The QA Challenge Facing 2023: A talent shortage Layoffs, budget cuts, market shifts, outsourcing halts. Times are tight in engineering departments across the globe. While crowdsourcing can mitigate many of those issues, there’s a glaring QA challenge staring down the last two quarters of 2023: a talent shortage. Let me be clear: lack of qualified talent. There are enough bodies, enough devices, and O/S combinations to hobble together a crowdsourced testing team that can check the boxes. But when consumers demand high-end products, there’s a shortage of qualified crowdsourcing talent. Solving the growing crowdsourced testing shortage at your org requires a blend of awareness, third-party help, and some creativity. Understanding the Tech Middle Market Talent Shortage The middle market tech shortage is a skills gap largely due to a lack of education amidst a rapidly evolving tech landscape. A recent report by McKinsey revealed that 43% of respondents said they had skill gaps, with others saying they were expecting the impact of the talent shortage and this resulting gap to show its face in the next few years. Quality Logic reports that the next seven years hold the potential for over a million unstaffed positions in the tech industry, with software testers being one of the critical links affected. Great testers are developed through years of practice, adept industry knowledge, and employer investment into education, not a frequent combination. Entry-level testers are undoubtedly easy to crowdsource, but finding qualified testers has been much more complicated for some organizations. This poses a significant QA challenge because, despite the market changes regarding talent, the needs and obligations of software development still have to be met. Many organizations have had to look for outside help, predominantly with freelance testers. Three Models for Building A Software Testing Team Crowdsourcing Smaller Agile Teams So, we’re going to get creative. One solution is to cut the focus on large, all-encompassing testing teams and recruit smaller talent pools more frequently. Bringing in Agile methodology focusing on streamlined testing methods could lead to a greater turnaround time for your organization. Remember, the main goal is to get projects out of the testing phase and out as a deliverable. These smaller agile teams can be quickly trained to combine automation and integrations to create a streamlined process. Agile teams are smaller than an entire QA department and should significantly reduce the strain in finding quality talent. An additional benefit occurs with the cycling nature of agile teams: you can directly integrate them into the CI/CD cycle. A lack of skilled candidates doesn’t need to widen the gap in your organization, especially when alternative methods for achieving great results are still available. Partnering with a third-party crowdsourcing vendor be a significant timesaver – considering they’ve likely implemented educational requirements and skills tests. Example: Here’s how Testlio recruits our testers. The Hunt for Full-time Quality Engineers The rising skill gap isn’t just regarding testers – it extends to all QA pros. Quality engineers may be the hardest to acquire: most are looking for full-time opportunities and have extensive experience. The higher the skill set, the longer it takes to find, hire, and onboard. There are several reasons why quality engineers can be challenging to find: Specialized Skill Set: Quality engineering requires unique technical skills, industry knowledge, and expertise in quality assurance processes. Increasing Demand: With the growing emphasis on product quality and customer satisfaction, the demand for quality engineers has increased across various industries. This high demand often outpaces the supply of qualified candidates. Competitive Job Market: Quality engineering is a highly competitive field, and skilled professionals are sought after by companies looking to improve their product quality and reliability. Rapid Technological Advancements: Technological advancements, such as automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, are transforming the quality engineering landscape. Quality engineers need to stay updated with the latest tools and methodologies, making it essential to find candidates who are adaptable and willing to learn. The combination of specialized skills, increasing demand, competition, technological advancements, lack of awareness, and educational gaps contribute to the QA challenge of sourcing talent. Organizations must adopt effective strategies, like outsourcing QA and QE talent through third-party organizations, creating internal strategies that boost education/training, and competitive compensation packages to attract and retain quality engineering talent.