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Insights for hiring managers

Whatever the Microsoft Cloud role, use our guide to benchmark your salary or contact rate, or to uncover what you should be paying employees in your team.

When it comes to hiring cloud professionals, knowledge is power. Knowing what motivates candidates, and what kind of strategies are most effective in positioning your organization as an employer of choice, can go a long way towards helping build sustainable talent pipelines that will keep top Microsoft professionals coming through your doors for years to come. So what do candidates want from their job roles in today’s market?

In this section, we’ll take a look at what other Microsoft customers are doing to attract and keep talent, enabling you to develop acquisition and retention strategies that work.

What strategies are employers using to stay competitive in attracting talent?

57%

Employee skills training

39%

Employee well-being initiatives

35%

Salary Increases

32%

New ways of working – including remote, hybrid or flexible working
Engaging employees around the mission, vision, and values of the organization 30%
Investment in training programs 30%
Increased benefits and perks 25%
Equality, diversity, and inclusive hiring practices 24%
Introduction of a bonus (monthly/bi-annual/year-end bonus) 22%
Increased leadership visibility 20%
Company profit sharing 16%
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policy 14%
Developing a business case for more resources 14%
None of the above 14%
Other 1%
Engaging employees around the mission, vision, and values of the organization 30%
Investment in training programs 30%
Increased benefits and perks 25%
Equality, diversity, and inclusive hiring practices 24%
Introduction of a bonus (monthly/bi-annual/year-end bonus) 22%
Increased leadership visibility 20%
Company profit sharing 16%
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policy 14%
Developing a business case for more resources 14%
None of the above 14%
Other 1%

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Hiring Microsoft professionals

Hiring managers tell us that, on average, it takes four months and three weeks to find a new Microsoft hire. And 42% of hiring managers told us they want to hire a Microsoft professional in the next 12 months. Of those planning to hire, over two-fifths (42%) are confident they can find the right candidate on the first attempt, while 32% are not.

What are your top tech staffing challenges over the next 12 months?

43%

Increased competition
for talent

30%

Lack of resource/capacity
in-house

30%

Talent attraction

30%

Talent retention
Managing remote employees 28%
Lack of skills/experience in the market 28%
Difficulty paying the market rate/what candidates demand 22%
Lack of skills in-house 17%
Buy-in from senior leadership on the need to recruit 13%
Disengaged employees 9%
Virtual recruiting 9%
Our current training program is not effective in upskilling inexperienced candidates 9%
An increase in demand for contractor/freelancers 9%
Personnel change (e.g., redundancies, restructure, and role changes) 7%
Difficulty identifying the skills we need/lack 6%
Not sure 10%
Other 2%
Managing remote employees 28%
Lack of skills/experience in the market 28%
Difficulty paying the market rate/what candidates demand 22%
Lack of skills in-house 17%
Buy-in from senior leadership on the need to recruit 13%
Disengaged employees 9%
Virtual recruiting 9%
Our current training program is not effective in upskilling inexperienced candidates 9%
An increase in demand for contractor/freelancers 9%
Personnel change (e.g., redundancies, restructure, and role changes) 7%
Difficulty identifying the skills we need/lack 6%
Not sure 10%
Other 2%

Are Microsoft professionals experiencing burnout?

Defined as a prolonged state of overwork resulting in physical and psychological exhaustion, burnout has been a prominent topic in the tech industry over the past few years. Burnout is often the inevitable result of extended periods of stress, and can cause employees to become disengaged from their working lives. It can have a massively detrimental effect on mental and physical health, and severely dents how effective and productive professionals can be in their roles.

So how prevalent is burnout in the Microsoft community today—and what can employers do to help avoid it?

Over two-fifths (42%) of permanent Microsoft professionals say they have experienced burnout in their current role, compared to 34% of freelancers.

According to our respondents, what were the consequences of experiencing burnout?

The impacts of experiencing burnout can be broadly categorized into consequences for individuals, issues for the wider team, and the wider impact on the organization. The themes identified include:

Fortunately, some employers are compassionate and understanding when recognizing the toll that burnout can take on an individual’s well-being. A case in point is a Microsoft professional in the United States who shared, “my productivity dropped for a week or two, and my supervisors were understanding and helped me reset my work-life balance, which allowed me to return to full productivity within a month”.

Conversely, when burnout goes unaddressed, it can significantly hinder an employee’s capacity for creativity and sound decision-making. As a Trainer from the United States explained, “for me, burnout impacted the ability to be more creative in solving problems, meaning I tended to go with the obvious answers even if they were stale and dated”. This sentiment was echoed by other respondents, including one Developer from the US who said: “Burnout reduces the interest I have in finding more innovative solutions to problems”.

The consequence of burnout extends beyond job performance, manifesting in physical and mental fatigue, making it challenging to perform daily tasks efficiently. This happened to an Australian Solution Architect: “I was constantly exhausted, which impacted my personal life as there was no work-life balance, meaning my household management declined”.

At its worst, it can also wreak havoc on an individual’s overall happiness and mental health. One Functional Consultant from Australia experienced this consequence, and it led to them leaving their organization: “Burnout resulted in lots of health issues for me, which caused me to quit my job and swap to another organization with a better fit for myself”.

The future workplace

Are Microsoft professionals happy to work in the office five days a week?

Microsoft Cloud professionals show a preference once again for a hybrid working arrangement (45% compared to 46% in our last survey).

15%
37%
45%
3%
16%
35%
46%
3%
We asked the hiring managers of organizations that offer remote working whether they considered it gave them a recruiting advantage:
Yes No Not sure
An advantage in hiring new staff 90% 2% 8%
An advantage in retaining staff 89% 3% 8%

The future of work

How, where and when we work have been subject to major changes over the past few years, but for all the talk of a new normal, it seems that general opinion on the issue is beginning to settle. When asked about their preferred working environment, our respondents’ answers largely matched those given in last year’s survey, giving employers a strong indication of what candidates expect from employers in today’s market.

Only 15% of respondents stated that they’d be happy to work from an office five days a week, with more than two-thirds (37%) favoring full-time remote work. Hybrid working was once again the most popular choice, with 45% of Microsoft professionals citing a flexible arrangement as the way they work best.

Though full-time remote working may not have become the new standard, as many have suspected over the past few years, it remains a much sought-after benefit for many professionals. Clearly, offering flexible working options not only allows organizations to recruit from a wider geographical area, but it also gives businesses an edge over their competitors. A massive 90% of the hiring managers we surveyed said that offering remote work gave them an advantage when hiring new staff. A similarly high percentage (89%) also said that such options help them retain staff too.

Multiracial creative people in modern office. Group of young business people and senior boss are working together with laptop, tablet, smart phone, notebook, graphs. Successful team in coworking

Insights from currently unemployed Microsoft professionals

Top factors that are important to unemployed professionals when seeking a role

Career progression opportunities

68%
Salary

68%
Work-life balance

64%
Remote working

61%
Overall benefits package

56%
Valuable work/feeling like your work will make a positive impact

55%
New challenges

52%
Flexible/agile working

50%
Location

46%
Company security and stability

44%

How likely are unemployed professionals to accept a role that involves working in the office five days a week?

67%
20%
14%

Takeaways for hiring managers

Competition for talent is presenting a significant challenge for hiring managers in the Microsoft ecosystem, with 43% of respondents citing this struggle as the biggest obstacle to hiring in the coming year. As a result, many organizations are revisiting their talent acquisition strategies and working on building an appealing employer brand that puts them ahead of their peers.

For most organizations, professional development, employee wellbeing, and more attractive salaries are the primary targets of their investments. This should be noted by any organization in the Microsoft space that’s looking to build out its team in the next 12 months; although larger pay packages are often effective in the short-term, focusing on upskilling employees and helping them stay happy and healthy is a clear focus for many businesses in their efforts to create sustainable talent strategies.

Want the highlights from this year's Careers and Hiring Guide at a glance? Our key findings report contains our top level insight and salary tables, so you can compare your own salary or benchmark your teams' across the Microsoft ecosystem.