If there’s one thing for sure in today’s hyper-connected world, it’s that technology has become the lifeblood of organizations across all industries. 

Be it a small startup to an MNC, the reliance on technology has reached unprecedented levels, driving innovation, efficiency, and giving the “early birds” a massive competitive advantage. Its integration has now become a strategic necessity. Thus, the world is in a never-ending race to keep up with the changes, something that can only be accomplished with an exceptional tech team. 

However, everyone is searching for the same thing- skilled technology professionals, making the recruitment process a tough endeavor. According to a 2022 McKinsey report titled “The State of AI in 2022- and a half decade in review”, the demand has far outpaced the available supply, with even the highest-performing companies having difficulty hiring workers skilled in high-growth areas like AI. And that’s not even where the challenges stop!

At Global Talent Exchange, our expertise stems from years of hands-on experience in this industry, where we have witnessed firsthand the intricacies and complexities of tech recruitment. It is from this vantage point that we were able to identify 9 of the most common challenges and also offer some valuable strategies to overcome them. 

Read on! 

Navigating the Recruitment Maze

Yes, tech recruitment is nothing short of a maze. There might be obstacles at every corner, and there would seem to be no way to find the perfect solution, but it exists- you just need to look a little harder! 

Familiarize yourself with the top challenges that you’re likely to encounter as you step closer to conquering them. 

Top Tech Talent is Expensive

Without beating around the bush, let’s admit it- top tech talent comes with a hefty price tag, which more often than not poses a problem for recruitment teams that operate within a budget. Imagine the high stakes involved in securing experts in upcoming fields like artificial intelligence (AI), data science, or cybersecurity!

According to Glassdoor, the average cost of hiring a software engineer in the United States hovers around $4,000, and this figure can vary depending on factors like location, industry, and experience level. Moreover, the financial burden extends beyond the initial hiring process. If a candidate doesn't meet expectations or departs shortly after joining, the cost of replacing an employee can be very high, ranging from 30-50% of their annual income, 150% for mid-level talent, and a whopping 400% for high-level, specialized talent, according to a report from Draup.

Now, there are two ways to look at this. While this might be an obstacle to the company, at the end of the day, top tech talent is so expensive because of what they bring to the table and can contribute to your digital transformation efforts. More often than not, the ROI is humongous, so view this as more of an investment. 

However, there are also a few things HR teams can do to reduce the strain. 

Invest in employer branding to start with! Your company’s reputation and culture play a pivotal role in attracting skilled professionals. If your employer brand is strong, you’ll find the cost of hiring goes down dramatically, as candidates gravitate towards the company for reasons bigger than the paycheck. Acquiring top talent organically is a major ‘win’ for any organization! 

Apart from this, strike up a strategic partnership with bootcamps, universities, coaching centers, and more to gain access to a pre-trained workforce. 

Talent Drought
Many equate good employees with rare gems- and rightfully so! The scarcity of skilled talent, particularly within the emerging tech domain is one of the most commonly identified and cited challenges, and more often than not holds the organization back from achieving its goals. 

As per a report titled “Tech skills transformation – Navigating the future of work in 2025 and beyond" by professional services organization EY, and skills intelligence and skills assessment platform iMoch, as many as 81 percent of organizations are encountering a shortage in “power user or developer” tech skills. 

Moreover, according to management consulting firm Korn Ferry, by 2030, there will be a global shortage of more than 85 million tech workers, representing $8.5 trillion in lost annual revenue. 

So, how do you navigate this scarcity? 

The most important point that we can emphasize is don’t be reactive, be proactive! Recruitment teams enter the market guns blazing when there is an urgent need in the organization and often end up paying more than what they would have to otherwise due to the rush. Not to mention, the quality of the hire is sacrificed as well. Instead, build a long-haul warm pipeline of talent that is genuinely interested in your business/industry, understands what you do, and would be glad to come on board as and when the opportunity should present itself. This can be done through networking events, thought leadership seminars/panel discussions, audience engagement, and more. 

Another thing to consider is changing where you’re searching. LinkedIn can yield some great results, but not always. Consider seeking out the help of experts in the recruitment industry that will screen candidates for you and bring only the best to you. 

Lastly, expand your horizons! You’re unlikely to find the perfect candidate within your city/state, least of all area code. With the growing popularity of remote work and the concept of global brain circulation, don’t be afraid to look for talent beyond borders and explore other geographies for the skill you need. 

Passive Candidates 
An often overlooked challenge in tech recruitment is that top talent is often passive. 

These individuals, often content in their current roles, may not be actively browsing job boards or responding to traditional recruitment efforts. However, they hold the key to valuable skills and experiences that can drive your organization's success.

The statistics speak for themselves: a blog published on LinkedIn reveals that 70% of the global workforce is made up of passive talent who aren’t actively job searching. This means that the majority of potential candidates are not actively looking for opportunities; after all, the best talent doesn't last more than 10 days in the market.

How, then, do you capture their attention? 

Employer branding is, once again, key! Showcase on social media and other relevant platforms that your organization is actively working on innovating, and present your USP attractively. Take an active interest in engaging with your audience, and not only when you need to recruit. 

Another strategy that works well is employee referrals. Passive candidates are more likely to trust their acquaintances with job recommendations, so draw emphasis on and encourage your workforce to put forward qualified names. As per Jobvite Survey, 78% of recruiters found their best quality candidates through referrals.

Rapidly Changing Requirements 

How do you hire for skills when the skills keep changing? 

Technology is a realm where new advancements, frameworks, and programming languages emerge at an astonishing pace. As a result, the skills that were highly sought after yesterday may not be as relevant today. It is both a boon and a curse but can be incredibly frustrating for talent acquisition.

In a survey of 3,000 US workers from Amazon and Workplace Intelligence, three-quarters of millennial and Gen Z workers said they are likely to quit over a lack of skills-development opportunities. Some 70% say they feel unprepared for the future of work. More than half fear their skills have gone stale in the pandemic.

The answer is that you don’t have to hire every time a new skill emerges! Many organizations feel if they don’t possess it all, they will fall behind in the market, and while that is true to a certain extent, it does not mean you require a specialized professional for every function/role. 

Instead, work on continuous upskilling and reskilling of your tech teams. Encourage them to take an active interest in building up their skillset and embrace the changes. Not only will this be beneficial for your organization, but you’ll also be contributing to the personal and professional development of your people. 

Another interesting perspective on this challenge is that you must consider soft skills while recruiting. In tech, you want people that are flexible, open to change, are agile, and have an undying thirst for knowledge. You’ll soon realize that these are the kind of people that you can rely on the most later. 

Lengthy Hiring Process 

According to research by Morgan McKinley, although movement between jobs remains high, many companies are missing out on talent by having overly complicated or lengthy recruitment pipelines. In fact, 50% of all UK professionals have declined a job offer because the hiring process was too long.

So, is your meticulous approach causing you to lose out on the best talent? Unfortunately, yes. 

As we’ve mentioned above, tech professionals are in high demand and thus, a lengthy and cumbersome hiring process can be a major deterrent. The prolonged duration from initial application to the final offer can lead to candidate frustration and result in talented individuals backing off from the opportunity. 

Here’s how you tackle this. 

First of all, identify what is causing your hiring procedure to become “lengthy”. It can be attributed to various factors, including multiple rounds of interviews, slow decision-making, complex evaluation methods, and excessive administrative procedures. You can also gather input by taking feedback from your candidates. Not only will this showcase that your company cares, but also help you receive the necessary input to optimize your process. 

Can a phone call be swapped for an email? Can a couple of rounds be clubbed together? Can the time BETWEEN rounds be reduced? There’s always room for improvement.

Another great way to overcome this obstacle is to seek out technology! Applicant tracking systems (ATS), video interviewing platforms, and skill assessment tools can help streamline candidate evaluation, reduce administrative overhead, and improve overall efficiency.

Once you’ve done it all and feel that the process cannot be optimized any further, the best you can do is be completely transparent about the timeline to the candidates when you speak to them the first time. Ensure that your organization's culture and values are evident at every touchpoint to attract and retain top talent.

Need some inspiration? KPMG conducted a survey wherein 1/3rd of 400 respondents reported feeling annoyed by the length of the application process. Thus, they decided to make some changes. KPMG’s previous arrangement required three separate assessments, which took place over many weeks.  The new process, however, will be carried out in a single day — and candidates will find out in just two working days if they have landed the job.  

Yes, tech recruitment can be daunting. However, by understanding the challenges and perfecting your approach, you can significantly enhance your chances of success. 

That’s a lot of information for now. Whenever you're ready, here's Part 2: Top 9 Tech Recruitment Challenges and How to Overcome Them - Part 2

At Global Talent Exchange, we have a thorough understanding of these challenges and have been smoothly helping some of the biggest companies in the world overcome them. Our extensive network spans more than 40 tech hubs globally, giving us unparalleled access to a diverse pool of highly skilled professionals.