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Number of Agile Developers Can’t Keep Pace with Demand, Yoh Study Says

Many of the Fortune 500 and leading brands in America are increasingly searching for agile software developers that can help them improve speed of delivery and provide more and better value to their customers. However, a study conducted by Yoh based on data from CareerBuilder’s Supply and Demand Portal revealed that the number of advertised agile jobs outnumbered active candidates by 4.59-to-1. This is just one of the market observations revealed in Yoh’s new infographic, “Agile Development: Who’s Hiring & Who’s Hirable.

This skills gap has not only made it difficult for companies to quickly source quality talent on demand, but also puts them at risk of hiring technical professionals that have poor agile methodology skills. At the same time, as more companies seek to capitalize on agile practices, many agile professionals struggle to find an established agile program that fits their abilities.

The Yoh analysis showed that companies advertised a total of 558,918 agile jobs from 2010 to 2012. During the same time period, there were merely 121,876 active candidates, just 17 candidates for every 100 jobs. This “agile gap” is compounded by inconsistencies in experience and geography. Of the available job seekers, more than 50 percent have 10 years of experience or more, while less than two percent have one to two years of experience. The agile gap exists across the U.S., varying only in its degree of severity. For instance, while states like Florida and Texas have a higher average number of active candidates, the ratio of open positions to candidates remains high, at 4-to-1. States with a more severe gap, however, such as Washington and California, have 10 open positions for every candidate.

The adoption of the agile development methodology has accelerated since the latter part of the last decade, while training for frontline developers failed to keep pace. Because of the high demand for a limited number of agile developers, many industries, such as computer systems design services, custom computer programming services, and software publishing, struggle to attract the agile talent they need. Those that get available, experienced talent are forced to pay premiums, whereas others are forced to hire and train professionals on agile methodologies.

“These discrepancies can hurt the hiring companies in the form of increased costs, salaries, and turnover,” said Don Hanson, Senior Vice President, Eastern Region at Yoh. “When companies hire the wrong candidate, they jeopardize employee engagement as well as potentially damage their reputation in the agile community, hurting future recruiting efforts. More than ever, a thorough vetting and hiring process is crucial for both agile employers and jobseekers. To that end, Yoh is currently using its expertise in agile methodology talent to help companies source the talent they need while connecting agile professionals with the roles and companies best-suited to their abilities.”

“Right now agile developers hold all the cards,” said Bob Schatz, Chief Agile Evangelist at Yoh and Owner of Agile Infusion. “As demand for agile skills continues to grow, employers must clarify the extent of their agile programs, whether they’re established, new, or still just an idea. By erring on the side of transparency about the state of the company’s agile culture, employers will be able to find the best talent for their open positions and avoid turnover costs as well as misunderstandings during the hiring process that could alienate future agile recruits.”

Yoh, a Day & Zimmerman company, sought insight into the state of the agile talent pool as demand continues to rise for agile practitioners, who build software and transform business processes through teamwork; customer collaboration; short, iterative cycles; and responses to change. As more companies seek a nimble and entrepreneurial approach to business, the agile development methods of companies like Facebook and Apple are quickly spreading, but a lack of educational resources has left few agile practitioners to fill that need.

“Given the gap between available talent and demand, companies seeking to hire an agile team must understand that the adoption of agile development requires a complete change in culture, and they must make that transition or risk high turnover, lower morale, and loss of credibility in the agile community,” Schatz added.

For more information on the agile skills gap, the positions most in demand, and the companies most in need of agile talent, please examine Yoh’s recent agile development infographic on who’s hiring and who’s hirable.

ABOUT YOH

For over 70 years, Yoh has provided the talent needed for the jobs and projects critical to our clients’ success by providing comprehensive workforce solutions that focus on Aerospace and Defense, Engineering, Federal Services, Health Care, Life Sciences, Information Technology and Telecommunications. Yoh fulfills immediate resource needs and delivers enterprise workforce solutions, including Managed Services, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Vendor Management Systems, Independent Contractor Compliance, and Payroll Services. For more information, visit yoh.com.

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