Home Community Atlanta’s Tech Talent Market Trends: Cybersecurity is Hot, but Soft Skills May Be Hotter

Atlanta’s Tech Talent Market Trends: Cybersecurity is Hot, but Soft Skills May Be Hotter

by David Sheehan

The demand for technology workers in Atlanta shows no signs of slowing down, according to a recently-released report from staffing firm Robert Half Technology. In the survey, 66 percent of Atlanta tech hiring managers said they intend to grow their teams before the end of the year. 

Conjointly, 81 percent of survey respondents said they see more tech workers moving to Atlanta for job opportunities. Since there is strong activity in the hiring market, tech professionals feel more secure about their job prospects and show more willingness to relocate for the right career opportunity. 

Cybersecurity tops the priority list

With the threat of data breaches becoming more commonplace, Atlanta business leaders place an emphasis on ensuring their information is safe, security programs upgraded, and defensive protocols in place in the event of a records infraction.

Having a secure network and a team that can identify, preempt and detect threats is of the utmost importance for organizations looking to protect client and employee data. As metro Atlanta firms continue to invest in cybersecurity, they require skilled professionals in the following areas: 

  • Cloud computing
  • Cloud security 
  • Cloud architecture 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Database management 
  • Virtualization 

Transitioning to the cloud is an important asset for many local businesses, and they require experienced professionals who are familiar with the technology to successfully strategize and execute those projects. 

Even tech pros need soft skills

In another Robert Half survey, 89 percent of hiring managers surveyed said they experience recruiting challenges. With the competition for skilled candidates so high, companies are considering applicants that meet fewer of the job requirements, but who have the soft skills to fit in and be groomed for the role. Local companies are paying closer attention to what new skills workers can learn through training. 

Here are the top three soft skills that set candidates apart from the competition: 

  • Communication skills: Today’s technology professionals are frequently expected to interface and collaborate with stakeholders. As such, you need excellent communication skills enabling you to project confidence, friendliness and a can-do attitude.   
  • Problem-solving prowess: Managers value employees who propose sound solutions when they come to them with a problem — or better yet, solve it without involving them at all.
  • Dependability. Companies have always wanted reliable employees, and dependability is especially important for tech professionals. Business departments need assurances that the tech team will get their work done on time, or at least provide significant notice if there’s any concern about missing a deadline.

Perks that prevent top performers from leaving 

As the tech talent crunch evolves, companies need to take proactive measures to retain key employees. Organizations are recognizing that their most valued employees will be presented with enticing career opportunities from competitors businesses. Here are some ways employers are holding on to top performers: 

  • A competitive salary — it still matters!: Pay plays a large role in employee satisfaction, and workers who feel undervalued may look for greener pastures when presented with a new employment opportunity. 
  • Programs that support career growth and work-life balance: The ultimate goal for employers is to create the type of environment that will persuade their best IT professionals to stay, regardless of economic conditions. 
  • Addressing burnout proactively: Promoting realistic workloads, bringing in contract professionals when full-time employees are at capacity and tackling morale issues immediately can help prevent employees from feeling stressed, unhappy and looking to leave the company.  

Atlanta is a very competitive hiring market for today’s technology professionals. The need for employees with specialized skills has increased and local leaders are making strategic full-time hires while relying more on project professionals to fill in certain skills gaps. Once these candidates are selected, employers must ensure they are offering the compensation and benefits packages that are in line with market standards to attract, recruit and retain the best workforce. 

David Sheehan is a branch manager of Robert Half Technology, a leader among IT staffing companies that provides skilled IT professionals to match IT staffing needs. He leads staffing and recruiting for two Robert Half companies, Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group, in metro Atlanta.

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