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The “tech talent problem” isn’t a problem. It’s an opportunity.

Make your organisation the place where the best tech professionals choose to work

Tech professionals have tremendous power when it comes to choosing their employer. Improving developer experience turns this dynamic into a positive that accelerates the profitability of your organisation.

The recent “tech talent problem” is well-documented, but are we thinking about it the right way?  Hiring managers have the opportunity to think about it from the point of view of the tech talent, rather than the perspective of the organisation. Because of market shifts, there’s a scarcity of tech professionals and candidates are in the recruitment driving seat.

But it’s not enough to think differently — it requires action as well: Empower developers by cutting admin tasks out of their days and giving them space to focus on meaningful work. Creating this developer experience will flip the tech talent problem on its head, turning it into an opportunity to boost revenue for your organisation.

There’s a massive shortage of tech professionals

Behind every great piece of technology or successful tech company there are highly skilled professionals, powering the products and services we use. But there’s a scarcity of these professionals and it’s only getting worse.

By 2030, it’s predicted there will be a global shortage of 85 million tech professionals and that this will create an annual revenue loss of $8.5 trillion. These are crash-and-burn numbers for organisations that fall foul of the tech talent problem.

But it’s not just that organisations can’t fill their existing employment gaps — as a matter of fact, a recent McKinsey article highlights that millions of people are leaving their jobs at will. 

Attracting, and retaining, talented tech professionals is a challenge ​​enterprise organisations must overcome.

Ask what the problem is

Given the shortages in the tech sector, job applicants now have tremendous power when it comes to selecting their employer. They can pick one that not only offers the best salary, but also provides the right culture, the right work, the right benefits, the right progression, the right impact, the right values, the right empathy and more.

Employers have a challenge on their hands to make their organisation the most attractive place to work. What makes this problematic is enterprises are getting their approach to attracting and retaining talent wrong.

Many employers look at this issue from a hiring perspective, looking inward and focusing on things they believe make them great. But what matters right now is the candidate’s view. Reframe the question as what they want from their employer, not what their employer initially wants to give them. How often do enterprise organisations start by asking their candidates what they want?

There are many questions enterprises can ask their prospective and existing employees, but the most important one is: “What’s the main reason you’d leave a job?” This is crucial because the answer reveals how organisations can attract and retain the best tech talent.

“People often think tech talent attraction and retention is an enterprise problem. They’re both wrong and right. They’re wrong because it’s a developer problem. They’re right because enterprises help to create it.”

Tech professionals want to do meaningful work

According to Forbes, the main reason developers leave an organisation is “they don’t feel like they are making a difference.” They spend too much time on what they perceive to be meaningless work that doesn’t get into the hands of users.

The need to offer meaningful work is why developer experience (DevEx) is a key battleground for employers, both in acquiring and retaining talent — happy developers stay longer and build an organisation’s reputation as a great place to work, doing so by sharing their experiences in the tech communities they’re part of.

Cut out the admin tasks

According to Zenhub’s 2022 ‘Developer Happiness Report’, the three things developers like doing most at work are software design, coding and debugging, and deployment. However, that same report says 38% of developers think they spend too much time on admin tasks.

Organisations can deliver a good DevEx by providing access to tools, processes, services, platforms and approaches that reduce the amount of time spent on necessary, but unexciting tasks. 

This frees up developers to have more time for the work that makes them feel like they’re making a real difference, such as building new features and products that improve business outcomes and accelerate growth. 

But it’s not just developers who benefit from cutting out admin tasks.

Improving DevEx helps organisations outperform their rivals

The benefits of putting focus and investment into improving DevEx stretch far beyond making developers happier because they spend more time writing expertly crafted code — it also makes organisations more efficient and profitable. 

Nearform’s General Manager for EMEA, Colin Houlihan, says: “Our clients see Developer Experience as a key factor, not just in retaining top talent, but in driving efficiency and impact right across the organisation.” Nearform’s Head of DevOps and Platform Engineering, Luca Lanziani, highlights that cutting the time spent on admin tasks can “reduce the speed to production from multiple months to weeks.”

Thus, if organisations increase their DevEx then they’ll also increase their DV (Developer Velocity), which will in turn improve their market performance. In fact, McKinsey identified that companies in the top quarter for DV outperform rival companies by up to 500%.

This is where the opportunity comes from solving the tech talent problem. Improving DevEx not only makes organisations better at attracting and retaining talent, it also makes them more efficient, productive and profitable. That makes for a great experience across the organisation.

Turn the tech talent problem into an opportunity by improving DevEx

Improving DevEx can make an organisation a destination where the best tech professionals choose to work. It’ll have happier developers who can do more revenue-generating work, accelerating the profitability of the organisation. It’s a win-win that turns the “tech talent problem” into an opportunity.

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