Despite Projected Growth in 2023, Portland Companies Struggle to Attract and Keep Tech Talent, Says ProFocus Technology Survey Report

More than half of workers open to changing jobs in 2023

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ITtalent–Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Portland companies expect higher revenue in 2023 and 43% expect to hire more tech employees, but companies report it difficult to find and retain the technology talent that will fuel this growth, according to ProFocus Technology’s third annual tech survey, Portland Tech in Focus: 2023 Trends Report.

More than half (59%) of survey respondents rate their firms poor or average at attracting technology candidates, and more are finding it difficult year-over-year to hold on to their talent (23% compared to 18% a year ago). Fifty-eight (58%) of tech workers in non-leadership positions are open to changing jobs in 2023, with 42% actively looking to change jobs and 16% open to considering it.

“With more than half of Portland’s tech talent willing to leave their current employer, this is a wakeup call for companies to prioritize engaging with their workers, improving company culture, and revisiting compensation before employees leave for other jobs,” said John Boone, ProFocus Technology Founder and President.

The link between company culture and retention

There is a direct correlation between strong company culture and higher retention. Tech professionals who rank their firm as excellent in retaining talent also score more favorable ratings on onboarding, training, compensation, and innovation. Ninety-four percent (94%) of those who report their firm is excellent in retention say their firm supports work-life balance, compared to 76% of all respondents who say the same. Just 28% of this group say they’re overworked, compared to 50% overall.

“The outlook for the Portland tech market looks strong heading into 2023 with so many tech managers reporting expected increases in budgets, headcount, and revenue. The challenge for companies is finding and retaining talent to support that growth, a problem we found exacerbated at the enterprise level and with those companies reporting a weaker culture,” said Boone. “Our survey respondents have been clear about what they value, and companies should ensure those values are integrated into both organizational culture and individual career paths.”

Smaller firms are closer to getting it right

Portland’s small and midsized companies are faring better when it comes to holding on to talent. Only 15% of small and midsized companies report that retaining talent is their biggest talent challenge, compared to 40% of enterprises.1 In fact, enterprise firms are the only group of respondents who rank retention as the number one tech talent challenge.

Small and midsized firms offer more training (60% vs. 38% of enterprise firms) and will upskill for new tech (59% vs. 47% enterprise).

While burnout remains a challenge across all categories, enterprise workers report much higher burnout at 65% compared to 41% of those working at small and midsized firms. Further, 57% of those at enterprises say their tech team is overworked compared to 45% at small and midsized firms.

Portland tech talent has mixed feelings on fair compensation

Respondents made it clear that salary/compensation, remote work, and meaningful/interesting work are most important when it comes to attracting and retaining tech talent. Eighty-one percent (81%) of respondents are experiencing upward wage pressure. Despite rising inflation, less than half of respondents (46%) say overall compensation for the tech team is increasing, and only 51% say their company offers competitive market pay.

About the survey

ProFocus Technology’s Portland Tech in Focus: 2023 Trends Report is based on responses to an online survey of 163 Portland technology professionals, including executives, managers, directors, team leads, and individual contributors in companies from small enterprises with less than 100 employees to large enterprises with greater than 5,000 employees. The survey was conducted between October 19 and November 19, 2022.

1Small firms are defined as 1-100 employees, midsize 101-500, large 501-5,000, and enterprise greater than 5,000.

About ProFocus Technology

Built on decades of experience, ProFocus Technology is an award-winning technology staffing and consulting company specializing in delivering first class talent for key roles in development, deployment, and maintenance of software and infrastructure. With a fill ratio nearly double the industry average, ProFocus carefully places tech talent for companies ranging from small businesses to large enterprise organizations.

ProFocus Technology has earned ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing Diamond Awards for both Client and Talent satisfaction for seven years running. ProFocus earned a spot on Portland Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Private 100 Companies, and Founder and President John Boone earned the Journal’s 2022 Executive of the Year. The company recently ranked #2 on Oregon Business’ 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon, and landed a spot on Oregon Business’ 100 Best Green Companies to Work for.


Ann Warren