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In the Winter 2024 Technology and Consulting Segment Burst, we explore the most recent trends in the sector including top contingent tech roles, human and AI collaboration in hiring, and the latest tech takeaways from our Global Workforce of the Future report.
As tech employers plot a course for engaging future talent in a growing industry, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve by proactively and strategically hiring and upskilling for what are to be the most in-demand contingent technology jobs of 2024.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As businesses continue to generate vast amounts of data, the need for professionals to analyse and interpret this data is expanding. Also, given the rapid advancement in AI and cloud technologies, research suggests an increased demand for these roles in 2024.
The shifting dynamics of the workforce have seen employers increasingly turning to contingent non-employee workers, especially for skill-based technology roles. This not only offers greater flexibility compared to traditional full-time positions but also helps close skill gaps.
Analysing data from our Technology & Consulting MSP client programmes, we witnessed specific trends emerge in the distribution of contingent roles in 2023.
Our numbers indicate that the IT function was the most in-demand area, accounting for over 40% of total assignments. The top roles within this category included Systems Engineer, SAP Consultant, and Application Architect.
Following closely, the Operations function accounted for just under 25% of assignments, with Coordinator and Programme Manager roles being the most favoured. These roles are integral to maintaining operational efficiency within tech companies and ensuring seamless coordination of various technological processes.
Interestingly, despite the surge in tech-oriented roles, there was still a need (12%) for Customer Service talent. This need stems from increasing customer inquiries following new tech rollouts, necessitating more call centre workers to meet this demand.
As we look ahead to 2024, we foresee these hiring trends persisting. Employers are becoming more strategic in their hiring practices, especially as they traverse the complexities of digital transformation. The continued demand for these roles underscores their critical importance in driving technological advancement and operational efficiency in 2024 and beyond.
The future of work is being shaped by data and AI’s ability to augment human capabilities. Research suggests that Data Engineering roles are expected to grow by 21% from 2018 to 2028, highlighting the need for skilled professionals in this area. With an increasing demand for capable talent, more firms are deploying Gen AI in recruiting to help attract and hire top candidates quickly.
AI’s influence is most prominent in talent sourcing, facilitating a dynamic, diverse, and qualified candidate selection process. Its potential to reduce human bias in recruiting is noteworthy, as algorithms can focus on job-relevant skills and qualifications, disregarding discriminatory factors such as age, gender, or race.
HR practices must evolve to address the growing number of job opportunities and rising salaries in the tech industry. This includes embracing a team-oriented approach. Given the increasing human-machine interaction in jobs, understanding how to collaborate effectively with AI has become essential in the tech industry.
Pontoon is at the forefront of integrating Gen AI into the contingent and permanent hiring processes, with various client-facing projects currently in production. The application of AI is wide-ranging, from candidate engagement to recruitment administration, sourcing and screening, and even stakeholder communication.
Regarding candidate engagement, Pontoon is optimising outreach messaging and feedback surveys, using AI to personalise communication and gather actionable insights from candidate responses. This enhances the candidate experience and helps us refine our recruitment strategies based on real-time feedback.
AI is also revolutionising recruitment administration tasks. Pontoon is employing AI to refresh job descriptions and draft offer letters, ensuring they are up-to-date and aligned with the evolving job market trends. This improves the accuracy of our client job postings, allowing us to respond promptly to their hiring needs.
Furthermore, we’re leveraging Gen AI for sourcing, screening, and assessment processes. We’re leveraging chatbots for pre-screening candidates, validating their skills, and even translating interview language, speeding up the process and ensuring a fair and unbiased evaluation of candidates.
In the realm of analytics, AI simplifies coding, data analysis, and dashboard design, offering clear insights that direct our decision-making to benefit potential and existing clients.
Our Global Workforce of the Future report, an extensive international survey with feedback from 30,000 workers in 23 different nations, reveals a prevalent sense of optimism among workers in the technology sector. AI’s role in their future careers is one source of this increased positivity.
67% of tech industry workers maintain an optimistic attitude towards the potential of AI, with a slightly more substantial proportion (69%) believing that expertise in AI applications will boost their career opportunities. These figures underscore the growing recognition of AI as a critical driver of career growth in the technology sector.
Worker retention rates within the technology industry are also noteworthy. An impressive 80% of tech employees intend to continue with their current employer for at least the coming year. This demonstrates a high level of job satisfaction and loyalty within the sector.
However, this allegiance depends mainly on the prospect of skill and career enhancement within their organisation. Half of the tech industry workforce would contemplate staying with their present employer only if offered opportunities for upskilling or reskilling or if they had a clear vision of career progression within the company. Moreover, a quarter of those considering changing jobs cite stagnant career growth as their primary reason for exploring new employment prospects.
To attract and retain top-tier candidates, hiring managers should focus on several key areas during the interview process: