Demand for mobile app developers higher than supply

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 11, 2013

Mobile Apps

With BYOD and mobile applications driving businesses in a big way, enterprises are investing heavily on mobile apps developers. However, talent is hard to come by. In a report by Zinnov on Global Mobile Talent revealed a wide gap between demand and availability of skilled mobile app developers across various global locations including Silicon Valley. The study also pointed out three-pronged approaches to address the current issue—acquisitions, leveraging global talent hotspots by expanding their R&D footprint and vendor partnerships and to take advantage of available talent.

The Talent Neuron study revealed that although job postings have doubled over the past two years, the number of registered developers is increasing only by 13 percent. This rate of growth is expected till 2015.

One of the measures taken by companies to bridge the gap is to hire talent from ‘hotspots’ such as India, China, Israel and Europe. The majority of mobile application talent is located in EMEA with Finland, Tel Aviv and Moscow emerging as key locations.

APAC was found to be a hotspot for talent that works on the Android platform, while iOS and BlackBerry developers are less prevalent in the region. The study found a great demand for HTML 5 development skills, which witnessed a 149 percent increase in job postings in 2013. This was followed closely followed by job posts for Android app developers (increased by 146 percent) and iOS developers (132 percent).

Vijay Swami, Co-Founder and CEO, Talent Neuron, said, “There is an intense war for mobile development talent, fuelled by low availability and the dynamic nature of the industry, which requires constant updated skillsets. Recruiters need to understand the underlying technology and requirements before writing job descriptions, and also understand location-specific trends. Rather than waiting for the perfect candidate, companies should aggressively leverage global locations to expand their catchment area, analyse skills of niche mobile first organizations before M&A and opportunistically leverage partners for talent (Not cost)”.

However, while the US and EMEA have a matured mobile development ecosystem, while emerging cities include Beijing, Bangalore, Shanghai, Dublin and Madrid, have a nascent ecosystem. The top 25 cities have close to 55 percent of mobile application talent, led by the Bay Area in the Americas, London in EMEA and Beijing in APAC. While the Americas have 45 percent of mobile development talent, this is followed by APAC with 30 percent and EMEA with 25 percent.

The study revealed that M& A activity which has surged 100 percent from 2010 to $ 18.8 billion in 2013 is one way by which companies can bridge the talent gap.

To bridge the supply shortage, universities are also offering courses on mobile web app development. These universities are located across the US and Canada, EMEA, Australia and India the study revealed. Microsoft invested $24 million in the three-year AppCampus app development program in Aalto University at Finland to promote talent.