For workers outside the tech sector, the Great Resignation is over. Voluntary employee resignations have receded nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, and employers no longer report the deep hiring and retention challenges for most roles that they faced a year or two ago.
For technology jobs, however, the story is different. As Gartner notes, “the tech talent crunch is far from over.” Demand for technology talent remains much higher than the supply, a trend that Gartner doesn’t expect to change until at least 2026.
This means that if you help manage a business that depends on workers with technology expertise, developing strategies for hiring and retaining tech workers remains critical. Without sufficient tech workers on staff, you risk falling behind because your business can’t build and maintain the systems it needs to remain competitive.
I can’t claim to have all of the answers on how to hire and retain skilled tech workers, but I do have one key suggestion: Optimizing your cloud spending.
Although reducing cloud spending may not seem like it would have a major direct impact on companies’ ability to find and retain skilled technology workers, the relationship between cloud cost optimization and hiring success runs deeper than you might think.
Allow me to explain by discussing the factors behind ongoing tech hiring challenges, as well as how cloud cost optimization can help reduce them.
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What’s Causing the Tech Hiring Crisis?
The main reason why it remains so hard to find and retain effective technology workers is simple, at least at a high level: There is a shortage of individuals with the right skills across the market, and companies have more roles in areas like software development and IT to fill than candidates to fill them.
But if you dive deeper into the issue, you realize that the problem is about more than just misalignment between worker supply and demand. It also involves changing expectations among tech employees with regard to the technology they work with. Today’s engineers want to work with the latest, greatest technologies to build cool things, and companies that aren’t in a position to allow them to do that will struggle with hiring.
Salary, too, is part of the story. Salaries have been on the rise across the board, making it harder for businesses with tighter budgets to compete for tech talent.
The fact that the economy has been turbulent over the past year has also complicated matters. Higher borrowing rates and economic uncertainty mean that the typical organization faces much more pressure today than it did about a year ago to rein in costs. And because hiring freezes and layoffs are one of the easiest ways to cut costs quickly, the current economy has increased employees’ anxieties about losing their jobs or having their teams’ headcount reduced.
This creates a recipe for employees with in-demand technology skills to be on the lookout for new job opportunities, making it harder for companies who do manage to hire effective employees to retain them.
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Cloud Cost Optimization as a Tool for Tech Hiring and Retention
Now, let’s talk about how optimizing your cloud spending can help you conquer the challenges I’ve just listed.
When you cut cloud spending, you gain two critical advantages that translate to an enhanced ability to hire and retain skilled tech workers:
- You free up financial resources that you can redirect toward personnel costs. If you spend less in the cloud, you have more to spend on employee salary, which means you’re likely to have more success competing for the limited supply of workers.
- Cloud cost optimization initiatives tend to drive technology innovation because companies adopt newer technologies to help reduce their cloud spending while improving performance. As a result, businesses get the latest, greatest tech – which is exactly what skilled employees want to be working with.
In short, cloud cost optimization makes it easier to pay good employees more for the work they do, while also giving them more interesting work to do because they get to build and run more modern systems.
Let me emphasize, too, that you don’t need to slash your cloud spending by 20 or 30 percent to achieve these benefits. Even if you cut just a few hundred thousand dollars per year from your budget, that could easily be enough to increase engineer salaries by perhaps 25 percent – enough to give you a major edge against competitors when it comes to recruiting talent.
Plus, having a culture of cost optimization and cloud platform modernization helps to reduce anxieties among current employees about the direction of the company. When employees know that business leadership is making smart decisions about the technology it uses and how it uses it, they’re less likely to go exploring opportunities elsewhere.
I’m not saying, of course, that optimizing cloud spending will solve all of your hiring and retention woes all on its own. But the more effectively you use your budget in the cloud, and the more modern the cloud technologies and platforms you adopt, the better positioned you are to move the needle when it comes to recruiting and keeping skilled workers.
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About the author:
Willy Sennott is the EVP of FinOps at Vega Cloud. He has 25+ years’ experience in the financial, marketing and business analytics data, helping clients and companies drive revenue growth, improve cost efficiencies and effectively allocate capital. At Vega Cloud, Sennott leads the FinOps practice and helps drive overall company strategy and product roadmap.
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