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Tech confidence remains high in 2022 although levels declining year-on-year

This year’s Confidence Index reveals a cautiously optimistic future for the tech sector in 2022 and beyond. Post-pandemic, we see tech workers’ expectations of employers increase as companies continue to focus on recruiting from a wider talent pool. Learn more about the current state of the UK’s tech industry and how you can future-proof your business.

CWJobs’ fourth annual Confidence Index comes at a challenging time for the tech industry. With the status of the IT department as a ‘hero’ fading, and with budgets being tightened, companies are continuing to face the challenge of attracting tech talent to fill their skills gaps.

However, the research, which surveys 1,000 tech workers and over 500 IT decision makers, reveals that confidence levels among tech workers remain high with 77% saying they feel confident in the state of the industry. Looking at the broader picture, however, we see that there has been a continual decline in confidence levels over the past four years with figures dropping from 89% in 2019.

With the tech industry outlook looking increasingly uncertain, this year’s report provides a wealth of valuable insights to help recruiters develop a robust hiring strategy and stay ahead of the competition. We share insights into the latest recruitment trends, and provide actionable advice on how companies can attract and retain top tech talent in current market conditions.

Technology being produced in the UK

Post-pandemic, the top confidence driver has shifted from the importance of technology in maintaining business continuity (which was 30% last year), to the technology being produced in the UK (22% this year).

This top driver is followed by the skills in the industry (21%) and then the continued importance of technology at 18%. This is then followed very closely by job salary (18%) and job security in the industry (18%). This year’s top drivers demonstrate that tech workers are looking forward and are focused on what the industry has to offer them.

Tech workers are also acutely aware of how external factors are shaping the industry, with top concerns including the ongoing impact of Brexit (19%), world events such as the war in Ukraine (18%) and the impact of cost-of-living on the sector (17%).

Despite these concerns (which aren’t exclusive to tech), most workers expect their salary to increase over the next year (57%), and almost one quarter (24%) feel they deserve a promotion in the next year. With these high expectations, companies really need to focus in on what tech workers want from a role.


Tech workers moving from smaller tech companies to larger organisations

Despite uncertainty across the tech industry, workers remain optimistic about changing roles over the next 12 months. Our research finds that just 24% of workers plan to stay in their current role, down from 29% in 2021. Micro companies (1-9 people) are at the biggest risk of losing staff, with just 15% of employees saying they want to stay, compared to 29% of people at companies with 500+ employees.

It appears that the Great Resignation is set to continue across the tech sector. For the first time, we’ve observed tech workers moving from smaller tech companies to larger organisations, suggesting that job security is a growing consideration for candidates.

The top reasons for wanting to move jobs include, moving house as a result of flexible working policies (11%), wanting to re-locate (9%), and going for a tech role at a different company (9%).

Cautious optimism among senior leaders

Our report finds that senior leaders are equally optimistic about salaries moving forward, with a quarter (24%) planning to increase the number of pay rises in the next 12 months. This is a smart move for employers that are looking to attract top talent as it’s clear that tech workers expect higher salaries this year.

These figures are in stark contrast to the number of senior leaders that plan to reduce the number of pay-rises (12%). What’s more, nearly a third (30%) also plan to offer pay increases to help combat the rising cost of living.

However, despite this, senior leaders are comparably less confident about the resilience of the industry (44%) and their ability to futureproof their business. With several high-profile tech companies having made staffing cut-backs in the last year, we might expect more of the same in the coming 12 months.

Only 15% of IT decision-makers said their organisation is unlikely to be impacted by the current economic situation, with 30% saying they will explore more remote work to save on costs, 24% saying they will ask remote workers to take a pay cut, and 21% expecting a reduced IT budget.

Attracting talent in turbulent times

As tech workers’ focus shifts to career development, now is the time for employers to create a hiring strategy. Our research reveals that 39% of IT decision-makers plan to put a stronger focus on tech hiring to remain as competitive as possible. As such, companies need to ensure they have a wide talent pool to recruit from to ensure they have the skills they’ll need to meet demand and stay ahead of the competition.

At CWJobs, we’ve long been advocates for building a diverse and inclusive team, and this year, we expect to see an increasing number of companies widening their search for candidates from a variety of backgrounds. Our report finds that four in ten (38%) IT decision makers say diversity and inclusion will be a top focus over the next 12 months. Top strategic initiatives will include hiring talent from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds (27%), hiring people from various ethnic backgrounds (27%), and placing more focus on balancing the gender pay gap in their company (25%).

What’s more, with the cost-of-living crisis intensifying, half (49%) of employees feel their company should be more mindful of their financial situation, and (47%) say they should be more mindful of their mental health.

For more insights into the current state of tech recruitment, download our Confidence Index 2022 report.