Why a Wider Net is Now Needed to Find the Right Software Engineer Stiff competition is making it hard to secure these key tech business staffers, but widening a search by nearshoring could be a ready solution.

By Steve Taplin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Over the past two years, the world has evolved to a new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzed or otherwise destabilized economies, including governments closing down economic systems through strict measures. From the cessation of international flights to the enforcement of lockdowns, businesses had to close their premises and employees had to transition to working from home. As a result, browsing traffic and the use of other online tools (such as video conferencing and streaming services) shot up drastically — with a corollary increase in traffic for IT firms and cloud computing. Every firm geared up to hire more IT specialists to boost capacity to handle demand. According to the economic data analytics advisors, Emsi, cloud computing job postings grew more than 90% between 2017 and 2020 — a whopping four times more than the overall tech job growth! Neo4j Inc., a cloud database company, almost doubled its employees during the pandemic.

It follows that getting hold of the best cloud computing talent is imperative for such IT companies to stay competitive, but it hasn't been easy; there's an acute shortage of cloud-computing engineers, largely due to the high demand.

Related: Cloud Computing Will Be a Goldmine in the Post Covid-Era

Competition for top talent in cloud computing is not only happening among talented engineers but also at the top executive levels of some of the biggest IT firms in the industry. Microsoft recently hired former Amazon senior vice president, Charlie Bell, further compounding the rivalry between the two tech giants. Last year, Amazon also saw its former vice president of marketing, Brian Hall, join Google's cloud unit.

It is also increasingly difficult for IT firms to retain individuals with cloud computing skills. Most software engineers quickly get two or three strong offers with great deals on the table, including very competitive salaries. In a move to retain their workforces, some companies in Washington state — a key business storefront for various technology giants, including Amazon and Microsoft, and with large cloud development centers — have had to enforce non-compete agreements that bar employees from joining or accepting offers from competing firms.

It can be quite difficult to compete with large firms in this realm if you're a small to mid-sized company, but there might be a solution silver to this dilemma: outsource help from nearshore software development companies ("nearshore" referring to countries in relatively close proximity), and perhaps accrue additional benefits in the process.

First, working with a software company from a nearby country (for U.S. businesses, English-speaking Latin America is a good place to start) widens the net, meaning you'll expand a potential employee base and increase the chances of getting top-notch talent. Nearshoring also means that a business can greatly reduce (or eliminate) software operation costs. Having such an outsourcing team in the same time zone also means traveling back and forth for in-person project meetings will be a relatively easy proposition.

Related: The Most Popular Countries for Low-Cost Software Development Outsourcing

Steve Taplin

CEO of Sonatafy Technology

Steve Taplin is the CEO of Sonatafy Technology (www.sonatafy.com), a premier nearshore software-development-services firm that provides its clients with expertise in cloud solutions, web and mobile applications, ecommerce, big data, DevOps practices, QA, IoT and machine learning.

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