Because of the historic number of employees quitting their jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the U.S. labor market is in a period of major transition known as the “Great Resignation.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August of 2021, and based on the findings of several recent surveys, it doesn’t look like the employee exodus is over yet:
- Harvard Business Review: Record August numbers were on top of 4 million resignations in July 2021
- Microsoft: 41% of respondents are thinking about leaving their current jobs
- Gallup: 48% of employees are actively searching for new opportunities
- Personio: 38% of survey respondents plan a job change in the next six months
What’s Driving the Great Resignation?
COVID-19 caused many people to take a closer look at their lives, and in many cases, introspection led to a major shift in priorities. Family, physical and mental health and interests outside of work became more important to workers than the simple ability to collect a paycheck.
Technology workers, who were already overworked and burned out before the pandemic, were called on to support a seismic shift in demand for digital services — from streaming TV shows and online grocery shopping to cloud-hosted quarterly P&L reviews and remote morning standups.
For many mid-career tech workers, this sudden increase in workload was the proverbial last straw.
And so the Great Resignation began.
The Great Resignation’s Impact on Business and Digital Transformation
As any IT hiring manager knows, tech workers were already in high demand and short supply prior to the pandemic.
This persistent shortage of skilled technical workers was compounded in 2020 when companies realized the survival of their business may hinge on their ability to pivot to cloud- and web-based operations and support innovation and growth initiatives.
As a result, many long-term digital transformation initiatives were accelerated. However, without the needed technical expertise on hand to support the initiatives, progress on these projects has been constrained.
With companies continuing to emphasize and invest in digitalization — particularly artificial intelligence and automation — demand for experienced tech workers will also continue to outstrip supply.
How Staff Augmentation Services Can Ease the Impact of Tech Worker Resignations on Digital Development Initiatives
Staff turnover is always expensive, but the cost is particularly high for IT and digital teams, measured in lost growth and innovation opportunities.
Finding developers and technical talent with the right skill sets is time-consuming and costly. If you are lucky enough to find a good fit, you can expect to pay a premium because salaries are increasing based on high demand and competition for premier digital talent.
Because of the nature of the work, there can also be a long runway to get new technical hires up to speed and familiar with the company’s systems, processes and policies.
Although the cost of hiring technical talent is high, the cost of stalling digital transformation is even higher. COVID-19 sent digital initiatives into warp speed, so any delay in digital growth also stalls business growth goals, infrastructure upgrades and even information security requirements.
Today, almost everyone is hiring, and candidates are being selective, which is prolonging the hiring process even more while leaving key IT and developer roles unfilled for longer periods of time.
With a smaller, more expensive staffing pool available, there is a clear imperative for business and technology leaders to find new ways to create continuity in their digital and IT initiatives by working with staff augmentation companies who can fill the gap.
IT staff augmentation services are a time- and cost-effective way to extend internal IT and development teams with the skills needed to keep digital initiatives on track. This approach to staffing provides a global pool of experts with knowledge of the latest technologies who can help your organization scale to meet demand, accelerate backlog delivery and speed time to market.
Picking the Right IT Staff Augmentation Partner
Due diligence is key when choosing between IT staff augmentation companies. By asking the right questions and ensuring their values are aligned with yours, ideally, you will find a trusted partner rather than simply a staffing source.
Here’s what to look at when researching staff augmentation partners:
- Make sure their processes integrate into yours.
- Understand how they vet talent to ensure they match top talent to your needs.
- Get details about how they have succeeded on projects with needs similar to yours.
- Determine whether their services are flexible and scalable to meet both your current and your future IT staffing needs.
Know Your Options and Augment Staff Based on Your Priorities
Not every project will have the same staffing requirements. Here is a high-level look at a few staff augmentation options and how they align with your priorities:
Priority: Accelerate backlog delivery, meet production goals, manage staffing and control costs.
Team extension provides validated professionals who become part of a client team that may include in-house or other external resources. With team extension, the client remains firmly in control of the software development process, including workflow, as well as the organization of the team, the tools and the project methodology.
Priority: Optimize product agility, accelerate velocity and scale production.
Managed teams provide a full agile team of digital specialists dedicated to your success. With the engineering and digital skills needed to test and scale your ideas, a managed team’s collaboration expertise can accelerate velocity with time-tested rules to foster alignment and promote value delivery.
Priority: Get flexible staffing.
Technical freelancers allow companies to access top-tier software engineering talent and digital specialists for flexible work assignments. A reputable staff augmentation company will have processes in place to ensure they propose only the candidates most qualified to meet your staffing needs.
Priority: Access senior-level technology talent for short-term, high-complexity projects.
Consulting missions are typically complex, short-term projects led by senior-level experts working step by step across the product life cycle. Consultants can help your organization increase business resilience, identify and amplify growth drivers and transform the way our clients serve their customers.
Overcoming the Great Resignation
With record numbers of mid-career technology workers leaving their jobs, company leaders need to find creative ways to move forward with the digital transformation initiatives that are critical to their business.
Without these experienced professionals in place to lead innovation and growth initiatives, businesses are left with a knowledge and talent void that won’t be easily filled with entry-level new hires (if you can find any to hire).
To prevent the Great Resignation from stalling IT and digital initiatives, organizations need to embrace new ways of working, including:
- Make the company less dependent on institutional knowledge so that less time is wasted on repetitive tasks that can be automated, freeing up talent for innovation and strategy.
- Let employees create their own ways of thinking, doing and working.
- Adopt agile collaboration practices that enable cross-functional teams.
- Find new ways to create continuity and stability with IT and digital resources.
- Augment your IT teams with highly skilled technical talent to reduce the pressure of the staffing shortage.
- Choose a partner that offers a depth of senior talent with high-level skills across the most in-demand technologies.
If you have delays or hiring gaps in your IT and digital initiatives, contact Pentalog for a consultation about how IT staff augmentation services can create immediate relief and long-term continuity of your teams.