3 Hiring and Workplace Trends Impacting Engineering Teams in 2021

Esther Chung
By Esther Chung
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Organizations hiring engineering talent in 2021 have to navigate a new working environment at odds with their prior experience. Today’s engineers are looking for employers offering full technological support for remote working, a dynamic culture, and a true commitment to diversity.

2020 was a watershed year in the world of work. Global events, notably the COVID-19 pandemic and the social justice movement, had a dramatic, long-lasting impact on hiring practices. The shift to virtual work means that engineering leaders must continue to think more deeply about how they build cohesive and collaborative teams around the world.

Read on to discover the three key hiring trends that are influencing hiring in 2021 and beyond:

Want to get even deeper into this topic?

Download our newest ebook, 2021 Engineering Hiring and Workplace Trends, where we outline all the trends and provide advice from industry experts.

1. Technology adoption to support remote collaboration

Remote work will remain an attractive option for engineering teams. Your organization needs to invest in technologies to ensure virtual connectivity and promote virtual collaboration. Candidates will want to hear the details of how your organization supports remote working.

Equally important is the use of tools to facilitate two-way communication between managers and individual engineers. “We need tools that allow engineers to give voice to how they’re doing,” says David Blair, Andela CTO. “Happy engineers are better engineers.”

To empower engineers to work productively and efficiently, you also need to fully document all processes and workflows. The goal is to provide consistency and clarity to all engineers regardless of their location, time zone, language or level of experience.

2. Strong culture is essential for distributed workforces

In the new world of virtual work, your company has the opportunity to hire from a much wider geographic talent pool. At the same time, you face more global competition for individual candidates, since engineers are no longer limited to jobs in their immediate vicinity.

“We all have to raise our game. Now we’re competing on a global scale for talent — no company is simply hiring locally anymore.”

Ata Bhatti, VP of Engineering at Premise Data

Candidates are no longer simply looking for a fulfilling job. They also want an employer committed to making a positive impact on society. To attract engineering talent, your organization must publicly present a strong mission and set of values that will resonate with potential hires.

3. The leading role of diversity programs during moments of reckoning and beyond

The social justice protests of 2020 intensified candidates’ interest in employers’ diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Your organization must be prepared for interview questions that focus on DEI commitment. For instance, a candidate may ask for demographic data on your leadership team and whether you have or plan to establish employee resource groups.

As well as attracting talent, diversity programs strengthen your business and add value to your engineering teams.

“We try hard to find people from different walks of life, experiences, and skill sets. They can help us get rid of the echo chambers.”

V.J. LeBlanc, CTO of Izea Worldwide Inc.

As a candidate considers the merits of different job offers, your organization’s DEI programs can play a deciding role in whether or not an individual ultimately chooses your company.

In 2020, we all learned that remote engineering teams can be highly productive and meet project goals even during an unusually disruptive and stressful time. In 2021, your company can continue to attract new engineers and retain existing talent by providing a supportive technological, cultural, and diverse environment in which all individuals can all flourish.

Don’t forget to check out our brand-new ebook, Engineering Hiring and Workplace Trends in 2021 for more advice, expert quotes, and statistics.

Esther Chung
Written by
Esther Chung
Esther is the Director of Content Marketing at Andela, previously at Skillshare, Splash, and Conductor. When she's not building content to help engineering leaders hire, manage, and scale their engineering teams, she's seeking to find the perfect karaoke song.