The first half of this year has most certainly been turbulent. From the cost-of-living crisis to the threats of a recession on the horizon, continued supply chain issues because of lingering COVID-19 fallout, as well as the war in Ukraine, and the most competitive job market the landscape has seen in decades, businesses and individuals alike are having to quickly adapt.
Looking specifically at the jobs market, the first quarter of the year began on an optimistic note with permanent placements starting strong. However, as time went by, it became clear that employers were going to have to fight against a multitude of challenges, like wage inflation. Sectors such as hospitality and catering fell victim to the Great Resignation sweeping the country in the post-COVID era.
As a result, Q2 saw some of the sharpest rises in salaries due to a lack of available talent in the market. However, in June, the number of vacancies grew at its softest pace yet. There’s clearly some levelling out happening, albeit very slowly.
But do all the same rules apply for the Tech industry? Let’s breakdown the past six months and see what’s been happening for this sector in particular…
It’s been, and still is, an incredibly competitive market
The number of Tech roles in the market has hit a ten-year high in recent months, now making up 14 per cent of all job opportunities in the UK. And there’s no denying that finding the talent to fill these roles is difficult. Skills shortages are rife and as a result, competition for existing talent is hot.
Candidates are receiving multiple job offers, some are being counteroffered, and the needs and wants of talent are becoming greater as their value continues to increase. Indeed, in some places, salaries are being raised by between 20–25 per cent to meet candidates’ expectations. Candidates know what they want, and they aren’t afraid to wait to get it.
This situation feels very different to other markets, where it’s more commonplace to reach offer stage and be very certain that you, as an employer, are in control. In Tech, anything could happen.
There’s been a brilliant shift to prioritising benefits
Businesses have had to really take stock about what it is they’re doing to not only attract staff but retain them too. Compared to only a few years ago, there’s been an amazing shift towards listening carefully to everyone’s unique needs, from flexible working to better maternity/paternity policies, mental health awareness and physical health support, and truly implementing a tailored benefits package. Companies are beginning to recognise and understand that their people are their greatest assets and will do so much more to keep them.
One of the key benefits we’ve seen, that perhaps goes against the grain compared to other markets, is that of increased pension contributions. It appears that those within the Tech market are really thinking about their future and want to be secure in the knowledge that they can retire comfortably.
The interview process has become far more succinct
In the current market, we’re seeing roles that would usually be snapped up quickly taking a little longer to be filled – but employers have responded positively to this and have really sharpened up their recruitment processes. Where previously we may have seen anywhere between four and six steps in the hiring chain, now we’re seeing no more than two in most cases.
And it’s not just the length of the process that is becoming far easier for candidates, but so is the medium that they are conducted on. So many employers are much happier to meet with candidates online, enabling the interview to fit around them – a big, and much-needed, step forward.
Additionally, this positive step towards remote interviewing has also been beneficial to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion of the market – especially in more rural areas. Online interviews and remote working models have enabled all businesses to open up to an amazingly diverse talent pool that would have before been unreachable.
The Tech world is changing rapidly and there’s still no clear path for what happens next when it comes to recruitment solutions. However, I can safely say that I believe it will continue to be a candidate-led market at least until the end of this year and maybe into next. It’s crucial for employers and hiring managers to stay up to date with the market trends and react accordingly if they are to stay ahead of the competition.
If you work in the Tech sector and are looking for recruitment solutions in the Exeter region, please contact our friendly team who will be more than happy to help.