Use Tech Pros’ Interest in Management to Land Talent

Last week, we asked tech pros whether they were ready for a job in tech management. Turns out, many of them are already looking for jobs as managers. For tech recruiters and hiring managers, this is an interesting piece of data with a solid takeaway: By showing candidates there’s a potential track to management, there’s a higher likelihood you could land the talent you need.

The survey had six possible answers, all aimed at discovering tech pros’ intended career path with regard to management. Some tech pros are eager for the manager crown, while others are happy coding and leaving the endless meetings (and brutal pressures) to someone else.

Here were the possible answers for our survey:

  • No. Not Interested.
  • Not yet. It’s interesting to me, but I don’t feel ready yet.
  • I’m on the fence. I haven’t really pursued it.
  • In a year or two, I’ll start applying for management roles.
  • I’m ready now, and actively trying to get into management.
  • I’m already in tech management!

And here are the results:

Some 29 percent tell us they’re “ready now,” and are currently looking for jobs in tech management. An additional 21 percent report they’re already in management, giving us a clean 50 percent who either are managing or who want to be a manager right now.

Around 18 percent say they’re on the fence, and just haven’t pursued management roles yet. If we add that to the aforementioned 50 percent, that’s two-thirds of tech pros who are at least interested in managing teams of their own (even if they haven’t applied yet). We can get even deeper: 16 percent say they simply haven’t pursued management “yet.” Eight percent say they’ll be ready in about two years.

Only eight percent of respondents said they had no interest in tech management, meaning some 92 percent are either managing now or are interested enough to consider a job where the meetings never seem to end. (It would be interesting to know how many of that eight percent who aren’t interested in managing teams have prior experience managing people, and simply don’t want to return to it.)

As we noted in the survey posting, there are roughly double the number of developer or engineering roles compared to management jobs. In our most recent Dice Salary Survey, one-third of respondents said they were interested in leaving their job for one with “more responsibility.” Almost 70 percent would quit their job for more money, and we have to think there’s a lot of those reporting a desire for more money who are also open to tech management roles.

Focus on Management Material

Numbers like these are ultimately promising. They show that not only are many tech pros interested in more responsibility; they also have strong ideas on how their company or team should operate, and they aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty to put in place that change. If you’re hiring, you could benefit mightily from candidates who are motivated and (eventually) want to lead.