Employer Spotlight

What Employers Are Looking for in Technical Hires in 2023

By Jess Feldman
Last updated on January 5, 2023

Tech is ever-evolving, so what can you expect employers to be hiring for in 2023? We asked two Tech Elevator hiring partners, Kroger and FAST Enterprises, to share which technical skills and soft skills their companies will be hiring for this year. (Spoiler alert: sharpen your Enterprise API Development, Object Oriented Programming, SQL, and communication skills – read all of their tips below!) Plus, the Tech Elevator team weighs in with their top 3 tips for tech job-seekers in 2023.

Meet the Experts:

  • Andrew Wyborski, Advanced Software Engineering Manager at Kroger – Andrew spent four years in Customer Experience and now works on the Merchandising Experience team at Kroger Technology & Digital. 
  • Bobbi Gallenstein, Recruiter at FAST Enterprises - FAST Enterprises is a software/IT/consulting company for government agencies. Bobbi has worked on the Recruiting Team at FAST for about four years. 

What is the #1 technical skill that Kroger and FAST Enterprises are looking for in 2023?

Andrew: Currently, I am focused on the Enterprise Item Experience - Item Publication product portfolio. This means that anywhere within Kroger that our associates or customers are using item data, it is coming from my teams. We make available several different mechanisms like real-time APIs and an event messaging hub.

The #1 technical skill we’re looking for is Enterprise API development. This could be in Java, Go or NodeJS stacks but the main focus is on people who are able to analyze all the aspects of an API use case to properly design for scale, resiliency, response time, etc.

Bobbi: Our company replaces outdated legacy government software systems with one of our four Commercial Off the Shelf Systems (COTS). We provide a tax processing software solution, unemployment insurance and benefits, driver services and vehicle services, and child support.

We primarily look for a strong foundation in any Object Oriented Programming (OOP) language. We are not picky about how employees learn these languages. Additionally, having SQL experience is helpful. 

Are there any new soft skills that you will be looking for in new hires in 2023?

Andrew: A passion for problem solving and a drive for continuing education. At Kroger, our industry is highly complex (for example: you can’t sell eggs across state lines) and our organization is huge. It requires someone who is willing to fall in love with their problem space and socialize their solution with the rest of our organization.

Bobbi: There are no new soft skills per se. A successful soft skill we look for at FAST is communication, but what we really value is how well you can explain technical concepts in a more simplified way. This not only helps our clients understand our systems better, but helps new FASTies understand our systems, too. 

What stands out about the Tech Elevator bootcamp graduates that you’ve hired so far? 

Andrew: We have seen great success with the learning mindset that Tech Elevator students have when joining the company. Many come with existing experience from previous professional careers. This helps them be very impactful as they get their technical legs underneath them.

And yes, we plan on hiring more alternative education candidates at Kroger in 2023!

Do you anticipate any specific tech-adjacent roles becoming more popular in 2023? Would you hire bootcamp grads for these types of roles?

Bobbi: There are two roles we are always hiring for: Implementation Consultant and Technical Team Member. Both of these roles work on our COTS systems on the software/consulting side or the back end database administration side. We have had success with every cohort at Tech Elevator when it comes to filling these roles and we don’t anticipate that slowing down. 

How will Kroger be leaning further into skills-based hiring in 2023?

Andrew: We are looking to establish clear hiring guidelines that allow us to screen for candidate aptitude, so that we can grade against the expectations for a specific job level instead of strictly looking for applicants with “X years doing Y technology.” Our overall staffing strategy is evolving to focus on building a strong foundation to supplement our needs for highly specialized professionals.

Do you anticipate that your team at FAST will still be working remotely in 2023? 

Bobbi: Since FAST is a client-based company, our top priority is to follow how clients would like work to be done. Most of our clients are predominantly on a Hybrid-Schedule while some are fully in-person and some are fully remote.

Diversity in tech is a major initiative for so many companies. How will your organization be adding diversity to your own tech teams in 2023?

Bobbi: At FAST, we have a committee called FAST for All. The FAST for All Committee focuses on diversity and inclusion initiatives at FAST. The committee works to educate the FASTies of today and tomorrow by directly addressing current needs within FAST’s culture and provide the tools to continue to develop and nurture an inclusive culture at FAST.

Tech Elevator’s 3 Tips to Land a Job in Tech in 2023

It’s no secret that there’s still a shortage of Software Developers; thus, hiring continues to ramp up as we head into 2023. So, what makes your application stand apart from the others? Below are a few tips from the career coaches at Tech Elevator’s coding bootcamp.

1. Align your language with the job description. Take note of how the role is articulated and adjust your own resume and cover letter to showcase your experiences that speak to those specific needs.

2. Build your network. Explore your existing connections and ask mutual connections for an introduction. Even if it’s just coffee or an informational interview, your new connection could lead to new opportunities down the road.

3. Go beyond the application. Simply applying isn’t enough to stand out. After you submit your application, reach out to a relevant contact within the week on LinkedIn or via email with a thoughtful message about why you’re a good fit for the role. 

Find out more and read Tech Elevator reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Tech Elevator.

About The Author

Jess is the Content Manager for Course Report as well as a writer and poet. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education, and loves learning and sharing content about tech bootcamps. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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