Client Server Sales Director Nick Caley looks at the tech hiring trends shaping early 2022.
What a time to be a recruiter, eh?
For those of us au fait with crypto investing (and I use the term 'investing' loosely), the current tech recruitment market feels a little like that moment when your WhatsApp groups are popping to get on the latest crypto train before it's too late.
I wanted to share a light-hearted look at the market as Client Server sees it and advise clients how to find technologists at a price that feels vaguely affordable.
(That last point is tricky, but I'll do my best.)
Three big truths about the tech jobs market in 2022.
- Anyone with a modicum of technical expertise and interview preparation is wildly popular and will likely garner 7-10 interviews and 3 or 4 offers.
- We're seeing average salary increases of 20%. With counteroffers a foregone conclusion, many are seeing an additional 15-20% rises on top of their new offers.
- Remote working is a double-edged sword. It's now at the top of almost every candidate's wish list but also means that you're competing with everyone everywhere.
What tech skills are hot right now .
From a tech perspective, everything is popular. But there are wins to be had and bullets to be bitten – the trick is knowing when to do what.
Contract opportunities for SRE & DevOps engineers are everywhere, and you're looking at £85-100k for even decent mid-level (c3 year) candidates. So if you need Kubernetes and Python or Golang on top, then getting a sh*t hot contractor may be the way to go.
Even trusty Java is hard work. Engineers with the combination of Spring Boot, Microservices and Cloud are generally managing 10+ applications. With the language seemingly used in every nook and cranny domain-wise, it often means candidates have the pick.
The remote horse has bolted .
"Why bother looking in the UK?" I hear you ask. "Surely we should just outsource?" But, unfortunately, that moment is long gone. Many businesses are now paying 'London' salaries (so £90-100k base salary) for technologists who can work anywhere worldwide.
Where you should focus your hiring right now.
All is not lost. There are still ways that you can win the tech recruitment game. From our experience, it's down to compromising your requirements, having a super-slick hiring process, and paying for intelligence and aptitude, not just current expertise.
If you're hiring for SDETs, focus more on an automation mindset and less on programming. If it's product people you need, home in on their communication skills and aptitude, worry less about specific domain experience.
But if you're looking for Rust or Golang engineers, well, you're out of luck, I'm sorry to say.
Tips to improve your hiring processes.
Try and limit the number of take-home tests. We know they're super valuable, but they're tough to manage, and when candidates are popular, you're often going straight to the bottom of the list.
Keep your process to two stages: first, focus on personality, communication skills, and motivations. And yes, you can chuck in a tech discussion point or two because we know you can't help it. Make round two your all-in-one tech process, with a practical pairing session and design exercise. HR conversations are important, but they are ad-hoc rather than set in stone.
And look into visa sponsorship.
And look into visa sponsorship. Again, there's cost and admin involved, but of our c400 current clients, we estimate that maybe 20% are doing it. Simple math says any of that 20% can afford to think differently about where they source from, and right now, every little helps.