Josh Brenner knows as well as anyone that it is a “challenging time for tech industry.”
The CEO of AI-powered jobs platform Hired has now seen the full data picture of 2022, which shows an abruptly halted inertia within tech and beyond.
Last year, 150,000 tech workers were laid off globally across 1,000 companies.
“So many images came to mind: a rollercoaster, a pendulum, a weathervane, a two-sided coin,” Brenner writes in his company’s annual “State of Software Engineers” report, which analyzed trends across demand for skills, salaries, and work preferences from 68,000 candidates and 490,000 interactions between employers and software engineering candidates.
This year’s edition also surveyed 1,300 engineers and 120 talent professionals and hiring managers from Hired’s marketplace. It is aptly titled “Big Transitions in the Tech Industry.”
One transition is the permeating digital layer that now overlaps “virtually every company.” At this point, every organization “is a tech company,” Brenner posits.
Regardless of sector, he says, “as part of this global economy, you have a tech team.”
This is likely a big reason why engineers remain in-demand in 2023 despite some roles seeing reduced opportunity during the broader market downturn: they’re always useful somewhere.
“We know software engineers are resilient, adaptable and creative problem-solvers,” Brenner says, noting that U.S. News & World Report recently named it number one on their list of Top Jobs.
Despite “mass downsizing efforts at the end of 2022,” more than two-thirds of software engineers are not concerned they will lose their jobs in the next six months. Candidates witnessed demand for engineering talent increase in 2022 and expect it to continue through 2023, Hired says.
Acknowledging an “incredible shift in the tech hiring landscape since we published 2022’s report,” Brenner is confident the worst of layoffs are behind us.
“It may feel more quiet than a year ago, but we’re optimistic this ‘tech winter’ is thawing,” he stated.
According to the report, remote and hybrid work remains a popular perk offered by employers to appease workers and also reach a broader pool of talent. However, some engineers have reported burnout from working longer hours with leaner teams than before.
The leaner a team is, the more seniority and skillsets come to matter.
Hired also suggested that many emerging and changing areas within tech remain major opportunities for current and aspiring engineers to take advantage of. For example, there remains a high demand for cyber security roles as well as positions relating to blockchain technology.
Engineers must also possess key non-technical skills, such as strong communication and teamwork abilities, to remain top-tier talent in tough times.
Overall, the State of Engineers report sees positive signs for those moving through this “Big Transition.”
“Job reports and declining unemployment rates are promising, and companies in various sectors are still hiring,” Brenner says. “Our data shows a shift in hiring strategies as more companies pursue senior candidates and certain skills.”
Change is integral to transition—talent who adapts skills as necessary will succeed the most in the new digital economy.