Skip to main content
4 min read

Recruitment cycles in the tech industry

Understanding hiring trends in tech helps recruiters hire more effectively. Learn more about how to plan your hiring strategy for the year ahead.

Understanding hiring trends in the tech sector helps recruiters target their campaigns more effectively. As one of the UK’s leading technology jobs boards, at CWJobs, we see similar recruitment trends every year. In this post, we share our thoughts into the tech hiring cycle to help recruiters plan their strategies for the year ahead.

A spike in job applicants in January

According to data reported by recruitment magazine Onrec, 24% of people make a new year’s resolution to change jobs, with a further 16% resolving to pursue a promotion within their current company. As with most other industries, the tech sector typically sees a spike in job applicants at the start of the year in January and February.

For most people, a new year encourages change on a personal and corporate level. Those who are in-between jobs feel more encouraged to seek out new opportunities, and those who are currently employed, often seek a career change.

Tech workers leaving one job for another at the start of the year has a knock-on effect. New hires need to be made the fill the vacancies of those that leave and a second round of recruitment is often required to fill the any new vacancies created as a result of internal hiring.

However, this January and February spike isn’t always driven by employees. Companies themselves often use the new year as an opportunity to restructure business operations and expand services or teams, thus creating new job opportunities.

Mild peaks and troughs until July

The second quarter of the year typically has its ups and downs. March in particular is usually slower than January and February where employers make more considered recruitment choices.

The hiring process can take longer than usual during these months as companies look for candidates with specialist skills that will add value to the company. This longer period of hiring also helps companies avoid making bad hiring decisions that could cost them money long-term.

This period also coincides with the end of the financial year and companies often find themselves with adjusted budgets for the year ahead. As such, many tech businesses find themselves with more money to spend on hiring in April, which can see an increase in advertised job roles.

From June onwards, tech employers often look to attract newly-qualified university students for their graduate schemes.

A drop in applications in August

Come August, job applications tend to take a dip in the tech industry. August is generally viewed as summer holiday month in the UK and we might assume that jobseekers are too preoccupied enjoying their time off to search for jobs.

Similarly, most schools in England and Wales finish up for the summer in late July, which means workers with families are more likely to take time off throughout August.

Tech workers who are looking to move companies, apply for promotions or change their role within their current company are also less likely to apply for vacancies when they’re on holiday.

A second increase in October

Following a slow August, recruitment is quickly back on the agenda after the summer and the tech sector typically sees a second spike of the year around October.

At CWJobs, we usually see an increase in job vacancies around this time as schools have returned and companies start planning for upcoming events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

A drop in November and December

After a busy October, the final two months of the year are typically quieter on the recruitment front. Jobseekers looking for full-time positions tend to postpone their efforts until the new year as they prepare to wind down for Christmas.

However, we do tend to see an increase in temporary positions being advertised, which we might assume is due to the Christmas rush. In November and December, retail companies in particular often require extra IT support, including web development and cyber security.

It’s clear that the technology sector does go through recruitment cycles. Employers and recruiters should take note of these trends in order to effectively plan their hiring strategies for the coming year. Recruiters should also bear in mind, that despite seasonality, top talent is available all year round, even during slower months.

At CWJobs, employers and recruiters are given access to 1.2 million CVs and can manage candidates using one single system. Employers can showcase their brand to attract candidates that fit their business and our managed service provides strategic recruitment and ongoing hiring support. Find out more about advertising on CWJobs here.