General Assembly’s latest global survey of HR professionals finds that with time-to-hire for highly skilled tech roles at record highs, businesses are struggling to attract and retain talent from underserved communities
Despite an ongoing shortage of experienced tech talent, as well as persistent equity gaps across industries, HR and hiring leaders have been slow to adopt new approaches to recruitment and retention, according to a new report, ‘The State of Talent Acquisition 2023,’ released today by General Assembly (GA). The survey, conducted in partnership with Wakefield Research and produced by Whiteboard Advisors, sourced insights from HR professionals across the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and France, who oversee the hiring process for in-demand technology roles in fields like software engineering, data analytics, data science, and UX design.
“There is a talent shortage that’s not going away. The demand for technology workers is increasing at a rapid pace. The supply side isn’t keeping up. It’s not going to keep up for multiple years, so companies that don’t adopt creative new talent acquisition strategies are going to be left behind,” said Ankur Gopal, CEO and Founder of Interapt, which recently joined forces with General Assembly to launch a new apprenticeship program designed to help employers address recruitment and retention challenges.
The report examines the ongoing challenges faced by businesses looking to address persistent tech talent shortages and build stronger and more inclusive talent pipelines. Drawing on General Assembly’s experience helping global businesses – including more than 40 of the Fortune 500 – recruit and retain a diverse cohort of tech workers, it also provides guidance for leaders looking to shift their hiring practices in ways that both address talent gaps and create new pathways to jobs in the industry.
Key findings include:
- Time spent filling high-demand tech roles is a top priority — but it’s also at an all-time high.
- On average, hiring for tech roles takes 7 weeks, and 89% of hiring managers lack confidence they’ll meet their company’s hiring goals this year.
- When measuring success in hiring for tech positions, 18% of respondents say speed to hire is the most critical metric.
- Attempts to diversify the workforce are falling short.
- When measuring success in hiring for tech positions 1 in 5 respondents cited diversity of talent pool as the most important metric.
- But on average, only 27% of tech applicants come from diverse backgrounds, and 37% of HR leaders report diverse hires typically stay at the company for fewer than five years.
- Non-traditional approaches to recruitment, like skills-based hiring, are not being adopted quickly enough to keep pace with the changing labor market.
- HR leaders report an average of 52% of their job postings for tech roles list a college degree as a requirement, while 45% cite college degrees as a top-two determining factor.
- Though 90% of respondents are extremely, very or somewhat concerned that current recruitment and hiring methods will not be enough to fill their open tech positions in today’s labor market, only 23% have updated their job requirements to provide greater opportunities for candidates from non-traditional backgrounds.
“The findings of this survey indicate that even though businesses acknowledge the challenges they face when it comes to hiring for tech roles, that awareness has not yet translated to action,” said Lisa Lewin, CEO of General Assembly. “By arming leaders who need tech talent with these insights, we hope to not only shed light on the extent of the problem, but also point the way toward scalable, sustainable solutions — with the aim of building a more diverse, more resilient tech workforce.”
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