Since the beginning of 2022, nearly 200,000 tech workers have been laid off, which means millions of tech skills are floating around in the market.
This pattern is all too familiar for economists. Big players get spooked by economic predictions, and adjacent organizations feel the pressure and follow suit. Hiring freezes and layoffs are contagious — and have a major impact on talent strategies across the board.
I recently covered how tech layoffs are impacting the labor market at large. The good news is that it’s not all doom and gloom, given that tech skills remain in high demand. However, talent leaders are still accountable for ensuring that their organizations have the right talent to achieve their goals — despite a lack of new skills coming into the organization.
This is especially true for tech skills, which are essential for helping organizations finally achieve digital transformation. Unfortunately, many organizations focus too much on acquiring digital tools. However, McKinsey research reveals that four of the five pillars of successful digital transformations include people, skills, capabilities, and change management.
“You need digital transformation to survive,” said Hicham Zahr, Head of Insights and Analytics at Eightfold AI, in a podcast. “It’s not about technology. It’s about fundamentally changing what a company is doing.”
By staying informed about the skills in high demand that are likely to continue growing in importance, HR leaders can make more informed decisions about their workforce planning and development efforts. This includes identifying the skills their organization needs to focus on developing internally and those skills that may need to be externally sourced.
Additionally, being aware of the top emerging tech skills can help HR leaders better understand the needs and preferences of their current and potential employees. This can be especially important in the tech industry, where the demand for specific tech skills can change rapidly. By staying up to date on the latest trends and developments in the industry, HR leaders can ensure that their organization attracts and retains top talent when they need it most.
Talent intelligence identifies emerging tech skills
We have identified the 10 fastest-rising tech skills in the labor market using insights from Eightfold AI, powered by the largest global talent data set. Measured by the increase in skills listed in résumés, along with the associated increase in job openings over the year, these top tech skills are as follows:
- Cloud computing: 9x
- Integration: 7x
- Analytics: 5x
- Git: 4x
- Machine learning: 3x
- Digital marketing: 3x
- Mobile applications: 3x
- Hadoop: 2x
- Python: 2x
- Android: 2x
For example, job openings that listed cloud computing as a skill were nine times higher in 2022 than in 2021.
Right now, some of the top industries hiring for cloud computing include management consulting, software, and IT service management. Given the skyrocketing demand for this skill, talent leaders should assume it will be challenging to attract — and afford — this finite number of workers.
Therefore, when casting a net for applicants in cloud computing, it’s equally important to understand which skills are similar to cloud computing — or what we call adjacent skills. Adjacent skills are skills related to a skill or competency already within a worker’s wheelhouse. Workers with adjacent skills have a high potential to pick up a related in-demand skill reasonably fast.
Organizations seeking cloud computing skills should consider sourcing internal and external candidates with skills including system administration, software integration, solution architecture, IT strategy, and server architecture. Then, they can connect employees with upskilling opportunities to develop cloud computing as a skill over time.
Make a plan to acquire top tech skills
Developing a plan to acquire emerging tech skills can benefit any organization. Some organizations in non-tech industries may be thrilled at the prospect of attracting tech workers currently in the job market.
There are several strategies for attracting tech workers to your organization, but one of the first steps is to embrace the idea that these people will bring an outside perspective to your industry. In exchange for their in-demand tech skills, they must receive ample onboarding time to familiarize themselves with industry-specific knowledge and have continuous access to personalized learning experiences to advance their careers.
Some talent leaders and department heads may search the candidate market for external talent, but this proves to be challenging in today’s tight labor market. However, there are some things that every organization — big tech or not — can do to “quiet hire” these skills into the organization. Many organizations are scaling their upskilling efforts as an alternative to traditional talent acquisition.
Talent upskilling is the process of understanding every role and each individual’s learnability, accelerating employee career growth. By identifying emerging, future-ready skills and mapping those skills to employees with the adjacent skills to learn, organizations can provide an upskilling plan with course and project recommendations, job opportunities, and mentorships for each individual.
Other talent leaders with limited headcount, hiring freezes, or a cautious mindset are relying on contingent workers to fill skill gaps. There’s an inherent advantage to bringing in highly specialized skill sets for a project in lieu of a full-time hire. David Manshoory, Co-Founder of beauty company Alleyoop, told the Financial Times about his shifting talent strategies in advance of an impending market slowdown.
“Let’s go lean in and hire … the key roles, and then leverage freelancers for the ones that are more nice-to-have, or where we feel like people enjoy being freelancers,” Manshoory said.
No matter which course of action is taken, it’s essential to start planning now so your organization can be one step ahead in the race for emerging tech skills.
Interested in understanding which roles and skills are emerging in your industry? Check out the latest research from Eightfold and The Josh Bersin Company.
Sania Khan is the Chief Economist at Eightfold AI. For more from Sania on how tech layoffs impact the gender gap in tech, read her trending blog.