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Gartner finds 58% of companies employ borderless tech talent

58% of organisations report having at least some technology talent working in a fully remote borderless arrangement, according to a new Gartner survey. This number has doubled in the past three years.

Gartner defines a borderless workforce as talent working remotely from different countries based on an employment contract made across national borders. The survey also found that 27% of leaders are currently exploring hiring borderless tech employees as this trend continues to expand.

“This is no surprise that the rate of hiring borderless technology staff doubled in the last three years as increasing retention and hiring has risen to the No. 3 priority for CEOs this year and 2023,” says Gabriela Vogel, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic also accelerated borderless hiring, and what began as an exception, is no longer.”

The survey was conducted among 288 C-level executives and their direct reports during the second quarter of 2022 to understand their willingness to pursue a borderless tech workforce, their plans and adoption of a borderless workforce.

“Today in the professional world, location is fluid, the market is global, and the talent competition is agnostic as we are all competing under the same flag, technology,” adds Vogel. 

“Consequently, countries are losing talent to other countries, the public sector is losing talent to the private sector, and all the verticals are in the same situation. There are no more competition boundaries, and business and IT leaders hire borderless staff where they have the biggest competitive advantage, what we call the “borderless zone.”

The survey found that among organisations that have borderless talent, 19% of their IT workforce is borderless.

“Hiring borderless staff requires business and IT leaders to make significant adjustments to their operational model, including revising their management techniques, infrastructure and technology, cybersecurity and data protection, and pay equity,” notes Vogel.

India is the most selected country for recruiting borderless technology labour. However, the survey also found that Europe has a significant concentration of hiring inside its borders due to favourable labour laws for hiring borderless staff.

The top two areas of expertise that CIOs and IT leaders are looking at borderless talent for are software engineering/application development (62% of survey respondents) and application support (55% of survey respondents).

While 71% of surveyed organisations said it is critical to factor in the specific needs of borderless tech workers in their workplace strategy; 50% of organisations said they have fully implemented tools related to collaboration and productivity such as cloud office suites, work-stream collaboration, meeting solutions and digital whiteboarding.

However, borderless is only for some organisations. 

“There are certain constraints that hinder the adoption and expansion of a borderless operation and they range from complexity of administration support, culture issues to security and legality concerns,” says Daniel Sanchez-Reina, Vice President Analyst at Gartner.

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