Here’s why now is still the best time to snap up tech talent

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HR and recruiting platform iCIMS found open tech roles received about 20 more applicants per opening than non-technical roles.
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While many employers are understandably slowing down on hiring, there’s one job category for which companies may want to keep the doors open: tech. Recent research from HR and recruiting platform iCIMS finds that there’s been a surplus of applicants across industries for technical roles. The insights underscore that for employers seeking tech talent, now is the time to pounce.

As of February 2023, iCIMS observed that open tech roles received about 20 more applicants per opening than non-technical roles. Companies that might have had trouble attracting tech talent just two years ago, now have a plethora of applications to sift through. And the candidate pool is increasingly diverse. The percentage of STEM job applicants who identify as women has continued to rise steadily since 2019, according to the firm. 

Some attribute the overall increase in tech applicants to be due, in part, to major job cuts within Big Tech. 

“Some of technology’s behemoths have experienced mass layoffs in recent months, which may explain why applications to tech-related jobs are up more than 50% since the start of the year,” says Al Smith, chief technology officer at iCIMS. Employers are currently seeing an average of 24 applications per job opening for tech roles, he told Fortune

Smith says the pandemic placed a spotlight on tech job openings and tech skills as more companies leaned into digital transformation efforts. The extra publicity appears to finally be paying off among applicants who are pivoting their careers toward a more technical path. And many appear to be undeterred by the layoffs in the tech industry. 

“As tech hiring declines, people applying to tech roles are instead turning to complex, high-growth industries like finance and health care where they can best put their tech skills to use, build products and software and solve problems at other companies,” says Smith. 

Despite headlines signaling increased layoffs, the job market remains strong. iCIMS research finds that the number of job openings listed online remains stable and application activity has grown by 26% since January 2022. 

“Job cuts may be rising for some companies, but others are still actively hiring workers to fill open positions and expand their talent pipeline,” he tells Fortune.

Amber Burton

Reporter's Notebook

The most compelling data, quotes, and insights from the field.

The employment gap between white and Black workers is narrowing. The stubbornly tight labor market in the U.S. has had major benefits for marginalized job applicants who might have been overlooked by hiring managers in the past. 

“In the sluggish recovery that followed the 2008 financial crisis, the white employment-population ratio, or the share of that population with a job, was more than eight percentage points above the comparable measure for Blacks, according to the Labor Department. But as of February, that gap has nearly shut: it's 0.3 percentage points—the smallest differential on record, helped by huge employment gains for Black men.” Axios

Around the Table

A round-up of the most important HR headlines, studies, podcasts, and long-reads.

- HBCU Bowie State University created its own tech internship pipeline that doesn’t require students to jump through Silicon Valley’s hoops. New York Times

- As the workplace changes, executives weigh the best ways to conduct layoffs. Wall Street Journal

- Americans are spending less time working than they did before the pandemic, which risks keeping wages and inflation high. Bloomberg

- The Fed’s efforts to curb inflation by raising unemployment will likely have a disproportionate effect on Black and Hispanic Americans. CNN

- Meta’s layoffs decimated the company's customer service ranks, leaving small businesses and influencers with no one to call. CNBC


Everything you need to know from Fortune.

RTO escalation. More companies are disciplining workers over their failure to comply with return-to-office mandates. —Simon Willis

A.I. weekend. ChatGPT could give rise to the four-day workweek by boosting productivity, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Christopher Pissarides. —Bloomberg

Antisemitism at work. In keeping with broader societal trends, a 2022 survey found that half of Jewish respondents experienced antisemitism at work. —Jonathan A. Greenblatt and Clara Hess 

Nepo-babies go corporate. Over two-thirds of Gen Z workers got a job through some form of nepotism, according to a survey by the recruitment platform Applied. —Orianna Rosa Royle

This is the web version of CHRO Daily, a newsletter focusing on helping HR executives navigate the needs of the workplace. Today’s edition was curated by Paolo Confino. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.

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