AI is your biggest weapon in the post-pandemic tech talent war

By

Monique Swanepoel

,

Content Specialist

2021-08-26

There’s a saying when it comes to developers: "Either you are one, or you envy one."

Whether it’s true or not  - well, that’s another discussion. But to be fair, what’s not to envy? IT and tech-related jobs have always been in good demand, but as our world shifts towards a post-Covid reality the demand will grow exponentially. A quick Google search on the most in-demand jobs for 2021 quickly reveals a glaring trend. Software developers, cloud architects, network administrators, DevOps engineers, automation test analysts, and mobile application developers are positions that appear over and over again. In fact, the role with the most LinkedIn job posts is ‘Software Engineer’.

It makes sense, after all. As the pandemic forced companies to shift operations online, there was an unprecedented cloud technology boom and widespread adoption of digital transformation. Online retail sites, virtual meeting rooms, communication apps, and virtual consultation services for people (and their pets!) have entered the arena, and they’re not leaving anytime soon. But as the world continues to embrace the cloud, we’re left with a profound question: who will develop, execute, maintain, and test all of these online platforms and applications?

Let the games begin

Whether you’re looking for top QAs, Software Developers in Test, or mobile app developers, hiring one of these in-demand tech talents really does feel like a game. A terribly difficult game, one with high stakes, high costs, and hopefully high rewards. As companies struggle to become more competitive, an increasing amount of factors come into play and some of them are not so traditional. 

Competitive salaries and common perks like retirement packages, paid time off, and health insurance are must-haves, of course. Personal development opportunities, significant allowances for equipment, and transparent opportunities for career development have also become more commonplace. And more recently, benefits such as the ability to work remotely full-time from anywhere in the world without having your pay slashed has been a big point of contention (by the way, Virtuoso has no problem with full-time remote work so if you are looking for your next opportunity, check out our careers page!) Other factors such as work-life balance and an enjoyable company culture with authentic values are also growing requirements for the rightfully picky top tech talent.

In reality, this means that companies who have less to offer - whether intentionally or due to a smaller scale of business and growth - will simply fall behind. 

The implications of falling behind

What do companies stand to lose if they can’t keep up with the talent squeeze in the tech sphere? 

  • Brain drain: highly skilled employees are bound to find a better opportunity elsewhere. A quick LinkedIn search for ‘Software developer’ positions worldwide shows nearly 300,000 available jobs, of which more than 40,000 are advertised as being at least partially remote.
  • Loss of revenue: US Labor statistics from 2020 indicated that the country’s software developer shortage could lead to an ‘unrealized output of $162B’ as the gap between available tech talent and unfilled roles continues to widen.  
  • High employee turnover: When tech talents are unhappy, they follow the path of least resistance: move. And each time they move, employers are left with not only a potential halt in development but also the cost of finding an equally skilled replacement.
  • Damaged reputation: Bad impressions tend to linger, especially in today’s world where employees can leave reviews that offer better insights to a company’s internal operations on websites like Glassdoor.
  • Interrupted services: When tech talents with niche skills leave a company, there is a big risk that business critical issues may appear - especially if the company is unable to fill the vacancy before the tech talent moves on. 

What’s the solution?

Unless you’re a big corporation with cash in pocket to buy out the top talent, things aren’t looking too great. Should smaller companies just give up while they’re ahead? Or get rid of lesser important roles to free up more resources and snag that all-star tech talent? Maybe they should go with underskilled tech talents and just cut their losses when inevitable issues like bugs and slow release cycles pop up? 

None of these are optimal solutions. Luckily, there is one more option… let’s talk about AI!

AI can alleviate the skill shortage

Now, we’re not saying you should replace your employees with robots. We’re talking about AI-driven tools that can help your tech (and non-tech!) talents do more, faster, and better. Say for example a company is in dire need of better QA resources, whether QA testers or QA engineers, or perhaps QA analysts. They simply don’t have enough resources to offer a highly competitive package for a top testing role (if they can even find a candidate), but they do have a great team that's eager to innovate and catch up with digital transformation. They could take on a test automation tool like Virtuoso, which harnesses the power of AI to help anyone automate complex tests. Suddenly, the small company can equip anyone on their existing team - say, a tech writer or even a digital marketer - with a tool that allows them to test an application without having the technical knowledge usually required of a typical QA role. 

Here are just a few benefits of using this approach:

  • Virtuoso has zero ramp-up time and no installs. That means that a company can transform their testing strategy within days, using the resources they already have. 
  • Non-technical employees have the opportunity to learn a new skill and become a part of the quality process - without having to spend months getting to know the test automation tool. 
  • Anyone on the team can use Virtuoso, including business analysts and product managers. Since Virtuoso uses NLP (Natural Language Programming), tests can be authored using plain English. This means you can streamline the quality assurance process from an application’s inception to its final release, reducing the workload for all of the moving parts that come in between. This also helps ensure that your non-tech employees who are doing the testing have time available to help out with the QA part of things.
  • Virtuoso decreases test execution time while reducing test maintenance costs as it features self-maintaining automation so that tests are healed automatically. That means your company saves big time in both the short- and long-term. And with all those savings, maybe you’ll be able to add that tech talent to the team sooner than you imagined.
  • Virtuoso helps you test at scale. Even if your company grows, you’ll be able to keep up with the testing requirements for your application.

We’re here to help

See? The tech talent shortage is not the end of the world - but it is a good idea to catch up sooner rather than later. Get in touch to see how we can help you transform your organization with our quality-first test automation tool.

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