Companies take 61 days on average to fill a tech role in high demand, compared to 42 days for a non-tech role, according to the iCIMS 2021 Workforce report, released Wednesday. The study consulted 500 U.S.-based HR professionals between November and December of 2020.
Nearly three-quarters of companies readjusted the role or responsibility of up to half of their workforce in response to the pandemic. This change increased the demand for specialized talent, according to the report.
To attract the talent they require, half of companies say they've loosened or removed location requirements for posted roles. Another 53% of organizations are providing stipends or hiring bonuses for employees who want to set up a home office.
The rest of 2021 will bring fresh strains on the already tight tech skill market. Hybrid work models lie ahead, putting further pressure on IT organizations.
Pressure to fill high-demand roles is leading companies to look inward. Organizations now think less about things like physical location, and more about "who has the right skills and capabilities to be successful," said Joe Essenfeld, VP of strategy at iCIMS.
Advancing the existing company talent based on skills and capabilities becomes an even more attractive option as talent supply contracts, and businesses compete with the 91% of organizations planning to hire in 2021.
In a hybrid work environment, companies will need to operate with further assistance from digital tools. It's a shift that will "put even more stress on the IT team, because now they're gonna have to support in-office networks ... while they're also supporting a partial remote workforce," said Essenfeld.
The IT department enters a moment of reckoning, where it needs to reevaluate what skills are on hand to support the future of work, said Euan Davis, associate VP at Cognizant and head of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, Europe.
Across industries, software skills continue to stand out within the IT subset. Software became "the prime competency for any company that's serious about the future of work, or serious about the future of their industry," said Davis.
A hidden upside to the remote work shift of last year is the familiarity workers now have with remote training. For organizations, this change lowered the barrier to scaling digital and virtual capability building, according to McKinsey.