On the back of another record high of $15bn VC investment in the UK tech sector in 2020, the majority of UK tech companies have not changed their growth plans post pandemic and urgently need to recruit highly skilled staff.
The shortage of tech talent has been well documented with a recent report revealing 69% of UK business owners are experiencing a digital skills shortfall.
This has led to the tightest UK labour market for over 4 decades with fewer candidates for every vacancy advertised.
Across the high-growth tech sectors - Cyber Security, HealthTech, Clean Energy and AgriTech, FinTech, CreaTech - candidates for roles in data science, software engineering, UI/UX, data and application security, AI and machine learning, and full stack software development are especially in-demand.
The UK now has over 42,000 start-ups and nearly 10,000 corporate tech companies spread across the country who are vying for the industry’s brightest talent.
Competing for Tech Talent
There are three principle areas where you and your company can find an advantage and widen the available talent pool:
Remote working – almost 30% of IT companies are not expecting their workforce to return to their normal place of work, compared to 13% who have already returned, according to the ONS. Half of IT companies intend to use increased homeworking as a permanent business model. The reasons for this include: the ability to better match skills to jobs; the need to respond to the evolving employment market and what many employees want; the ability to recruit from a wider UK and international geographical pool; increased productivity; reduced overheads; improved staff wellbeing; reduced carbon emissions.
Salaries - pressure on salaries is continuing to increase as the demand for highly skilled digital employees outstrips the supply many times over, especially in London, Oxford, the M4/M3 corridor and Cambridge. Ergo, if a company is able to compete on salary, this may well be an advantage. Either way, we recommend that clients review salaries for existing employees every six months across the organization.
Visa schemes – post Brexit, new routes to work in the UK are also opening up. The Global Talent scheme is available to leaders or potential leaders in digital technology and allows candidates to come to the UK without a job offer to stay and work for up to 5 years. Global Talent visas for tech candidates are endorsed by TechNation which has also recently launched its Thrive programme to support new tech talent arriving in the UK.
The Recruitment Process Takes Too Long
Make it easier for the calibre of candidates you’re targeting. More than a third (36%) of technology hiring managers - and 49% of candidates - believe the recruitment process takes too long, with more than a quarter of companies (27%) facing competition for candidates who receive multiple job offers.
Further. Tech companies are preferring benefits that align more with pandemic working. The employee of today will likely place great emphasis on personal time, hobbies, work-life balance and wellbeing (a recent report indicated that 32% are unsatisfied with the work-life balance on offer for many roles).
At RWA we believe we have some answers.
An attractive employer will have good values and a dynamic culture, but there are added selling points that’ll make a business stand out in the crowd. As a starter, we are happy to work with companies to brainstorm an approach that is tailored to your particular strengths on the ground: to compete on your terms.
Get ahead by reaching out to Richard Wheeler to chart a path through these costly, time consuming, job market realities. Find out more about our cutting edge recruitment solutions or request a call back.