Tech sector lacks candidates

The Covid-19 pandemic and various confinements have accelerated the digital transformation of companies, which increasingly need the services of Tech professionals. But recruitment in the digital sector is not sufficient to meet the high demand. Here's a closer look at a high-voltage sector with a shortage of applicants.

Covid-19 pandemic increases needs

Despite advantageous working conditions and massive recruitment, the number of digital professionals remains insufficient to meet business needs.

These needs are growing all the time, with the acceleration of digital transformation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic: profiles specializing in data, cloud and artificial intelligence are the most sought-after, whether by large groups, digital services companies, software publishers or startups.

These tensions in the Tech sector are not new, but they are accentuated by the growing awareness of a number of traditional players of the challenges of digitization. Many companies that previously outsourced digital tasks to external service providers are now recruiting developers to handle these projects in-house. As for innovative players such as start-ups, their needs are constantly growing.

According to Numeum, the organization formed by the merger of the digital services companies' union and the software publishers' association, there is a shortfall of 10,000 IT engineers in France to meet demand. France is not the only country to be affected by this shortage of candidates in the digital sector, which can be seen all over the world. In the United States, it is estimated that there will be a shortfall of 1.2 million IT engineers by 2026.

Remuneration, training, environment: companies multiply their arguments

Against this backdrop, Facebook's recent announcement that it would like to recruit 10,000 tech professionals in Europe for its metaverse project, based on virtual and augmented reality, is a source of great concern.

In the French software sector, 8 out of 10 publishers are already reporting difficulties in recruiting. Most of them are short of developers, who are therefore likely to be sought after by Mark Zuckerberg's company, to the detriment of European software publishers. For Facebook, on the other hand, the financial benefits are undeniable, as European developers are less expensive than those from Silicon Valley.

Digital services companies, meanwhile, are sorely lacking in SAP S4/Hana enterprise software integration experts. According to SAP's Managing Director in France, Frédéric Chauviré, demand is set to continue rising: he predicts an annual increase of 8% over the next 3 years.

In an attempt to attract the all-too-scarce talent of the tech sector, major corporations are offering higher salaries. But this is not enough. For example, Thalès, which employs over 30,000 engineers worldwide, has seen the percentage of professionals leaving each year rise from 5% to 15% in the space of a few years.

Indeed, large groups have to compete with startups, which attract many tech specialists, and can often offer them the same remuneration.

While telecommuting has made it possible for employers to hire geographically remote professionals, they also have to deal with the other side of the coin: any company can recruit these talents, whether it's located in France or thousands of kilometers away.

Young digital professionals arriving on the market are more interested in the ecological dimension of companies, and their continuing education offer, than in the remuneration that can be negotiated.

To remedy this talent shortage in the long term, we need to focus our efforts on training.

Currently, despite a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging professionals to retrain in the digital sector, and a 4.3% year-on-year growth in the number of engineering students enrolled in the IT sector, there is still a long way to go to attract candidates on a massive scale, and especially female candidates, as women are still largely in the minority in Tech professions.