Despite the dark headlines, the demand for technical skills is high

Despite the dark headlines, the demand for technical skills is high

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Reports of tech company layoffs and startup funding slowdowns abound. One estimate puts tech layoffs at around 90,000 jobs lost in 2022, at least within the tech industry itself.

This may suggest tougher times ahead for tech professionals, but that’s not necessarily the case. On the contrary, the market for hiring tech talent remains robust and demand continues to grow for tech professionals who can merge business demands with tech proficiency.

That’s the word from Jeff Williams, VP of Business Solutions and HR for Paychex, who gives his perspective on what’s in store for the tech talent market in the coming year.

Q: Despite the headlines, does the scale still favor tech professionals overall? Is the demand for skills still strong?

Williams: “Technology skills will always remain crucial for businesses no matter how the macro environment changes. We are living in a unique moment where, despite talk of an economic downturn, the hiring market is still While the scales may yet tip, it’s important to note that demand remains strong for tech professionals as we enter an increasingly digitized world.

“Legacy IT jobs relied on infrastructure management and long and expensive capital upgrade cycles. Today, with so much infrastructure in the cloud, it’s more about patching requirements and enterprise configurations than managing the physical components of IT systems.

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“What mattered yesterday for tech professionals doesn’t necessarily matter tomorrow. Yesterday was all about flashing, making sure the hardware was working and asking for money for the upgrade Now the cloud provider can manage the infrastructure and the technology professionals are focused on making their monthly operations efficient while doing more to ensure positive business performance.”

Q: What types of tech skills are now most critical for employers, especially in a tough economy?

Williams: “Over the past few years, I’ve seen the demand for network and cybersecurity professionals explode. Additionally, the development of software that automates manual or inefficient processes is welcomed by belt-tightening businesses. “Today, we need people who can talk to IT and vice versa. People who can hear business problems and then translate them into technology solutions are a rare skill.”

Q: What types of businesses have and will continue to have the greatest demand?

“In 2023 and beyond, small and medium-sized businesses will need to hone their digital presence in order to successfully grow and attract talent. As a result, countless businesses, regardless of industry, have discovered a need for investment in IT infrastructure and customer experience automation. This includes retail, service-based organizations and healthcare. For businesses looking to increase efficiency through automation robotic processes, the need for technology professionals is only increasing.

Q: What initiatives or actions should technology professionals take to demonstrate their value to their companies and continue to advance in their careers?

Williams: “As businesses continue to adapt to technology, technology professionals with business acumen remain highly sought after. For example, a technology professional who demonstrates how costs can be offset through IT activities instead of just outlining the costs of a project are more likely to be hired or retained in the event of downsizing.Plus, tech professionals can often see around the corners and understand where the industry is going before the others in the organization Develop the ability to communicate clearly and speak the language of business leaders and investors to position yourself as a business driver and indispensable asset.

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“Be a student of your business. Know the income statement, the balance sheet, your competition and your operating environment. Go to places that differentiate you, your knowledge and your advantage. To build a bridge to higher positions, you must demonstrate an understanding of the business you operate in and the role technology plays in. People who understand their operating environment and the place of technology in it tend to stand out.

Q: Should professionals consider entrepreneurial opportunities? Please provide tips for starting or joining a startup.

Williams: “As we see tech giants downsizing, laid-off employees are often taking the leap to start their own business. And it’s not as risky as it sounds: companies often find more attractive to outsource certain functions to a third party, which offers technology professionals a tremendous opportunity to become successful entrepreneurs.

“But a start-up cannot last on ideas and opportunities alone. Hopeful entrepreneurs need to ask themselves questions about their motivations. Before starting a business, you need to ask yourself: ‘What problem am I here? to resolve ?’ “What need does my business serve? “Can I advocate what I’m building to friends and relatives?” Everyone loves the entrepreneur story, but really focus on how you can create something of value in a very crowded market.

“Entrepreneurs must also assess talent needs: to create a rock-solid business plan, you must first realistically analyze your own strengths and weaknesses. From there, identify strong talent to fill the gaps. key gaps Who will sell the product How do you raise funds Who will communicate the value to the market?

“Ask about the relevant regulations. A stable business is a compliant business. With growing nuances – and, at times, contradictions – between local, state and federal regulations, it is important to research and plan for different scenarios. This includes not only limiting factors and controls, but also discovering what grant, funding, procurement and revenue opportunities are available to you.”

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