Technical Recruiting Trends Every Startup Should Know: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage in 2021

The year 2020 has been challenging for industries and the economy as a whole, but startups especially have experienced big losses. Just in April, business formation declined by more than 20% in the US, over 50% in France, and more than 70% in Portugal. Even though many mature economies provided governmental support to startups in a difficult economic situation during the pandemic, the monetary contributions are not inexhaustible. As we are entering the future of work, startups need to gain high-performing talent to remain successful despite the challenges of the ever-changing business environment. Thus, by leveraging the knowledge of tech trends in 2021, you as a startup CTO or VP of Engineering can make more informed talent acquisition decisions that will help you build a strong engineering team to retain a competitive advantage in the post-COVID-19 world. 

Leveraging the Latest Technology to Improve the Quality of Candidates

Fight for high-skilled tech talent has already started in the past few decades and will only continue going forward. To streamline the process of building strong engineering teams in 2021, companies will be integrating the latest technological advancements like AI and machine learning into the staffing strategies. AI can significantly boost talent sourcing and automate the recruitment process, and 36% of organizations are expecting to use it more in the next two years

AI can increase the quality of technical hiring by evaluating candidate data, but also save time, minimize costs, and remove bias from staffing decisions. Predictive analytics and recommender systems can help startups to have a clear idea about the suitability of candidates’ skills based on customized categories defined by the company. Moreover, leveraging data-driven technologies at every stage of the staffing process after recruitment can help improve talent retention, job satisfaction, and strengthen company culture. 

Investing in Employee Upskilling and Reskilling 

Startups, especially in the harsh economic situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, often cannot afford to hire new staff to fill much-needed positions. As a result, we will see an increase in upskilling and reskilling of their tech staff to save costs and utilize the existing talent base. After all, the first place to look for high-skilled talent is within the company itself.

As we enter 2021, businesses will invest more time and funds into the implementation of more robust training programs, courses, collaborative learning, and hackathons. Large tech organizations have already started doing this in 2020 - with Amazon investing $700 million into upskilling and reskilling, Salesforce planning to upskill half a million workers in the US for free, Google training over 3 million workers since 2017, and Microsoft planning to upskill 25 million workers in the US.  

Following the best practices of tech giants, startups will be doing the same in 2021. While upskilling and reskilling programs introduce a good way to fill in the knowledge gaps and utilize the existing talent to fill in the vacancies, they also help promote productivity and engagement. 

Overcoming the Shortage of Talent 

Software development has always been and remains one of the most demanded skills in the world. Due to the ongoing digital transformation, every organization needs to create a strong online presence, and they need high-skilled talent to achieve that. However, there is a setback startups can encounter along the way: the talent shortage.  

Shortage of high-skilled software engineering talent is an acute problem in developed countries, with IT unemployment at 4.4% in the US. Every unfulfilled IT position causes startups to lose sales, experience slower growth, and delays product development.  

While the talent pool in North America or Europe might be limited, there are many talented IT professionals in emerging technology hubs like Ukraine. That’s why your startup might choose outsourcing or outstaffing in Eastern Europe instead of hiring in-house teams locally. This not only brings in highly skilled professionals, helping to overcome the shortage of local talent, but also cuts administrative costs. 

Expanding Remote Dedicated Teams 

Remote work worldwide has increased by 44% in the past five years, and many companies embraced working within the framework of a distributed engineering model. While recruiting freelancers for short-term projects is easier than hiring full-time staff, a more cost-efficient path to take is the outstaffing model, where you work with remote teams fully dedicated to your company’s objectives in the longer run. 

Vetted remote developers can augment an in-house team or work autonomously. When working with such a team, one of the most critical first steps is recruiting a strong tech lead who is essential for scaling your engineering team in the future. By choosing the outstaffing model, you gain access to highly skilled talent functioning fully remotely and gain the much-needed technical expertise to help your startup grow in 2021 and beyond.   

How Vetted Remote Developers Can Drive Your Startup Growth in 2021

We can expect COVID-19 to have a significant impact on the business landscape in 2021 and beyond, and startup technical recruiting trends will continue to be shaped by the new realities. Remote dedicated teams of engineers improve the efficiency of your startup thanks to the team’s experience and expertise. As a result, embracing this hiring model can help your company retain a competitive advantage and accelerate business growth in the future. However, building remote dedicated teams can become problematic without professional help, since there are many unique challenges that remote engineering teams come across

Agile Fuel’s staff augmentation services can help you build a successful dedicated team of engineers so you can focus on efficient product development and innovation in 2021. This way, you don’t have to worry about administrative issues and can focus fully on software development. If you want to learn how, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Let's launch things.