December 26, 2023

Nailing Tech Hires on a Budget: a Strategic Hiring Plan for Uncertain Times

Andrey Konoplenko

CEO and Co-founder, Brocoders

7 min

The news feed is teeming with headlines praising the low unemployment rate, but I’d say that it’s too early to rejoice. Let’s get real ‒ the tech world still suffers from massive layoffs that hit both tech heavyweights and small startups. And what’s ironic, the need for tech experts keeps growing. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it?

Well, here’s a bit more confusion to add ‒ according to Dice, the hiring numbers are close to pre-pandemic numbers and seem to be trimming down compared to the post-COVID hiring “boom”. So, if looking at stats only, it seems like the labor market is just balancing in its regular manner. On the other hand, when digging deeper, it feels like we are entering a previously unknown recession zone. Simply put, one thing is certain – nothing is certain.

As a CEO of Brocoders, I planned many hiring campaigns in my lifetime. From my personal experience, an effective hiring strategy comes with a set of clear steps. Let’s look at them in more detail, shall we?

Ways To Play Smart In the Tech Hiring Game

Abraham Lincoln once said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. The same thing can be applied to planning a hiring campaign ‒ from budget planning to potential risks and tech stack evaluation, you should think of all these things beforehand. Drawing from my expertise, I’d recommend focusing on the following steps.

Review your budget

Take a closer look at what you have in the bank and evaluate the budgets of separate departments. Communicate with hiring managers whether the current employees cover the present needs or whether you need new hires. If yes, think carefully about how much you are ready to invest in hiring. Assess your hiring strategy against your budget regularly, once a quarter or once in 6 months.

This way you will ensure you don’t just spend, but wisely invest in talent that fuels your success. So, if you plan to kick off your hiring adventure, give your budget the attention it deserves.

Identify core roles for the next quarter

Before you jump in hiring with both feet, take a step back and figure out who you really need in your team and how you want them on board – full-time or on a project basis. Then consider studying the market. What’s hot right now? For example, let’s look at edtech. According to this LinkedIn article I stumbled upon, the most promising edtech careers are product manager, designer, and data analyst right now, which means there’s going to be a lot of competition to acquire skilled workforce for these roles.

Once you’ve got the scoop, see how it aligns with your team’s wish list. Talk to the department heads to have a full picture. Define whether you need to hire more people for long-term commitments or short-term engagements. This way, you’re not just throwing darts in the dark; you’re strategically planning your hiring moves. Plus, it’s a smart way to manage your hiring campaign and optimize resources effectively.

Stay ahead of potential high-risk retention issues

Effectively handling employee retention is no walk in the park, let me tell you. To keep the ship sailing smoothly, you should create a workplace that people want to be a part of and where they feel valued.

Keep your ear to the ground, constantly checking in with the team, and addressing any issues arising. It becomes even more crucial today when the Gen Z workforce comes to the scene. These guys are all about tech, freedom, and inclusion, so making sure you are giving them what they want is key to keeping them on board. Think about whether you have the resources to retain top performance as well as hire and keep new specialists.

Build a talent pipeline

Building a pipeline of top talent is always a good idea, especially in times of looming recession. You probably have people who applied before ‒ keep in touch with them. This way, when new positions pop up, you don’t have to start everything from scratch ‒ you can quickly find someone with the right skill set from your list and stay ahead of the competitors.

When you are creating a talent pipeline, make sure you use the latest tech to the fullest. Thoroughly evaluate your hiring tech stack to ensure fast and efficient candidate sourcing. For example, you can work with recruitment software, like the Applicant Tracking System. It can speed up and simplify the hiring campaign. And don’t forget about the ever-present AI ‒ use AI vetting tools to evaluate technical proficiency and coding skills.

To better understand how the talent pipeline can help you out, my company would be a good example. As of now, we at Brocoders have 10,000 pre-vetted specialists in our database. So, when a client comes to us with a request to add extra talent to the team and we don't have available specialists in-house, we arrange the first interview with a potential hire from our database in no more than 7 days. We provide the most relevant applicant for an interview, but the client can do their own vetting to make sure the candidate fits the company culture. Besides, the client pays only for actual work done, eliminating costs of recruitment, training, office space, software licenses, employee benefits, payroll increments, and logistical expenses.

Don't go all-in on hard skills

Don’t get me wrong here ‒ technical skills are important and you should accurately vet all candidates before hiring. But remember that tech skills become outdated every 2.5 years and you will eventually have to consider upskilling. At the same time, you can’t train someone to be a great team player or a top-notch communicator overnight. So, technical brilliance might play a crucial role in achieving your project goals, but the ability to collaborate, communicate, and adapt keeps a person thriving in the workplace. As the work landscape evolves, these interpersonal skills become the glue that holds teams together and drives innovation. So, balance hard and soft skills, and remember, a tech pro with soft skills is the real unicorn in the game.

Stay flexible in addressing your skills gaps

When it comes to adding talent to your team, you should be open to all options available. Think about teaming up with tech companies, mixing outsourced talent with your in-house team, or even bringing in freelancers ‒ it depends on your current needs and project requirements.

Technical partners offer a swift and cost-effective way to attract top talent without the hefty price tag. Plus, tech partners offer a chance to source specialists across the globe, without being limited by the specific country or region. So, staying flexible isn’t just about being adaptable; it’s about navigating the dynamic landscape of the modern workforce to foster innovation, and be more efficient in talent acquisition.

A Scalable, Cost-Effective, And Low-Risk Way To Nail Tech Hires

According to the Digital Leadership Report, 70% of digital leaders face major skill shortages, while 58% plan to grow their tech teams. It proves that hiring tech talent is always a headache and the flexibility we’ve discussed above is rather a must, than a suggestion. So, businesses need to be smart about it.

In my opinion, bringing in some in-house employees and partnering with tech talent providers is the winning combo for the tech hiring process. It helps maximize skill diversity, ensure better flexibility, and foster an environment where the strengths of each contribute to overall success.

Let me explain it better with the example of Brocoders. We collaborate with our partners providing them with top tech talent on demand. As of now, we have 87 software engineers, already trained and experienced to take on even the most challenging projects. About 60% of them are senior developers. Plus, we have a huge database of pre-vetted experts to help you grow your team without any hassle.

  1. Tech talent is expensive. Working with a tech company, you get access to the global talent pool and can hire specialists from countries with lower living costs, significantly saving your budget and resources.
  2. Long hiring process. Companies that provide engineers on demand usually have candidate pipelines built beforehand, so they can easily close your positions within days.
  3. Tech skills become outdated quickly. When you feel that your internal team needs a skill boost, you can outsource critical tasks to a tech partner and get started with upskilling your employees.

Final Thoughts

Though low unemployment rate and pre-COVID hiring numbers seem to convince that the future looks bright, the tech industry tells a different story, marked by widespread layoffs and a need for skilled professionals. In times of uncertainty, a well-thought-out hiring plan is not just a task, it’s half the battle.

Businesses must be agile, smart, and forward-thinking to navigate the current landscape and build resilient teams capable of adapting to the ever-evolving challenges of the job market. And that’s where our team steps in. If you are looking for a reliable tech partner that can not only find the best engineers for your project, but also save your budget ‒ welcome to Brocoders! We are here to bring the right people to your team, fast and cost-efficiently.

Contact us to know more about our expertise and work process

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