The truth of the modern business world is simple — everything has to be fast. Internal processes, business development, hiring — every process has to be swift, efficient, yet careful.

Among them, hiring is one of the processes that absolutely cannot stall. According to MIT, 64% of global tech leaders say candidates for their IT and tech jobs lack necessary skills or experience, while 56% cite an overall shortage of candidates as a concern. IT companies, more than ever, lack tech specialists to stay competitive and develop AI-powered solutions after all. Why is tech hiring slowing down then? Let's work our way to the core.

COVID-19 and Recession

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many tech companies rapidly expanded their teams to meet surging demand for digital services and products. However, as the economy has normalized, these companies are now scaling back to optimize costs. In 2023 and early 2024, the huge tech lay-offs wave swept across Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta.

Those massive layoffs have become somewhat of a “copycat” phenomenon, with a lot of tech companies following the lead of their peers to appease investors and appear cost-conscious.

Moreover, elevated inflation and weakening consumer demand have put pressure on tech businesses' financials, leading to the tech hiring freeze.

Tech Firms are Slowing Layoffs but Still Not Yet Resuming Hiring

Nowadays, the IT sector revives, but slowly. Tech firms are slowing layoffs but still not yet resuming hiring.

Why is hiring slowing down in 2024?

Macro reasons for tech hiring slowdown in 2024

The rise in interest rates have made the economic environment more challenging for tech firms. Despite the recent lay-offs, the number of tech talent vacancies in the US are expected to grow twice as fast as the overall US job market from 2022 to 2032. Similar growth is anticipated in the European tech job market in the coming years.

But now, more companies are competing for investors and each top tech specialist. At the same time, they cannot increase hiring budgets to attract specialists due to growing taxes, obligations to comply with constantly updating regulation, and other expenses necessary to stay afloat.

What if I say that you can attract software engineers, QA specialists and other tech team players without this fear of expensive hiring? To get cost-effective hires, I’d speed up and rethink the hiring process. Below, you’ll figure out why it works.

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How Does Slow Hiring Affect Businesses?

Hiring slowdown causes business slowing down.

It increases costs

The average cost of hiring adds up to about $3 and $5 thousand. Multiply that by the average of 6-8 candidates per position, and you get a hefty sum that can directly affect the company budget. And do not forget about the time the HR and recruitment specialist spend looking for a perfect IT candidate, interviewing them, and assessing whether they’ll be a perfect match for the tech team.

Slow hiring is also sure to increase costs for demanding projects with urgent needs.

The candidates can leave for competition

82% of candidates expect their potential employers to have clear hiring guidelines. More than half of candidates will move on to the next offer if they do not hear from a recruiter within acceptable time scopes — about 2 weeks after applying.

Businesses with slow IT hiring miss out on the greatest candidates and sometimes are left scrambling the bottom of the barrel.

It spoils the employer image

In a company, where recruiters and hiring managers take too long to respond, the hiring process takes more than a month. With that, the number of open positions only grows.

Slow hiring can damage the company’s employer status and image, which will lead to even more pauses and delays.

Overall, slow hiring is a signal that a business might need to go for IT recruitment services. IT recruiters focus on bringing top performers as quickly as possible because of pinpoint Talent Acquisition and short but structured interview cycles.


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Internal Factors: How Is Hiring Slowing Down?

The bulky organization and lack of clarity slow down the hiring process in IT beyond the macroeconomic reasons.

Poor or long job description

52% of applicants claim a job description influences their decision to apply. Apart from requirements, a proper tech job description should contain:

  1. A correct job title, like Manual QA Engineer (Python AQA) or Back-end developer (Media SaaS, Fluent English) — a simple “Looking for a developer” won’t do.

  2. A stage of a product’s life cycle — for instance, specify if you need to develop an MVP from scratch or seek devs for post-production support.

  3. A project’s tech stack — list the programming languages, frameworks, and tools that will be used in the role, highlighting the most innovative ones. Explain how this tech stack fits into overall product structure.

  4. A short and engaging overview of the company — who the team consists of, how many people there are, what the company’s main values are, etc.

  5. Outline of exact responsibilities — an applicant should understand whether they’ll be able to perform the expected tasks well.

  6. Description of growth possibilities — deemed important by at least a quarter of all applicants. For instance, the “opportunity to impact a product’s architecture and strategy” would sound better than the abstract “exciting perspectives.”

A tech job description is the face of the vacancy. It should be clear to be attractive for applicants.

Excessive rounds of interview

Experienced IT staff augmentation providers arrange not more than 2–3 rounds of interviews to fill a position. More, and the process becomes too long and tedious. The HR team, the potential manager, the client, the final interview, the tests — the more steps there are on the way to the tech position, the less coveted it becomes.

Excessive and unnecessary rounds of interviews not only slow down the process of tech hiring, but also get in the way of swift team growth and development.

Lack of automation

61% of professionals believe automation can help their businesses hire managers and properly assign their skills to the right job. Hiring tech professionals, though more complicated and intricate, can also be automated.

Modern businesses might not be as eager to invest into automation. Tech teams, on the other hand, say automation can save them up to 7 hours per week.

Not understanding job requirements

Would you hire a mechanic to paint your house? No — they lack an appropriate set of skills to perform well. The same is with tech specialists — hiring a developer to be a QA, or a UI/UX designer to be a graphic one won’t work. It will increase the time of search, as the specialists will not agree to perform the tasks they are not trained for or interested in.

One of the proven strategies to find developers for your startup is to define the responsibilities of the positions, consider and hire specialists with a fitting set of skills and interests. You need a pro who will quickly join the team and is ready to grow with the project. And if such a pro is not available or expensive in your country, consider a global talent pool.

Multi-stage application process

Application should be a simple process — one click and the resume is already read by an HR specialist.

If only it were that simple.

Often, a hiring process requires an applicant to submit a resume via sites like LinkedIn or ATS like Lever, Workable, Breezy HR, Teamtailor, Greenhouse, etc., and additionally email a CV to the recruitment team. Unnecessary and cluttering.

Communication gaps

Poor communication between recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates can lead to delays. Establishing regular and clear communication channels, providing timely feedback to candidates, and setting realistic expectations can help maintain transparency and keep the process moving smoothly.

Lack of internal HR and recruitment expertise

The picked sourcing and screening strategies can prolong or accelerate hiring. Limited HR and recruitment expertise typically accompanies tech hiring slowdown because of wrong strategies.

Company-specific reasons

Why else is hiring slowing down?

Sometimes, top management changes a company course, which impacts recruiting plans. While those plans are being clarified, the talent acquisition team is in limbo and has put things on hold until further notice.

Often, a business cannot find a culturally-fit person with a rare skill set at the same time. There are also cases when a team closes a position without a new hire, opting for one of the existing team members.

How to Optimize IT Hiring Process

Strategies to speed up hiring and attract skilled professionals

Short recruitment life cycle

Establish as few rounds of interview as possible to fully check a candidate and still keep them interested. Make sure the application process is understandable, easy, and “single-stepped”. It will make the application process and the employer more attractive and innovative.

ATS and AI for automated recruitment

Tech hiring teams can utilize an ATS (applicant tracking system) and AI solutions to automate the following processes:

  • Receiving and processing CVs

  • Checking the quality of the test task

  • Rejecting a candidate or asking them for the next round of interviews

Automate and speed up — it’s that easy.

Increased job opening visibility

Don't rely solely on job boards. Look into referral programs, social media recruiting, and professional networking sites to find qualified candidates. Also, try to make your job postings and application process mobile-friendly, as many candidates apply for jobs on their phones.

Outsourcing of recruitment tasks

Tech hiring is not easy. It involves a lot of steps and people. It takes a lot of resources and is not even guaranteed to yield the desired results. You might consider 2 options, recruiting in-house department or outsource development. And you can get a dedicated team in the first case, or expertise on demand in the second case. But why limit yourself to this choice if you can get both in one wrapping?

If you want to optimize your IT hiring process, the 3rd option, tech team augmentation, could be your unrivalled solution. This service suggests professional staffers pick talent for your projects and take over all the hiring routine. You can get precise skill matches and high hiring standards to stand out from the competition and justify your investments in team scaling.

Before booking any staffing service to hire a tech team, I’d figure out 4 things:

  • How much do recruitment agencies charge worldwide?

  • Has an agency successfully closed positions for the IT sector (niche specifics matter)?

  • Can those recruiters provide client testimonials?

  • Can a recruiting and/or staffing firm provide flexible pricing, so that you can pay for the needed services only?

Drop us a line, and we will help you recruit the best tech talent across the most optimal regions and scale your team efficiently, sticking to GDPR and CCPA requirements, as well as adhering to ISO/IEC 27001 standards.


What's causing the slowdown in IT hiring, even with so many open positions?

Slowing down of venture capital funding and growing inflation fuel the tech hiring slowdown. Many tech firms postpone hiring and focus on cost-efficiency and optimizing their existing teams instead of expanding them. This trend contrasts with the previous hiring boom seen in the tech industry. And when it comes to hiring, companies often reveal that they cannot find pros with necessary skill sets or lose candidates due to a lack of HR expertise and, as a result, an ineffective hiring campaign.

Beyond competition for talent, what internal issues can make IT hiring slow?

Suboptimal hiring campaigns noticeably contribute to the tech slowdown. The common hiring mistakes are unclear job descriptions, long multi-round interviews, ignoring automation in recruitment and possibilities to hire overseas with better price/quality ratio.

How do broader economic factors like inflation affect IT hiring decisions?

Growing inflation, as well as political and other global instabilities, can be a reason for hiring freezes and lay-offs in tech. Some companies refuse to invest even in critical IT roles, thereby limiting their possibilities to increase revenues and overcome the uncertain period with fewer losses. Other businesses, on the contrary, invest more into strategic hiring to get top tech talents, improve their products and services, and attract more loyal customers.

Ann Kuss is the CEO at Outstaff Your Team. After 11 years of expertise in building remote tech teams for startup unicorns and global tech brands, Ann decided to lead a new venture aiming to reinvent the way international tech teams scale. Throughout her career, Ann hired specialists for countless tech positions from more than 17 countries on all major continents. Ann graduated from Kyiv-Mohyla business school, is an MIM Kyiv alumna, and regularly takes part in mentorship programs for junior tech talents. Ann actively promotes knowledge sharing and curates Outstaff Your Team blog strategy, preferring topics that solve practical needs of IT leaders. She believes that structuring business flows (including hiring) is a well-planned journey with predictable and successful outcome.

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