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August 10, 2023

Employee Expectations Have Changed: What Happens Now?

What do employees want these days? If you think it's just a good salary, you’ve got it all wrong.

It's 2023, and employee expectations are not what they used to be. Job security, good benefits, and a high salary aren't enough these days. Employees want flexibility, support, and control over their work. The pandemic introduced new challenges in the workplace, but also new company norms, one of them being the remote work environment. Remote or hybrid workplaces allow employees to have the flexibility of location and time while still completing the same job. It is now one of the most sought-after qualities when it comes to looking for a new position. From an employee standpoint, you can complete the same tasks and work on your time. Sounds like a win-win, right? But what do companies think? 

Many companies have been working remotely after the pandemic, but many are looking to move back to the way things are. Employees aren't happy with this. Many employees are quitting and switching jobs as companies want to return to in-person collaboration. 

Remote work has highlighted many things: commuting can be a difficult task, great talent is spread out across the world, and flexibility can allow for the best outcomes. As a result of the pandemic, most, if not all job processes have been integrated into technology; from the onboarding process to the delegation of tasks. These changes are usually met with resistance when it feels like they are moving in the wrong direction.

This is just an extension of the Great Resignation of 2021. Otherwise known as the "Big Quit," it’s a byproduct of the stress of the pandemic and the new work norms and employee expectations that it ushered in.

Whatever you call it, it wreaked havoc with software development teams all over the world. With developers in such high demand, there are plenty of recruiters ready to lure them away, making it hard to retain your best employees. 

For example, your senior Ruby on Rails engineer might get offered a higher salary, more flexible working hours, and some cool perks to jump ship in the middle of a critical IT initiative. Then - boom! You’ve just become another statistic in the Great Resignation. On top of that, you’d also be stuck trying to recruit skilled engineers in the tightest market for software development talent on record. 

So what exactly is going on? Joseph B. Fuller, the co-leader of the Future of Work Project at Harvard Business School, says the Great Resignation could more accurately be called the "Great Reconsideration."

That is, people aren’t totally opting out of the workforce. Instead, they’re reappraising their expectations for how they want to work and what they want to do for a living. Many are finding jobs with reduced work hours, starting small businesses, or becoming contractors.

Whether it's a change in career goals or the lure of better money and conditions elsewhere, the outcome is the same: Your business is more at risk of losing skilled and experienced staff than ever before. And companies' innovation agendas are at risk if they can't staff their critical digital transformation initiatives.


The Scale of the Problem

A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November 2021, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were 10.9 million job openings in December 2020, just shy of the record high of 11.1 million recorded in July 2020. Since then we have seen a 5-month high of 4.02 million in May of 2023



This increased “churn” in the workforce is due to a series of factors that boil down to this: Workers have more options and mobility than ever before, at a time when demand for their services is greater than ever. The huge wave of digitization the pandemic triggered also increased pressure on tech workers, and the workload hasn’t eased up in 2023. 

“When I’ve talked to engineers, one of the things they’ve been prioritizing, in addition to freedom and flexibility, is really about how the work can be important,” Kit Merker, the COO of Nobl9, a software reliability platform, told WIRED. “It used to be about the campus, the perks, the money. But if you're sitting at home and you don’t have access to the micro kitchen, the barista, the massages, then what really is separating this job from another job?” 

Companies that have prioritized the health of their employees and the quality of their talent have been able to stay in front of the transition, where other companies fall behind. With the uncertainty of job security and the state of the economy, workers want control over their jobs. The hybrid or remote work setting enables them to work on their own time. But switching to this work style is not as easy as it seems. Employers are struggling to find the balance between meeting employee expectations of flexibility and executive expectations of metrics. 


Get the Right Direction

Many chief technology officers will be embarking on their first software development outsourcing partnership in 2023 out of necessity. But they find that offshoring software engineering can advance product development faster, utilizing highly specialized skills, and save on human resources costs in the long run. They also benefit from accessing a more diverse workforce and the ideas generated through working with qualified specialists in different organizations. In addition, it allows employees to have flexibility while still helping you retain talent.

But Wanden advises those who have not used offshore software development teams before to approach such engagements with caution and to conduct thorough due diligence.

“A lot of people were caught out around the time of Y2K because they had to hire anyone they could find,” he says. “There’s an element of that now. Approaching software development outsourcing from a mindset of desperation is never going to produce good decisions.”

It’s mission-critical to find a software development partner capable of working with a client to create a seamless team that can be up and running quickly. The financial and legal aspects of software outsourcing can be confusing to navigate, so make sure to partner with a reputable provider who is experienced in serving businesses like yours.


“We're getting record calls for outsourcing to help deal with the staffing crisis caused by the tech skills shortage and the Great Resignation. There are a lot of mistakes you can make if you're not experienced in outsourcing. That's why Accelerance has built a proven process, our Rapid Referral® program. It allows us to find you a completely vetted, perfect-fit software development outsourcing partner within 10 days. And that dedicated team makes you future-proof against such unexpected business disruptions like those the last few years.

-Rich Wanden, Chief Customer Success Officer, Accelerance


The Big Quit and the shift in employee expectations have presented almost every industry with unprecedented challenges when it comes to talent recruitment and retention. The tech talent shortage is set to continue. But software offshoring - done smartly - is an alternative to the talent poaching and bidding wars currently underway.

Accelerance is that trusted adviser there to help you embrace software outsourcing and avoid getting burned in hastily arranged deals that turn into disaster stories.

For more than 20 years, we have specialized in matching US companies with the best development teams personally selected for them from the top 1% of software outsourcing firms from Eastern Europe to Central and South America to Asia. Our proven due diligence process is designed to find the right partner match every time. 

We're ready for you. Our software outsourcing partners have prepared their businesses for the new reality and have the technical expertise and bandwidth to handle the full gamut of software projects.

Accelerance can source the right software development talent that will future-proof your technology initiatives. You don't have to take on the Great Resignation alone.

Set a free appointment with an Accelerance trusted advisor for experienced advice from the premier global software outsourcing authority® delivering top-tier software development resources and providing professional consulting services.




Tag(s): Insights

Rich Wanden

As Chief Customer Success Officer, Rich oversees Accelerance marketing and sales operations globally with a focus on helping customers make the best decisions for choosing a software development team and working together. Prior to joining Accelerance, Rich has worked in management consulting, IT advisory and...

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