How to overcome the tech talent crunch with global mobility

April 26, 2021

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The digital shift has presented various challenges in hiring tech talent

As organisations across the world recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, many have ramped up their efforts to leverage on technology. Industries ranging from healthcare to finance and F&B are looking towards digitisation to rebuild their businesses amidst a new world order. As more businesses reconfigure their existing systems to go digital, the call for tech talent will continue to grow.

In Singapore, major tech corporations such as Zoom, Tencent and Grab are amongst some of the companies going through major expansion and fueling a talent war. On the other side of the world, the US’ talent shortage is at a ten-year high. In tech alone, the US is faced with the possibility of losing $162 billion in revenue due to the shortage in skilled tech talent.

In their 2020 CIO Survey, IT outsourcing service provider, Harvey Nash and auditing firm, KPMG reported 65% of technology leaders across 83 countries have cited hiring challenges as a major blow to the industry.

We were already in the midst of a digital shift before the pandemic hit. Businesses were focusing heavily on digitisation to service an increasingly demanding and technologically savvy audience.

The spike in companies embarking on transformation projects led to a worldwide increase in demand for tech professionals. Extrapolate this to a scenario rife with travel restrictions, tightened immigration policies and limited company budgets – it’s understandable to see why this makes a potent recipe for a global tech talent crunch.


tech talent shortage
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Overcoming the tech talent shortage – What can businesses do?

Technology is the lynchpin for many sectors  However, its advancement can be severely hindered due to the struggle to find digital talent. Organisations must take a step back and redefine their approach to finding talent.

Various companies have set up re-skilling and upskilling programs to invest in their existing employees. Amazon invested $700 million into upskilling their employees to help them advance into tech-centric roles within the company. PwC also announced plans to commit $3 billion towards upskilling their employees in areas including AI and machine learning.

Another compelling approach to growing the size and quality of the talent pool is to encourage recruitment from a vast population of experienced tech talent from underrepresented regions.

look beyond traditional technological hubs
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Business leaders should look beyond traditional technological hubs when hiring tech talent

Korn Ferry’s Tech Talent Crunch report found that by 2020, most countries would experience a deficit in highly skilled workers. There are however, exceptions to this rule. China, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia and the UK are expected to experience a surplus in talent required to feed the tech sector. India on the other hand, is expected to see a surplus of workers in the tech, media, and telecommunications (TMT) industries by 2030.

In South Africa, the technology landscape is thriving. This is due to companies like Andela that train software engineers before helping them secure jobs across Asia, the Middle East, the US and Europe. The curriculum meant to foster tech talents comprises of a four-year program that begins with a 6-month onboarding course. After that, they are placed in one of Andela’s numerous partnering organisations to further hone their skills.

For many organisations, recruiting experienced tech professionals from these locations is an opportunity to tap in a rich and varied talent pool. By looking beyond the traditional tech talent hubs where competition is high and employee acquisition costs even higher, businesses can expand their resources and fill in skills gaps.

Hiring beyond borders also helps inject a culture of diversity and inclusion into the workplace. Research tells us that diverse teams perform better. When individuals with various skillsets, experiences and perspectives come together to solve complex problems, the results are often multi-faceted and powerful.

As technology continues to advance, new systems will be put in place and new skills will be developed. Business leaders can build an ecosystem of learning and growth for their employees by hiring talent from emerging markets for more entry-level roles to help them gain experience and prepare them for their chosen career paths.

Not only will this encourage professional development, it will also create space for mid-level employees to progress into specialised roles within the company.

International hiring
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Common challenges about hiring talent from abroad and how GEO can solve them

Many companies are still cautious about international hiring due to the complexities involved. This can range from compliance requirements to language barriers and limited cultural familiarity.

We address several international hiring challenges and how global employment and outsourcing (GEO) solutions help.

I need to find someone to fill a role quickly and international hiring takes a long time

From advertising the role, to vetting candidates and ensuring that the hiring process is compliant with international labour laws, companies shy away from hiring international talent due to concerns that it can be time-consuming and costly.

GEO solutions companies can expedite the international hiring process. An effective GEO partner will be able to help you source the right talent and function as an Employer of Record (EOR) in the talent’s resident country.

Once you’ve made a decision to proceed with a new hire, a GEO company can help you onboard teams and get up and running within 72 hours. Not only will this allow you to access a larger talent pool, it also increases the odds of finding and retaining the right candidate. 

I need to be a big company with a big budget to hire internationally

It is a misconception that only major MNCs can hire internationally. In the past decade, the workplace has seen some radical shifts. One of the trends that stands out the most is remote working. 85% of businesses have declared that implementing flexible work locations has made their workplace more productive.77% of companies also say that remote working has helped to reduce operational costs.

For small businesses, hiring international remote workers saves you the hassle of relocation fees and international immigration.

Regardless of size, your focus should be on finding the best person to fill up a role and with remote working removing geographical constraints from the equation, your business is free to pursue the most qualified candidates for a role, regardless of where they live.

In situations such as these, an Employer of Record can be beneficial in helping businesses manage their international remote workforce.

Some of the things an EOR can help you manage include:

  • Allocating company benefits and employee compensation
  • Overseeing employee onboarding procedures
  • Withholding necessary taxes
  • Maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations of the country your employees are based in.

I don’t have the expertise in recruiting in global markets and my company lack the resources to efficiently manage global recruitment

SMEs who are in the early stages of their growth may be intimidated by the legal and administrative hurdles of hiring an international workforce.

A GEO partner can reduce the risk of being blindsided by legal fees and costly fines by handling various aspects of international workforce compliance wherever your employees are based.

In addition to that, GEO teams usually include experts in the local practices and can help you bridge the language and cultural gap that come with hiring foreign talent.


Hire experienced and high-quality tech professionals with Airswift

If there is one thing the pandemic has thought us, it is that the workplace is constantly evolving.

Workplace setups have become more flexible and borderless as businesses shift towards a global marketplace.

Airswift offers an extensive range of global employment and mobility services that range from International EOR to payroll processing, HR consultancy, tax services and more.

Our team of experts are based across more than 60 countries around the world and we have supported companies of all sizes in their international expansion journey. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with yours.

This post was written by: Leanna Seah, Content Marketing Coordinator