In the last years, we have been experiencing a growing trend in the demand for candidates within the digital world and IT. We must say that there is an overall lack of qualified candidates world-wide, and companies are struggling to find the right talent for their IT roles. The situation in Slovakia is very similar. In 2022, around 1500 students graduated from universities with IT specialization. However, there are approx. 10,000 job opportunities for IT specialists, which is a high number for the small Slovak market. There is a big fight not only for senior IT specialists, but also for fresh IT graduates. Some companies are offering training and internship programs for IT students to prepare them for their jobs when they graduate from universities.
Most in-demand in IT sector
In 2023, we expect that globally, the five most in-demand digital skills will be Software Development / Engineering, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, Data Analysis / Data Science, DevOps / Cloud Computing, UX Design / Product Design, and Digital Marketing. These are all areas with high potential and candidates, who possess these skills or are planning to acquire them, have great career opportunities ahead of them.
In Slovakia, companies have been mostly looking for Software Developers, System Administrators, Testers, Business Analysts / Consultants, Security Specialists, Solution Architects and Project Managers. When it comes to the programming languages, the most in-demand one has been Java, followed by C# / .NET, front-end programming languages, C++, Python, PHP, and Android / iOS.
Companies in Slovakia do not compete for talent only between themselves, but also with the tech companies based in Western Europe. These employers are aware of the talent pool and skills we have in Slovakia and are offering fully remote jobs on a freelance basis to our candidates. Moreover, attractive pay rates are also a major factor why our IT specialists accept their offers.
Win the best talents
Another challenge, that companies in Slovakia must face, is how to motivate candidates to change their jobs. Especially after Covid-19, when stability became key for most employees. From our experience, recruiters need to be able to explain to candidates all the implications of the potential job change. For example, what challenges they can expect in the new role, what they can learn and what impact they will have in their future team. In Cpl, our IT Consultants provide all these details to candidates they talk to on behalf of our clients, as well as all the other information they need to know about the purpose of the role, company culture, its vision, and growth opportunities.
The working model will matter
The solution that can help companies in the Slovak market win the best talent is to understand what IT candidates want and accommodate the environment to their needs. As mentioned before, most IT specialists expect a freelance contract and the possibility to work remotely. Having said that, companies should be looking for ways how to offer this to candidates and open their doors for other types of employment, such as IT contracting, which is one of the many services Cpl is providing.
IT Contracting is a flexible form of cooperation between Cpl and an IT specialist, also known as IT outsourcing or body leasing. It is a kind of “loan” of qualified IT specialists to a company for a specific project or for the long term. Companies should understand that a freelance contract doesn’t mean less loyalty from their employees or higher risk of losing them. Freelancers are also looking for stability and a long-term employment relationship, similarly to the employees on permanent contracts. IT contracting does not only increase the chances of attracting the right talent, but also helps companies build the reputation of a modern, flexible employer, lower the employment costs, and get rid of payroll administration.
More flexible solutions
Apart from freelance contracts and fully remote work, companies should also be offering stability, attractive salaries / pay rates, work-life balance, flexible working hours, friendly and casual workplace setting, and upskilling programs. Some companies have already gone beyond the standard offerings and started to implement benefits such as unlimited vacation or a four-day workweek.
What we also recommend to our clients is to review their hiring process. The more efficient and quicker the process is, the bigger the chance to win the best talent. We cannot emphasize enough how important this is and how many great candidates have been lost just because of a long hiring process or late feedback.
We believe that there are great IT talents in Slovakia and companies will do their best to adapt their working environment to candidates’ needs and will follow the market trends. We can’t expect things to change if we continue doing the same things, but we are here for our clients, ready to help them on this exciting journey. It’s always a good time to start changing for the better!
Ľubica Krajčovičová, Branch Manager, Cpl Slovakia