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3 IT Recruitment Challenges in 2021 – and Why They are Actually Opportunities


4 min read

Obviously, there are much more than three challenges that recruiters must face today.

Low diversity, shrinking networks, corporate hiring and individual career-change freezes, virtual recruiting, a growing digital talent skills gap… And the list could go on.

We picked the last three from the above list because we believe they are not only very pressing problems today, worsened by the pandemic, but also because they are connected somehow. If we look at them closely we might find that they are not just challenges, but also opportunities.

If managed well, they may become our chance to gain advantage in a strained race for digital growth.


Let’s check it out.


1. Virtual recruitment is the new normal​

After being forced to transition to online recruitment from one day to another in 2020, today we see there is no way back. 84% of recruitment professionals in EMEA agree that virtual recruiting will continue post-COVID and 70% believe it will become the new standard.

Many of today’s Gen Y job seekers would not even consider a company with outdated hiring processes. Different job seeker groups may find digital selection processes uncomfortable on the other hand.

How is this a challenge?

It is easy to see. Virtual recruitment can be impersonal, technology is sometimes a challenge or obstacle to overcome, and there is an increased number of irrelevant responses from candidates who would not enter an on-premise, face-to-face recruitment process.

How is this an opportunity?

Digital and virtual hiring can be much faster and cheaper. It supports a global recruitment for remote work, opening up the possibility to hire from a vast talent pool, including an emerging CEE talent hub with multiple benefits. It also offers momentum for realising long planned automation and innovation projects.


2. A career-change freeze trend is slowing down mobility

Prospering industries have been brought down and several individual businesses going strong previously were heavily shaken after the break-out of the pandemic and due to prolonged restrictions, only forecasting the shadow of a possible economic crisis. Initial response after the first shock included hiring freezes and layoffs even at the most stable companies. 

With a growing number of people losing their jobs and a steady income, individual job security started to become more and more important, and career ambitions featuring risky moves less and less urgent, impacting the talent market.

How is this a challenge?

Those who could keep their jobs are more risk-aware now. They are less likely to make a move for more fitting or exciting propositions at a different work place, which obviously decreases the available quality talent pool.

How is this an opportunity?

Your own employees might be in a similar situation and now more interested for internal career opportunities. Providing you with a unique chance for strengthening their loyaltyupgrading the organisational skillset, and at the same time saving the higher cost of layoffs and external recruitment.



3. The digital skills gap keeps widening

There are multiple reasons behind the continuous growing of the tech skills gap, and the discussion about how to close it has been a central one for years now. There are 41 million tech jobs to be filled today, and there will be an additional 149 million to fill by 2025. Besides the software and information tech industry the gap is more and more of a pain point for all other industries, too, and tech skills are now required at more and more traditionally non-technicals positions, too. 

The #1 hard skill to recruit for is coding, besides the #1 soft skill, which is empathy – an enabler to tackle the unforeseeable challenges of a possibly very different, and definitely digital future. And universities just can’t keep up or provide the flexibility to meet the ever-changing and growing market demand.

How is this a challenge?

How it is not, right? Obviously it is already difficult to fill positions that require special digital skills, and even more difficult to find candidates with equally developed hard and soft skills. Digitalisation projects are delayed, and existing digital teams are many times exhausted.

How is this an opportunity?

If digital skills are in high demand at employers, then they are the best bet and attractive targets for self-development for individuals, as investment in the future. Often it is relatively easy to motivate otherwise valuable employees without any IT background to enter re-skilling programs, and IT professionals to up-grade their skills to match newer digital innovation projects. 

Adding more flexible, effective and faster alternative sources of digital talent might also provide a real competitive edge – due the intense race for talent on the market, and the direct impact of the result on the speed and quality of digitalisation. 


Of course, it sounds all nice and easy, and it only gets hard when thinking about how to actually implement the suggested ideas. 

You may very well ask yourself: Where do I start hiring globally? How will I assess applicants from foreign cultures in an impersonal hiring process limited to the virtual space, and how do I manage my deadlines, too? 

How will I offer meaningful and quality internal digital training programs for my employees, suited for the different levels of their knowledge? Or how do I find open digital courses for them that actually meet my exact needs regarding hard and soft skills? 

These are obviously new challenges in themselves, requiring new solutions. 

Solutions like the ones Codecool offers. We are here to help.

We connect CEE digital talent and digital businesses around the world, and make sure to provide candidates with the exact needed skills in the process. We offer accessible open courses and tailored corporate training programs supported by pro mentors leading face-to-face sessions, a project based training method, agile team work and a growth mindset. 

We also offer recruitment services building on our vast junior and senior digital talent network, and successful recommendation system. Corporate digital academies powered by Codecool  find, hand-pick, train and onboard the digital talent our partners need.


Let’s turn your challenges into opportunities. Check out our services, send us a message and let’s discuss how we can help you.

Hope to talk to you soon!

About us

Codecool is the fastest growing programmer school and tech talent hub in Europe. We make the digital talent gap disappear and enable people to take on future-proof tech careers. We solve IT skill development and resource needs via training and recruitment.

The Codecool Blog is a collection of the coolest insights and best resources for HR heads, IT leaders, other business executives and small business owners in charge of tech talents and digital strategies.

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