What Tech Roles Are Typically the Hardest to Recruit for?

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The difficulty of finding a certain specialist is determined by two factors: the talent availability and budget assigned for the hire. And while we saw numerous layoffs in 2023, the tech industry is still experiencing a talent shortage, mainly due to a skill gap in senior-level roles.

Therefore, tech enterprises are willing to tap into offshore tech talent. Latin America and Eastern Europe remain some of the hottest offshoring destinations with a high number of highly skilled, English-speaking developers. However, the availability of talent doesn’t remove the need for a rigorous selection process from a hiring manager. You can still face challenges while looking for a fitting candidate for a certain position. Moreover, for some positions, you might need more time and more effort. 

But don’t worry – TurnKey’s recruitment team is here! Every day our recruiters screen and communicate with dozens of candidates, and that’s how they know the current state of the market as precisely as no one else. They have gracefully shared the hottest insights, and now I want to pass them on to you. 

Table of Content

What Makes a Position Difficult to Hire?

There are several factors that make a certain position more challenging. Here is the list of parameters our recruitment team uses to evaluate the difficulty of every opening they work with.

Technical Stack

The specific technologies and tools a role demands can significantly influence recruitment challenges. Positions requiring expertise in emerging or niche technologies often pose a recruitment challenge due to the limited pool of professionals with the necessary skills. For example, roles focused on advanced areas such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing can be particularly hard to fill. The rapid evolution of the tech landscape means that the demand for specialists in newer technologies typically outpaces the supply.

Seniority Level

The seniority level of the position is another critical factor. Senior-level roles, including those of senior engineers, architects, and technology leaders, are typically harder to recruit for. This difficulty stems from the need for a combination of advanced technical skills, extensive experience, and sometimes specific domain knowledge. Senior professionals not only need to be proficient in their technical stack but also possess leadership qualities and the ability to make strategic decisions, making these positions harder to fill compared to entry or mid-level roles.

Number of Specialists

The availability of specialists in the market significantly impacts recruitment. The talent pool is naturally smaller for highly specialized roles, which increases competition among employers to attract and retain these individuals. This is especially true for positions that require rare skills or expertise in cutting-edge technologies.

Preferred Location

The geographic location can also affect the hiring process. Our team hires specialists from Eastern Europe and Latin America, and the state of the tech market in the targeted country has a direct impact on the speed of recruitment. Consequently, the wider geographic we include (e.g., Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay instead of just Colombia), the higher our chance become for fast and successful recruitment.

What Are The Hard to Fill Positions in Tech?

According to our hiring specialists, the openings that need more time for them are full-stack developers (and here you can find an explanation for that), developers who work with relatively new and rare tech stacks, C-level specialists, and experts in innovative solutions and security. This can be attributed to the lower supply of the aforementioned specialists – the majority of such roles demand specialized expertise and long-term experience, so it is only natural that the market has only a limited number of these highly sought-after pros.  

Surprisingly for me, while data specialists mainly fall under the category of hard to fill position, machine learning specialists landed in the list of positions with standard hiring timelines. I believe the reason behind that is the skyrocketing popularity of AI, as almost every tech enterprise wants to incorporate it into their products. This trend has highlighted machine learning as one of the prominent opportunities in the 2020s tech, pushing tech students and seasoned specialists to dive into this career path. 

Positions Demanding ~2x Time to Find a Fitting CandidatePositions with Standard Hiring Timeline (3-4 weeks)
Full Stack RolesFront End: React, Vue.js, Angular
Data RolesBack End: Java, .Net, PHP, Python, Node.js, TypeScript, Ruby on Rails
QA (JS), QA (Python), QA (Ruby), QA (Mobile), Performance testersQA Manual, QA (Java)
Flutter, GolangMobile: iOS, Android, React Native
DevOps, Security SpecialistsMachine Learning Engineer
NOC EngineersProject Manager, Product Manager, Product Owner, Business Analyst
C-Suite roles/ArchitectsCustomer Support, Customer Success, Technical Support
Technical PMUX/UI Designer
Clojure, Magento, Salesforce, DrupalNon-technical Roles

Challenges in Hiring Tech Talent

Natural market fluctuations are not the only thing recruiters need to deal with. As the tech market matures and expands, a lot of events happen that impact the recruitment market. From infamous 2022–2023 layoffs to the rise of GenAI, we see that the market increases its demands towards the jobseekers who want to find their place in the complex ecosystem; at the same time, it also sets standards for the enterprises in terms of hiring practices or benefit packages. 

New hiring challenges also arise, and those who are ready to handle them will access the best candidates on the market. So, let us guide you through the main difficulties tech recruiters encounter today.

Skill Gap

One of the most significant challenges in the tech industry is the skill gap, particularly in rapidly evolving technologies and methodologies. As technology advances at a breakneck pace, the skills required for today’s tech roles become increasingly specialized and complex. This creates a gap between the skills available in the job market and the specialized competencies that employers need. Training and development play a critical role in bridging this gap, but it also means that finding qualified candidates who are “ready to go” from day one can be exceptionally challenging.

Shortage of Senior-Level Specialists

The demand for senior-level tech specialists far outstrips the supply, leading to a significant recruitment challenge. These roles, which include senior developers, tech leads, and CTOs, require a combination of deep technical expertise, leadership skills, and extensive experience. The scarcity of professionals who meet these criteria means that companies often find themselves in fierce competition to attract and retain senior-level talent, driving up salaries and benefits to attract these scarce resources.

Are you on the other side of the equation?

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High Competition

The tech industry is known for its highly competitive job market, particularly for roles requiring cutting-edge skills in software development, data science, cybersecurity, and more. With tech companies, startups, and even non-tech organizations vying for the same pool of talented individuals, the competition becomes even more intense. This competition not only makes it harder to find the right candidates but also increases the cost of hiring due to the need for competitive salaries, benefits, and perks to attract top talent.

Cultural Fit

Finding potential candidates who not only have the required technical skills but also fit well with the company’s culture adds another layer of complexity to the hiring process. Cultural fit is crucial for ensuring that new hires can work effectively with existing teams, adapt to the company’s working style, and contribute to a positive work environment. However, assessing cultural fit can be subjective and challenging, requiring a thorough and nuanced approach to the recruitment and interview process.

How to Handle Difficult Recruitment and Hard-to-Fill Jobs?

So, how should you approach hiring tech specialists considering the challenges? There are different options: you can use word of mouth and ask your colleagues, partners, and acquaintances for recommendations, or you can use paid promotion on job portals to boost your employer brand. While these actions can help you, they can also do nothing. To achieve success with regular hiring, you need to take a strategic approach – and cooperating with an offshore tech staffing company can give you such leverage.

The Benefits of Offshore Tech Staffing

  • You get access to a wide talent pool of skilled professionals that is cheaper to find and retain than the US-based one.
  • Hiring is done by a team of professional tech recruiters: they know all the industry’s ins and outs and will take the most efficient path to finding fitting candidates.
  • You optimize your administrative and operational expenses, as the hiring partner provides office spaces, equipment, recruitment, and HR functions. 
  • You don’t need to worry about filling a position or screening candidates: an offshore tech staffing company like TurnKey will fully cover recruitment responsibilities and deliver the best result you could expect with your opening in the chosen location.

TurnKey Staffing as a Game Changer

If you want to get the best deal in offshore tech staffing, you come to the right place! TurnKey Staffing highlights all the benefits of offshoring and backs them up with a dedication to your success. Here is how we do it (better than our competitors):

And this is how we “hacked” tech hiring, so we always bring your quality talent that will stay with your company for years:

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Custom Recruitment for Precise Fit

Unlike the old-school offshoring model, where businesses are often provided with developers off the bench, we take a different approach. We custom-recruit developers based on your exact technical needs and company culture, ensuring a perfect match that’s geared toward long-term success.

Transparent Compensation

With TurnKey, transparency is key. You’ll always know exactly how much your developers are getting paid and have the power to dictate their compensation. This ensures a fair, competitive, and motivating work environment, fostering loyalty and satisfaction.

Seniority on Your Terms

The traditional offshoring model tends to push junior and middle developers to the forefront, as agencies maximize their profit margins. We upend this approach by giving you complete decision-making power over developer seniority. Our fee structure is capped, allowing you to prioritize quality and experience without financial penalties.

Developer Loyalty and Integration

Our model ensures that developers are loyal to you, not us. They become tightly integrated into your product development team and culture, acting as an extension of your in-house team. This level of integration is rare in traditional offshoring, and we are proud to bring this benefit to you.

Superior Retention Rates

High churn rates are a common issue in offshore staffing, often a result of underpayment and lack of engagement. We combat this by ensuring developers are competitively paid and emotionally connected to your project’s success. This leads to super high retention rates, which is critical for long-term project continuity and success.

Scientific Rigor in Recruiting

Our recruiting process is a product of years of best practice and scientific rigor, designed to ensure that you get the best fit for your needs. The process is efficient, with final candidates typically presented to clients in 30 days or less. This swift and rigorous approach underscores why TurnKey is the top choice for offshore tech staffing.

Hire top tech specialists with ease through TurnKey Staffing

Summing Up

Finding a candidate that is a 100% match for your company has never been a walk in the park. Even when the supply exceeds demand and a lot of specialists are looking for a job, you still need to screen candidates and select the right one. Now, with the market experiencing a lack of senior developers and a growing skill gap, tech recruitment requires expertise, a deep understanding of the market, and resources to quickly access the top talent. 

Offshore tech staffing companies like TurnKey Staffing can become a golden key to unlocking the potential of rich tech markets in Eastern Europe and Latin America, where you can find some of the best developers in the world. We hire top tech talent every day, so we know how to find your ideal candidate effectively — take the word of our clients to this.

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Why is it hard to hire developers of senior level?

Hiring senior-level developers is challenging due to their high demand and the limited supply of experienced professionals in the market. These individuals often have multiple offers to consider, giving them the luxury to be selective about their next role. Additionally, senior developers seek positions that offer not just competitive compensation, but also meaningful work, opportunities for growth, and a positive company culture. Companies must differentiate themselves and create compelling value propositions to attract these sought-after professionals, making the recruitment process more competitive and complex.

What are the best recruitment practices?

The best recruitment practices focus on creating a positive and engaging candidate experience, starting with a clear and enticing job description, a streamlined application process, and prompt communication. Utilizing a mix of sourcing methods, including networking, social media, and recruitment agencies, helps broaden the talent pool. It's also crucial to implement structured interviews and assessments to evaluate skills and cultural fit objectively. Prioritizing diversity and inclusion in a recruitment strategy not only expands the talent pool but also enhances team creativity and performance. Lastly, providing feedback and maintaining a relationship with candidates, regardless of the outcome, builds a positive employer brand.

What is offshore tech staffing?

Offshore tech staffing refers to the practice of hiring technology professionals from countries other than where the company is based, often to take advantage of lower labor costs, access a broader talent pool, or benefit from skills that are in short supply locally. This approach allows companies to scale their development teams quickly and cost-effectively, working across time zones to increase productivity and accelerate project timelines. Offshore staffing can include a range of roles from software development to IT support and is facilitated by staffing agencies that specialize in recruiting and managing international talent.

March 7, 2024

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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