IT talent isn't waiting for anyone

  • Ian Storey
  • 25/08/2017
  • 07:00
  • Recruitment
  • Insights
  • Candidate
  • Client

Despite the uncertainty caused by the general election, demand for candidates across the IT, digital and technology sectors has remained steady throughout Q2 of 2017.

While we are yet to see the full impact of Brexit, there is now evidence the UK’s decision to leave the EU is further adding to the skills shortage. Candidates in Europe are often reluctant to relocate to the UK, and a number of Europeans, in particular developers originally from Eastern Europe, are planning on returning to their home countries over the next 12 months citing Brexit as the reason.

Throughout the UK, companies seeking to expand are adapting to the skills shortage by relaxing technical requirements or hiring less experienced staff with a view to developing and upskilling. However, there is still a lack of understanding as to how the apprentice levy can aid businesses with the retention and development of technical talent. This is evidenced by the number of workbased learning degree places still available in Scotland due to employers not creating the opportunities.

The changes to IR35 in April created an increase in the number of contractors actively looking for work within the private sector, and many contractors will no longer consider working in the public sector. Contractors willing to work in the public sector are asking for higher day rates. As such the public sector will need to be more innovative in how it attracts and retains talent. The private sector contract market is dominated by financial services with investment banking being especially busy.

Counter-offers are now standard for permanent candidates and development candidates in particular can expect to receive multiple job offers in both contract and permanent markets. With inflation at a four year high, it is no surprise that candidates are focusing on the cash element of their package more so than in previous years when softer perks would have more influence on decision making. While not all employers are increasing wages, there are a number of businesses paying premium salaries to secure talent which has caused the frequency with which people move jobs to increase. The on-going skills shortage combined with the transactional mentality developing in permanent employees means that time to hire and Employer Value Proposition (EVP) should be high on the agenda of HR professionals.

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