Evolving Workforces

Tech Insights: Formulating an Effective Tech Talent Acquisition Strategy

January 27, 2022 3 Minute Read

An effective strategy to secure tech talent in an increasingly tight labor market involves more than just focusing on locations where tech workers are concentrated. While many technical skills are transferable across industries, specific industry experience might be the differentiator to enhance innovation. To help employers develop their tech talent strategies, CBRE’s 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report quantified tech talent by market, quality and diversity. Our analysis of which industries have the most tech talent in specific markets provides additional insight.

Across the U.S., the 5.4 million tech talent workforce is concentrated in the tech industry (40.1%), professional & business services (11.3%) and finance, insurance & real estate (8.3%). The concentration varies considerably by market. The San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Austin have the highest concentrations of tech talent working within the tech industry (Figure 1). Columbus, Virginia Beach and Sacramento have the lowest concentrations.

Figure 1: U.S. Tech Talent Employed Within Tech Industry, 2020

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, CBRE Research, April 2021.
*Includes computer software & services and computer product manufacturing.

Sacramento is the only U.S. market where an industry other than tech has a larger share: government at 31.2% vs. tech at 26.7%. Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Virginia Beach also have relatively high concentrations of tech talent in government (Figure 2). Other markets with industries other than tech that have high concentrations of tech talent include manufacturing in Detroit and Milwaukee; finance, insurance & real estate in Charlotte and Hartford; professional services in Rochester, NY and Washington, D.C., and health care in Nashville and Cincinnati.

Figure 2: Top Industries Employing U.S. Tech Talent by Market, 2020

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, CBRE Research, April 2021.
FIRE stands for finance, insurance & real estate

Highly sought-after software engineers account for 41% of the tech talent workforce and 50% work within the tech industry (Figure 3). Twelve markets exceeded the national average, led by Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin.

Figure 3: U.S. Software Engineers Employed Within Tech Industry, 2020

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, CBRE Research, April 2021.
*Includes software developers, programmers and engineers.
**Includes computer software & services and computer product manufacturing.

Tech talent’s industry-specific knowledge can enhance or even accelerate innovation. Where to look for this talent and formulating a talent acquisition strategy can help to create a competitive advantage.