The impact of COVID-19 hit the global recruitment industry quite hard. As 2020 nears its end, the trends that plagued the sector during the months of the lockdown have begun to see a change. It is worth noting that despite the pandemic's after-effects, the demand for Information Technology (IT) professionals is on the rise. As companies around the world embrace digital technologies to ensure business continuity, they will obviously need technical support to ensure operations transition and run smoothly.
Digital technologies are no longer an alternative but an ultimatum for IT companies as well. Some experts believe that in the next few quarters, a significant amount of hiring in IT will come from non-IT companies that have undergone a digital transformation due to the pandemic. Even a brick and mortar retail outlet will now likely have a digital presence because of new norms like social distancing.
Rise in tech-job roles
As companies embrace digital transformation, the hiring of IT talent is expected to improve significantly with a rise in specific job roles that include Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). These are two buzzwords in the industry at the moment, as they have become synonymous with innovation. According to LinkedIn 2020, the demand for the role of Artificial Intelligence Specialist has increased by 74% over the last 4 years. Companies, in the last quarter of 2020 are quickly filling up their vacant positions, with an increase of up to 70%, when compared to the pre-COVID numbers.
The IT sector is expected to increase their hiring either directly or indirectly with companies investing in IT infrastructure to continue to work.
Right skills are indispensable
With growth being inevitable, skills in the digital space will continue to be highly valued and sought after with roles like Full Stack, Python Developers, Cloud Computing, and Analytics being in some of the top spots for those in demand. According to LinkedIn, the hiring rate for Full Stack Engineers has seen an annual growth rate of 35% since 2015 in the USA.
With so many new opportunities, it’s needless to mention that the most significant challenge faced by companies transitioning into the technology era is access to the right talent. Even tech giants face this challenge largely due to the fact that there are still vacant jobs that need to be filled, but few candidates have the right skill-set. In this context, many companies are starting to look for rightly-qualified people across the globe to fill the gap.
Ed-tech remains unscathed
One can safely assume that this demand for up-skilling or right-skilling is the reason that Ed-tech, in particular, was all but untouched during the pandemic and even registered a two-fold growth due to the transition of education to online platforms.
With the new tech revolution, there will be a demand for qualified data scientists to make sense of these new mountains of data. The answer to meeting that need lies largely in upskilling programs. Yes, Ed-tech learning programs nowadays are very well-equipped to help learners achieve their objectives of mastering the required skills and get job-ready for roles that will continue to be in-demand for years to come.
Another trend that we see during the COVID situation is the growing partnership between traditional education institutions and Ed-tech companies.
It’s no secret that in the professional world, upskilling is extremely critical for everyone attempting to future-proof their careers, especially due to the current scenario. With the imminent economic situation, companies could be forced to cut down on non-core jobs. This leaves candidates with only one way to future proof their careers, which is to become more skilled than their peers or be skilled in areas that are likely to experience growth.
As the job market is scrambling to adapt, companies are trying to stabilize themselves by engaging with employees differently. In order to be more qualified, it always helps to pick up the right skills useful to the profession that you’re getting into, whether through certified courses or otherwise.
By now it’s clear that technology will continue to play a key role as industries have begun to pick up after several months. The pandemic also revealed the benefits of a flexible work environment.
The WFH trend
Companies are investing in their cloud infrastructure as entire teams are now working from home. Again, this will translate into the rise in the need for rightly-skilled tech experts. Around 40% of employers will be offering remote working and flexible hours to their workers whereas 25% will be offering a hybrid model.
According to a survey, it’s highly likely that remote work is here to stay. It is not just a passing trend, but rather a solution to COVID-19 restrictions that will not go away even when society reopens. It is a new way of life and some of the tech giants have confirmed this. Companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Square, etc. have accepted this new norm. And, as go the giants, so go the rest. This trend has been set in motion, and it appears that it will define the 2020s and beyond, with companies looking to hire and rehire employees to stabilize cash flows and functioning.
With 2021 right around the corner, one can be certain that whether it is recruitment methods, job roles, skilling, or working trends, the hiring sector is not going to be the same. The pandemic pushed the fast-forward button on the industry and all we can and should focus on is using this to our advantage. So, yes the job and hiring sector has changed, and for good.