How to Deal With Lack of QA Engineers in Remote Work Era

Feb 19, 2021

At the beginning of 2020, few expected that the way we work and do business would change so dramatically. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on all industries, reversing major trends in consumer behavior and forcing companies to quickly strengthen their tech capabilities. This was needed, among other reasons, to facilitate digitization and optimize interaction with remote employees, including software quality assurance specialists.

Due to these changes, tech leaders face greater challenges in delivering digital products and services to market. One of these problems is a task that managers have always had, even before the pandemic – finding the required talent. For CTOs and tech managers, finding the right people to fill the gaps in their teams is one of the biggest challenges in developing and delivering great products.

Here are our recommendations for addressing resource issues, which are going to be relevant both now and in the future – in the post-pandemic environment.

Finding specialized talents is still a demanding task

Technology is rapidly changing, which means that skill requirements are changing too. Finding testers with a specific set of competencies that meet product and market requirements remains a challenge for hiring managers and CTOs.

As of January 2021, the number of QA vacancies on was 5,748. On, the number of QA vacancies is 35,309. LinkedIn lists 93,456 jobs in the US alone.

Our clients face problems with finding technical talents too, especially in architecture, Data Science, software development, and testing.

Today, it is impossible to easily and quickly hire the right specialist by using the traditional HR process. Since speed is a critical factor, you also don’t have the time to train your team members in the right roles, and this makes it difficult to quickly augment staff for responding to changes.

Moreover, disciplines have gained ground rapidly. As they become deeper and deeper, it becomes more difficult to find the right candidate and adequately assess their knowledge and skill level.

Distributed teams and remote work are game-changing

Unfortunately, there is no prompt and versatile solution to the problem of hiring. But the recent acceleration in the development of remote work culture, fueled by COVID-19, has pushed companies to rethink the way they hire and retain team members.

More and more companies have started to consider distributed teams as a viable option to fill resource gaps. The concept of remote work is not new in the tech world, but it has evolved. According to a recent survey by Gartner, devoted to future work trends, about 48% of employees are likely to telecommute. At least they plan to work in such a format for some time until the most severe virus expressions are gone. Before the pandemic, only 30% of the respondents showed an active interest in remote work.

Many IT companies see the transition to telecommuting as the new normal. Today, there are plenty of technological platforms that enable everyone to effectively work from anywhere. By launching their own models to facilitate the work of remote team members, enterprises have expanded their capabilities and reach the original pool and different markets. Unlike previous times, working remotely is no longer an obstacle.

The hunt for remote employees has begun on the job market. This puts startups and small businesses in a shaky position, and they are now trying to figure out how to successfully compete for personnel with the large Fortune 500 companies, with their benefits and enticements. And large corporations, previously reluctant to hire remote candidates for key positions outside their city or country, are now more open to the idea.

COVID-19 is changing the structure and culture of the tech team

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many major work trends. Due to the massive transition of teams to the new work format, there is an urgent need for specialists to implement technologies for organizing remote work. Companies now need to rethink not only personnel work planning but also work culture.

According to a survey of employees on telecommuting, conducted by Ultimate Software, 54% of respondents prefer to work remotely, 90% feel more productive when they telecommute, and 50% experience less stress than in the office.

However, remote work also poses challenges and assigns new tasks to managers, including:

  • Monitoring the performance of remote workers.
  • Boosting the team’s spirit and balancing the psychological pressures provoked by COVID-19.
  • Finding the right combination of tools and technologies to ensure effective communication and seamless collaboration.
  • Managing security and access to confidential data.

The creation of a productive and inspiring telecommuting culture will be essential to the success of tech teams, even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Introducing new models for finding the best tech talents

2020 has proven that a remote workforce can be as productive as in-house teams if managed well. As a result, remote insourcing and outsourcing are ramping up, especially in markets that are oversaturated with high-tech jobs.

Basically, remote insourcing means that roles that would traditionally be outsourced are instead filled internally but with resources that work remotely.

Access to a wider range of vendors can help to address the challenges of finding candidates with the right balance of technical knowledge and interpersonal skills.

Many of our new clients have found that they can effectively work with a completely remote team. Moreover, enterprise managers have seen that the completely remote model works well.

Outsourcing can fill the gaps

Outsourcing can be relevant for recruiting professionals for more complex roles, such as cybersecurity or product quality specialists. This combined approach to hiring enables managers to quickly cater to their skill needs and manage costs. Managers can hire an external consultant when necessary, instead of hiring a staff member and incurring the associated expenses.

According to Gartner’s research, organizations will continue to increase the recruitment of temporary workers to maintain greater flexibility in managing their workforce after COVID-19. Around 32% of companies are replacing full-time employees with temporary workers as a cost-saving measure.

Outsourcing has become a support for companies in responding to the crisis in all sectors, especially in technology services. According to Statista, before the pandemic, the forecast for the size of the IT outsourcing market was approximately $413.7 billion by 2021.

The future belongs to outsourced testing

Finding a reputable and trustworthy company is critical when seeking help in outsourcing. It is important to consider other factors, such as the external resource maturity level, intellectual leadership, contributions to the community, and experience with distributed teams. Andersen has 13 years of successful experience in outsourcing testing services.

Outsourcing helps to fill some of the major gaps in tech talent. This could be the new norm for building strong product teams. Companies that adapt quickly will take the lead. The size of Andersen’s QA department has grown by 25% due to the high demand for remote testing services.

If you haven’t found an outsourcing provider of testing services yet, you are welcome to contact us. Andersen delivers testing services for any type of software. Our QA specialists provide auditing, consulting, testing process customization, and a full range of software testing.


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