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The worst assumption companies are making about the tech market right now

Posted on 4/03/2021
by Nick Boulton

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There’s an assumption in the tech jobs market that we need to stamp out fast: That’s there’s a stack of top talent lying dormant, bored of their jobs, just waiting to be offered the next great opportunity.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Despite rising unemployment, lockdown and the slow road to recovery, the UK’s tech sector hasn’t slowed down.

Technology businesses are thriving and they are desperate for talent to help them scale and accelerate growth. The demand for top-shelf devs and engineers is big right now. But this is where many businesses are tripping up. They think they’re in a client-led market, but tech is very much still candidate-driven.

So, what factors are affecting this talent shortage?

  • Covid: Seems an obvious one, but before the numbers started to drop, the UK had some of the highest infection and death rates in the world, not the most appealing reason to relocate to these Sunny Isles. Not to mention how heavily the UK technology industry has relied on foreign talent for years.

  • Brexit: With the implementation of the new settlement Visa for EU nationals and the points-based visa for everyone else, it has added another barrier to entry. We have seen a reduction in EU applications by nearly 30%. This, combined with companies that have not already organised themselves with the new sponsorship licence, means their hiring options are reduced already.

  • Rising Salaries: With the best people in such demand, salaries are on the rise. Candidates are getting extraordinary salary hikes as competition for their services is sky-high. With all companies operating remotely, they’re unable to play their trump card(s) of “Great benefits, awesome culture or flexible working”. Please don’t fool yourself that because you are offering remote working you’re going to get a great candidate for cheap. We’re all in the same boat, so everything counts.

  • The Counter Offer: A lot of businesses have cottoned on to this rise in demand for their best engineers, so if they haven’t already readdressed salaries and promotions, they certainly are when they are presented with a resignation letter from their ‘favourite techie’. Buying their services for another £10K, £20K or even £30K, is cheap in this market.

So my advice to anyone looking to hire at the moment:

  1. Make sure your own house is in order and you are paying your team market rates.
  2. Start the hiring process sooner than you think as it always takes longer than planned.
  3. Have a well thought out, thorough but concise interview process.
  4. Offer the right salary level - If you haven’t already, talk to us at Client Server about what the market is paying.

Hiring the best tech talent doesn't need to be hard. Client Server is uniquely placed to be able to assist with all hiring requirements. Let's start the conversation - call us now on 0207 090 2500


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