How to Solve the U.S. IT Recruiting Problem (Hint: It’s a myth.)

by Techtonic
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Two months ago, a convincing case was made about the continuing shortages of software developer recruits. We are told that 3.9 million jobs for tech talent have been posted in just the first half of 2021. Since COVID subsided, research shows IT recruiting slowed a bit during the epidemic. But jobs and pay are already starting to bounce back.  

Questions continue to haunt CTOs, who debate onshore vs. offshore developers because of this shortage of talent in software engineering. Colleges have capped how many can major in the computer sciences, and bootcamps still do not offer accredited programs—proof that the curriculum does not deliver consistently to students. 

But is there really a shortage of U.S. software developers? Or is the shortage a myth?  

The fact is the dearth of IT and software recruits is both myth and self-fulfilling prophecy.  

Techtonic has shown over the last three years that the U.S. has plenty of skilled, ambitious software developers. In contrast, those searching “tech recruiters near me” yield the same old results, by using the same old recruiting methods.  

What happens to the CTO-HR dynamic, repeating the past? 

  • Fatigue: You are interviewing the same types of candidates from the same demographics as last time. 
  • Competition: The company next door is interviewing the same candidates, using the same criteria. 
  • Unverified: The degree and the languages may check the box. But you make offers not knowing much more about cultural fit, coding chops, and the ability to team and flex with others. 

Meanwhile, Techtonic is finding high-aptitude prospects—who are not coming out of code bootcamps or 4-year colleges. 

Three More Myths about Software Development Recruiting  

1. 66+ days to hire a programmer 

According to an iCIMS report, it takes about 66 days to find and hire a new tech employee. You are told that, due to demand, you must wait one-third longer than other professions—then compete on salary and perks. Talking to real CTOs (who are not from Google or Microsoft), the solution is to look where others are not, and to demonstrate culture and leadership. Candidates today respond more to those dynamics than salary alone. 

2. Plan for high turnover in IT 

In software development, turnover averages more than 20% a year. The average tenure is at best three years. Among the medium to large tech firms, time on the job drops to as little as one year. Companies offering higher salaries, perks, and signing bonuses may win the battle today, but turnover has not improved.  

Why? 

See #1 above. Increasingly, it is culture and leadership, not money, that motivates and engages software developers. Is your DevOps keeping it interesting by refreshing its people with the latest in Managed Agile and other methodologies? Do you pursue diversity and inclusion within the company and the department? Your software engineers are intelligent, awake, and watching….  

3. The talent comes without instructions 

Imagine. You hire a software developer trained on your stack, currently working with the applications and tools you use every day. CIO and CTO hiring managers have long presumed that new hires come without a user’s manual. What if we flipped that model?  

Techtonic pursued a model that listens to real demand—like, your own. “They need to know Python and SQL inside out.” Then, programmer “apprentices” are trained and mentored for months—before you ever pay them—to be ready to work for you. 

Solving the Software Developer Recruiting Problem 

Techtonic is a Denver software recruiting firm that has found a way to find and place skilled software developers of quality and in steady supply. With 14 weeks of classroom training, these “apprentices” can be guided on a path to meet your own stack, language, and methodologies. Techtonic happens to increase diversity within your teams—which has been studied and proven to increase company profits.  

The graduates then go to work for real clients for nine months, so they land as veterans who have worked on real, production-grade projects.  

New, Proven Model for Software Engineer Recruiting 

The traditional IT recruiting model keeps repeating the same thing, getting the same diminishing returns when the market is strong.  

By flipping the model, building in the training and apprenticeship, Techtonic’s model provides companies with talent both short-term and a pipeline that is more reliable. They have served clients like Apostrophe, Pivotal, and Microsoft Philanthropies.   

Learn more by visiting Techtonic.