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iO Associates unveils what tech talent considers as top workplace priorities

Posted on January 2024 By iO Associates

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In the dynamic realm of the ever-evolving technology landscape, where advancements in AI and digital progress reshape the industry, understanding the intricate nuances of tech talent trends becomes imperative. Throughout January we will be sharing content to shine a light on this; check out our recent deep dive into the South West’s talent landscape here. Read on for insights into what candidates consider top priorities in the workplace.

iO Associates, renowned specialists in tech and digital recruitment, have recently undertaken a comprehensive survey within its extensive database of tech candidates. The aim was to decipher the priorities that guide people’s decisions when exploring new job opportunities.

As we delve into the complex dimensions of the tech talent landscape, this exploration collates a few key findings from iO’s candidate survey with industry-wide trends, providing insight into the factors influencing the choices and aspirations of tech professionals.

National Tech Talent Analysis

When researching the topic as a prelude to our survey, an observation is the increasing selectivity of tech workers when considering new roles in 2023, with 20% expressing a reluctance to pursue certain positions. This heightened selectivity is indicative of a shift where candidates are becoming more discerning about the roles they pursue.

The tech transformation driven by AI advancements and digital progress is ever-evolving. According to economist Kimbrough, maintaining the same job five years from now would require a substantial 25% alteration in one’s digital skillset. Moreover, data science and AI skills are on the rise, with job postings up more than 1000% in 2023.  

While AI advancements automate day-to-day tasks, the relevance of skills such as critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving remain important. Kimbrough emphasises the synergy of these skills and digital proficiency as fundamental to success in future professions.

Examining the top five hiring trends expected to influence talent and recruitment tactics in 2024, the emphasis on remote work emerges as a crucial consideration for both businesses and job seekers. The shift from a candidate-driven market to an employer-driven market signals a significant transformation in recruitment dynamics.

As the employment landscape transforms, adaptability, technology integration, and a focus on equity and inclusion become defining factors in attracting and retaining top talent. The challenges of rapid technological advancements, skill shortages, increasing competition for top talent, evolving candidate expectations, and the imperative of diversity and inclusion are national factors shaping the recruitment landscape of 2024.

In the face of these challenges, a strategic and adaptable approach is paramount for organisations seeking to recruit top-tier tech talent. This exploration provides insights and strategies to guide organisations through the intricacies of tech recruitment in 2024, ensuring they emerge resilient and innovative.

And the results are in... 

Understanding the priorities of tech candidates is crucial for both employers and professionals navigating their careers. iO recently conducted a comprehensive survey to delve into the key factors influencing tech talent in their job considerations for the years 2023 and 2024.

The respondents rated various aspects in terms of importance, providing valuable insights into the trends shaping the tech talent landscape.

What type of career advancement opportunities are you looking for when considering a new role?

Tech candidates are not one-size-fits-all, and their preferences for career advancement opportunities vary. Here’s the breakdown of what they value most, ranked from highest to lowest importance:

  1. Skills Training (42%):A significant portion of respondents prioritise ongoing skill development, emphasising the importance of staying ahead of the latest technologies and trends.

  2. Leadership Development (24%):Nearly a quarter of tech professionals are actively seeking opportunities to enhance their managerial and leadership skills.

  3. Regular Promotions (21%):Career progression through regular promotions remains a focal point for a substantial portion of the surveyed candidates, expressing the need for recognition and merit. 

  4. Cross-Functional Roles (9%):9% of our contributors expressed an interest in diversifying their skill sets through cross-functional roles, emphasising the importance of a holistic skillset. 

  5. Networking Opportunities (4%):While comparatively lower, a percentage of respondents value networking opportunities and building professional connections in the industry.

To cater to the diverse needs of tech talent, employers may design career development programs that offer a blend of skills training, leadership development, and clear pathways for promotions. Such initiatives contribute to a sense of job security by providing employees with the tools and opportunities needed for professional growth. Now, considering the importance of career security,we asked our respondents:

What factors make you feel secure in a job?

Here’s how tech candidates prioritised factors contributing to their job security:

  1. Long-Term Contracts (41%):A substantial majority values the stability offered by long-term contracts, indicating a preference for sustained engagements with their employers.

  2. Stable Company Financials (22%):The financial health of a company matters, with over one-fifth of respondents seeking assurance of a stable financial standing.

  3. Clear Career Progression (21%):Clarity in career progression is crucial for job security, highlighting the importance of transparent pathways for professional growth.

  4. Positive Industry Outlook (11%):11% of our tech professionals find reassurance in a positive industry outlook, reflecting an optimistic perspective on the future of their field.

  5. Robust Employee Benefits Package (5%):Comprehensive employee benefits play a role in job security, particularly for a segment recognising their contribution to their overall well-being.

Employers can improve employee job security by offering stable, long-term contracts and maintaining transparent communication about the organisation’s financial health. Providing clear pathways for career progression can further reinforce the sense of security among tech professionals. Job security and a positive industry outlook are also influenced by the reputation of a company, prompting us to explore further insight:

What aspect of a company’s reputation is most important to you when considering a new role?

Here’s the breakdown of what aspects of a company’s reputation are most important to tech candidates: 

  1. Employee Satisfaction (66%):The overwhelming majority values employee satisfaction, stressing the significance of a positive and supportive work culture.

  2. Market Leadership (10%):A portion of our respondents find a company’s position at the forefront of industry trends to be an appealing characteristic when looking for a new role.

  3. Innovation Track Record (10%):Innovation holds a significant place in the eyes of tech professionals, reflecting the tech industry’s emphasis on forward-thinking approaches.

  4. Customer Reviews (8%):Customer reviews contribute to candidates’ consideration of a company, with 8% of respondents exploring real-world experiences in their evaluation.

  5. Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives (6%):Social responsibility initiatives are significant in the workplace, reflecting a broader trend of professionals seeking companies aligned with their values.

As we navigate the dynamic landscape of the tech industry, it is evident that understanding the intricacies of talent trends is imperative for both employers and professionals. These insights provide an understanding of the priorities and considerations of tech candidates as we enter 2024. Employers can leverage this information to tailor their offerings and strategies, ensuring they align with the evolving needs and aspirations of the dynamic tech workforce.

If you need assistance in sourcing candidates or finding a new role, feel free to get in touch with iO Associates.