rails) USA: 119,000 (approximately 2,856 unemployed)
Ruby (Ruby on Rails) Mexico: 709
Ruby (Ruby on Rails) USA: 12,124
React (React Native) Mexico: 2,800 (approximately 123 unemployed)
React (React Native) USA: 55,000 (approximately 1,320 unemployed)
React (React Native) Mexico: 1,987
React (React Native) USA: 7,268
As you can see, there is a dramatical shortage of available professionals, and those who are available it’s because they are unemployed.
You’ll say that there are at least enough unemployed candidates to fill some of the openings. Still, for some reason, unemployed candidates aren’t desirable to companies looking for the best of the best.
Now, we know that when there is a sufficient supply of candidates for job openings, wages are balanced in the job market. However, as we saw earlier, this is not the case for Node.js, Ruby, and React technologies.
This has caused companies to compete for the best talent in a wage war.
However, the small number of candidates available may not be the only reason for the high salary costs. Skill mismatch can also be related to many forms of labor market friction, including vertical mismatch, skill gaps, skill shortages, and skill obsolescence.
Skills mismatch is a discrepancy between the skills that are sought by employers and the skills that are possessed by individuals.
Sometimes candidates are highly qualified in technologies required in the position but are missing just one of them, such as Node.js, Ruby, or React.
This can cause the company to take months and months to find the unicorn developer. And what is worse, when they finally find it, they are not willing to pay its price.
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3 ways to overcome the lack of skills in available candidates?
Skills shortage is something that is worrying businesses all over the world, and for a good reason. But there are ways to address a skills shortage in your hiring process:
- Train new and existing workforce. Many companies have begun offering training to their existing employees to tailor them to fill current gaps.
- Hire candidates with the ability to learn the skills you need. Several businesses offer their candidates incentives to return to school to get the education they need, like student loans or scholarships.
- Re-evaluate your recruiting practices. New staff members don’t have to be perfect from the get-go. Without hurting your company, you could easily hire applicants with 80 percent of the right requirements and help them grow into the role.
The technology sector is one of the most difficult in terms of hiring employees with knowledge in many different skills; most employers are looking for a Jack of All Trades with mastery of one of these technologies. The alternative, of course, is to build a diverse team with people with direct expertise rather than one with all of them because no one person can master every specialty area.
Talk with one of our specialists, and we’ll help you find the best path to hire the best available candidates for your team.