The Portland tech community is growing and flourishing despite uncertainty and change, reveals ProFocus Technology’s Portland Tech in Focus: 2022 Trends Report. This year, 61 percent of Portland companies expect an increased technology budget (up from 36 percent in 2021) and 76 percent expect higher revenue. With 85 percent reporting upward wage pressure, 64 percent say there will be an increase in tech employee compensation this year, up from 41 percent in 2021.
The biggest struggle in 2022 for the Silicon Forest will be finding and securing the talent to support the planned growth.
Sixty percent of firms say they will increase tech staff headcount, and 30 percent say they will increase the number of tech contractors. Yet they reported finding qualified talent as their biggest talent challenge (46 percent).
More than half of all respondents (54 percent) say the IT talent shortage keeps their team from meeting key goals, an increase from 45 percent last year.
“The Portland tech community is moving forward at an incredible pace, but that pace is not sustainable without the talent to support it,” said John Boone, ProFocus Technology founder and President. “Companies must change how they recruit and develop talent – it’s important to understand that candidates are looking for flexibility, career development, and better compensation. The companies that prioritize these offerings will secure the talent they need to fuel their aggressive 2022 plans.”
Remote is the preferred way to work
Only 4 percent of Portland’s tech workers are in the office full-time now, and just 4 percent say that’s their preferred setup. Sixty-eight percent say their preferred arrangement is remote with the option to go into the office as needed. Forty-three percent of employees say if required to be in the office full-time, they would likely leave their job.
Sixty percent agree that working remotely has made their team more productive. More than three times as many respondents agreed the shift to remote work makes it easier to recruit and retain talent than not. Fifty-nine percent (59 percent) agree it’s easier to recruit versus 16 percent who disagree, and 53 percent say it’s easier to retain versus 17 percent who disagree.
While 59 percent of the Portland tech community agree their company offers competitive compensation, 64 percent expect overall compensation for tech employees to rise in 2022. Upward wage pressure grew year-over-year, with 85 percent of respondents now experiencing it, compared to 63 percent last year.
Retention strategies have changed amid post-pandemic shifts in employee priorities and the battle for talent. Sixty-two percent of companies have plans to upskill employees this year, with smaller firms leading the way. Seventy-five percent of small firms plan to embrace this strategy, compared to 59 percent of enterprise firms. Midsize firms struggle the most in this area: 31 percent of them rank developing skills as their biggest talent-related challenge.
Portland’s tech community reports additional retention struggles, too. Just over half (54 percent) say their company onboards effectively and under half (45 percent) agree it offers a clear career path.
Portland Tech in Focus: 2022 Trends Report is based on 173 responses via an online survey of Portland technology professionals, including executives, managers, directors, team leads and individual contributors in companies from small enterprises with less than 100 employees to large enterprises with greater than 5,000 employees. The survey was conducted between October 24 and November 23, 2021.
Click here for the full report.