Despite the number of people working remotely increasing drastically throughout the pandemic, the entirety of roles being advertised in the UK saw a significant drop - including the tech sector. Many had assumed that with more people working remotely and more businesses developing their digital presence, the number of tech talent needed within organisations would increase. However, the number of technology jobs listed within the UK declined by 57% in the last year.
That being said, things are finally starting to improve. As you will have seen in our previous blog about the new wave of talent in the finance industry, the same can thankfully be said for the tech sector in the UK as well. Technology recruitment is now at its highest since 2019, according to a quarterly report on UK tech sector performance by KPMG.
Candidates in the UK tech sector
Data shows that the UK tech sector had returned to its usual hiring rates in Q1 2021. Following a slow start to the year in terms of recruitment, which can definitely be attributed to the national lockdown in January, recruitment resumed during February and March. Thankfully, this has resulted in a positive quarter for tech recruitment overall.
There are numerous reasons why there is currently a sudden surge in tech talent across the country. Firstly, those who unfortunately lost their jobs at some point during the pandemic and are still in the market to be hired are looking for their next challenge. Secondly, the talk around IR35 and changes in legislation saw a lot of tech contractors making the switch to look for permanent employment. Thirdly, the number of graduates looking for tech and computer science roles has hit a peak, with the country’s top employers receiving 41% more graduate applications this year, compared to the equivalent period in 2019-2020.
For employers, this can be viewed as both exciting and daunting news. Despite the surge in tech talent available in the market now, there has also been an enormous increase in the number of tech jobs being advertised. With traditional revenue streams resuming throughout organisations and recruitment budgets opening up once more, employers know that now is the time to find the tech talent they are in need of. According to KPMG research, the tech sector’s resilience throughout the pandemic up until now has led to the fastest rise in employment since Q2 2019.
How can employers find the tech talent they need?
Finding the talent your business needs can be seen as a challenge when starting to open up recruitment again following a period of uncertainty. However, there is no time like the present when it comes to finding the right tech candidates for your business. Despite the wave in tech talent in the UK, the number of job vacancies will continue to exceed the number of candidates available to fill these roles. Therefore, the trick is simple - find your next employees before your competitors find them.
Tech investment grew by 277% in Manchester during 2019, and this saw candidates from all over Europe moving to the UK and looking for tech roles outside London. So, for employers believing the majority of their competition remains in the capital, don’t be alarmed - but the tech sector is also increasing in the North West, the North East and Yorkshire, too.
With this being said, employers looking to find their new tech recruits should be doing the following:
Find a specialist tech recruitment partner - although you can spend the time looking for candidates yourself, with candidates being snapped up every day it is advisable to work with a trusted recruitment partner to help you find the best candidates as soon as possible.
Ensure your company stands out from the crowd - candidates seeing the sudden increase in jobs available will not only be looking for the role that suits their skillset, but also the company that is the best cultural fit for them. Invest in your careers page or site, ensuring your values are clear and employee benefits are listed in detail.
Take care of your workforce - tech candidates care less about which tech stack they will be using or which laptop they’ll have as part of the job, and more about if they can work remotely or have flexibility around picking their children up from school. Be clear with your current employees and also those going through the interview process on your company policies to ensure you not only find the best employees, but you retain them, too.
Get in touch
Finding the best talent for your business takes a lot of time and effort to find the right candidates, screen them, interview them and discuss onboarding. By working with a specialist tech recruitment partner, you can ensure that you find the best candidates out there through a quick, easy and seamless recruitment process. Get in touch with WSH Recruitment to have a chat about how we can take your workforce to the next level.