The shortage of tech professionals: companies detach themselves from the traditional work model and bet on culture to be able to solve this challenge.

100 Open Startups
6 min readAug 10, 2022

The mismatch between supply and demand of technology professionals has forced companies from all sectors to rethink their people management strategies and to structure initiatives that consolidate cultural transformation.

The shortage of tech professionals is a reflection of the serious legacy that has plagued Brazil for years: the lack of support for educational development. This historical scenario has directly impacted the labor market, which suffers from the lack of trained professionals and, also, results in the difficulty of technological advances in the country with its own intellectual capital.

Without basic investments to consolidate itself as a country of mass production and technological incentives, it is not possible to expect that the current scenario and few actions will make it possible to overcome the challenges imposed by the economy.

However, the shortage of tech professionals can be overcome, but only by companies that value people , that are open to adapt to new generations and that see in digital and cultural transformation ways of sustainable growth.

Shortage of tech professionals: and understanding the new generations and the current job market

Imagine the situation of entering a company at a young age, working there for 30 years, retiring and enjoying old age without worries? This reality is no longer so common . This is because a new generation of people have occupied the job market massively. And with this growth, many changes are happening.

Vibbra Marketplace carried out a survey on the generation that most occupies the job market and found that millennials , Generation Y, are already the majority. With this rise of new professionals, companies began to face a new reality and hiring challenges that come in tow.

Today, employers need to know that professionals are increasingly diversifying experiences, that is, many work in several companies at the same time , as well as being more demanding in relation to the companies’ value offerings.

But even before thinking about alternatives to arouse the interest of good professionals, companies need to pay attention to several other factors, many of them linked to digital transformation and cultural transformation .

How startups and tech giants have tried to overcome the shortage of tech professionals

Startups and technology companies have experienced the “ home office ” movement intensely — mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic — which has forced them to adapt. Thus, new perceptions about management models, aligned with the culture, began to be part of the companies’ strategies.

Digital transformation, focused on the search for greater operational efficiency, is an essential adaptation for companies in all segments. Data from the Samba Digital survey — which heard more than 100 technology leaders from small, medium and large companies — states that about 87.5% of companies installed in Brazil delivered some initiative aimed at digital transformation in 2020.

This explosion in technology has impacted companies and developers themselves.

Amid a fierce competition for talent, startups have been betting on several structural changes and gimmicks to attract good technology professionals. Among the great difficulties present in hiring is the offer for compatible salaries, however, competing with foreign companies, who pay in dollars or in euros — coupled with the possibility of working remotely, has been difficult. The question remains: what elements are more important than a good salary?

The valuation of human capital . Within the tech universe , professionals are being attracted by the value proposition that companies deliver, by the flexibility in the work format, in addition to the possibility of training , chances of professional growth and also by the challenges proposed by the company. It is becoming increasingly clear, then, that companies need to deal (and very well) with cultural transformation, establishing purposes to capture value with their employees.

The individual development plan (PDI) has been one of the strategies that encourage the retention of talent, since the company makes clear its objective of contributing to professional growth, based on training. Thus, the company “provides” its professional with courses of interest to him, which are also strategic for him, and which will directly impact his development as a professional.

Another great attraction is the flexibility in relation to the place and hours of work. The remote work format also allows professionals to work for other companies, given that it has happened with increasing frequency to see the “mosaic professional” — one who has different interests and wants to be in front of more than one professional activity.

Linked to flexibility is the contracting model . The PJ model has been used by many companies, giving the professional the possibility of working on more than one work front. However, be careful not to create a labor liability, since this hiring model has many caveats to be considered. The recommendation is to involve lawyers to guide how the company should act to avoid labor obstacles.

Caring for human capital is a strategy that will never be obsolete . It is essential that companies understand that the hiring scenario, as well as the profile of professionals, has completely changed .

See also: With no cash to pay high salaries in the short term, startups see stock option as an indispensable tool

Demand for “ People As a Service ” grows

People as a service is nothing more than a service that offers professional labor for complete projects or specific jobs. The offer is very similar to that of outsourcing, but while outsourcing is exclusively focused on reducing costs, People As a Service focuses mainly on having professionals with expertise and skills that are not yet part of the company’s intellectual capital.

“I couldn’t keep a developer on my team because my hiring model was traditional. With that in mind, we reorganized ourselves and understood that this developer could be part of my team in another way. Today, he works for three companies, including one outside Brazil, and for me. It was possible to capture value from a new hiring model” — says Carla Colonna , COO at 100 Open Startups.

Retention is a (very negative) consequence of a poorly designed strategy

The thought that a professional needs to wear the shirt for years is a remnant of the lack of implementation of a strong culture, says Leandro Oliveira, founder of Vibbra Marketplace, a startup specialized in the People As a Service model for hiring full and senior developers for companies .

Companies need to be aware that the employee’s professional journey will have a beginning, middle and end within the startup and, therefore, talent retention is not the solution for this cycle, because it is a natural process. On the contrary, when the company seeks to retain , it is because the relationship with its professional is already destabilized .

“As long as it makes sense to both parties, the relationship will last. When it doesn’t make sense to the professional, you worry about retention. Therefore, retention is the symptom and not the pain that you have to resolve. “ — Leandro Oliveira, Founder Vibbra Marketplace.

And what does young DEV really want?

Remember: The valuation of human capital will be from now on, more than a differential, it will be the rule of the game. This is what the DEV — and any contributor — wants. You cannot create two distinct organizations, one for developers and one for “the others”. The purpose and objective of the company is one .

The understanding of this professional profile and the promotion of high-impact actions are still little explored elements. The reflection of this is still very visible and is called “Brain Drain”, where we lost space to international companies that pay better, offer greater flexibility and, sometimes, even pay in another currency — more valued than the real.

So, to contain this movement and go in the opposite direction to the Escape, it is essential that there is an understanding of the profile of the new generation that occupies the market, to consolidate the organizational culture that is based on preparing to execute the company’s challenges and also to balance the desires between the parties.

TOP Open Startups Forum

The TOP Open Startups Forum aims to bring together the founders and founders of the startups awarded in the Ranking 100 Open Startups since its first edition, published in 2016. The objective is to generate a space for exchanges, learning and networking, bringing to the agenda topics of relevance to the day-to-day business, with a special focus on attracting investments. Forum activities are part of the exclusive benefits for startups awarded in the Ranking 100 Open Startups.

At the July meeting, hosted at Unimed Lab, we received: Ana Rezende, Talent Strategist (Astella Investimentos), Leandro Oliveira, Founder (Vibbra! Tecnologia), Milton Daré, CEO (Talentu Tech) and Willian Silva, CTO Advisor (DOMO Invest) .