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Tech hiring trends in a fast-paced candidate market

Our new Tech Hiring Insider report looks at the most in-demand tech roles and explores the changing priorities of the UK tech workforce. Discover how to attract and retain tech talent in this quickly evolving market.

Tech hiring trends in a fast-paced candidate market

Over the past year, the UK tech industry has seen a huge shake-up in candidate movement. Whereas tech workers were somewhat hesitant to change jobs during the pandemic, many have taken pro-active steps to find a new role.

CWJobs’ latest report explores the UK economic outlook and how it has impacted the tech sector over the last year. It looks at the latest trends in job postings, sub-disciplines, roles and locations, as well as candidate activity and industry viewpoints.

Here are some of the key takeaways from our latest Tech Hiring Insider report:

Tech talent is on the move

We surveyed over 2,000 tech workers and found that over half (57%) changed jobs, or were made redundant over the past 12 months.

With nearly three quarters (73%) of tech workers indicating that they are planning to change jobs over the next year, it’s likely that this movement will continue for some time.

When tech teams are in flux, employers and recruiters have the opportunity to review what skills employees currently have, and what skills are needed for the future. In assessing current needs, companies may find that they don’t need like-for-like replacements, and instead need to source specialist skills, or upskill existing employees.

This strong candidate movement means that companies need to stand out from the competition to attract top talent. Employers need to ensure that they’re offering the types of benefits that appeal to tech workers in a candidate market. A competitive salary, flexible working, and progression opportunities are all important to today’s tech workforce.

Increased demand for infrastructure roles

Between the 1st January 2019 and the 31st March 2023, the top two job postings across IT sub-disciplines on the CWJobs platform have remained the same – ‘software development’, and ‘support’. However, the third top job posting has changed from ‘testing’ to ‘infrastructure’.

This development could suggest that companies are more focused on implementing emerging technologies like big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This trend would certainly align with recent research from IDC, which predicts that data growth will double from 2022 to 2026 due to connected devices and 5G networks.

As demand for infrastructure roles increases, companies should aim to reduce their time-to hire by shortening application forms and interview processes. Fast tracking applications and taking advantage of tools like CWJobs’ candidate recommender can help companies secure top talent quickly.

An uplift in applications for analysis roles

From January to March 2023, the top posted roles on our platform were .Net Developer, Data Engineer, DevOps Engineer, Senior Java Developer, and Java Developer. With similar findings for the same period in 2022, it’s clear that demand for development and engineering roles remains high.

An interesting development is the uplift in applications per vacancy  by sub-discipline for analysis-based roles. Comparing the first quarter of 2023 to the fourth quarter of 2022, the largest increases in applications were for business analysis, testing and software development, network analysis, infrastructure, and architecture roles.

From these findings, we might conclude that an increasing number of people are upskilling in analysis roles as data becomes ever more valuable to companies.

Recent research from the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) found that high performing organisations saw a 65% ROI with 190% more use of business analysis professionals using business data analytics practices.

Companies would do well to attract talent for analysis-based roles by expanding their talent pool to include candidates from non-tech backgrounds. Industries like finance, medicine, energy, and retail are all increasing the use of data to drive innovation and growth.

Tech workers are seeking financial stability

Our report finds that 45% of tech workers who had changed jobs (either by choice or because they were made redundant) accepted a role within a larger organisation.

Of those who were made redundant, the majority (75%) successfully moved into another role and report feeling secure (85%). We might assume therefore, that tech workers are seeking stability in an uncertain economy.

The survey also found that salary is still the most important factor in attracting talent. When asked what makes candidates respond to a direct approach for a new role, the majority said a competitive salary (46%), followed by rewards and benefits (41%), and the strong relevance of the role (32%).

This echoes the findings of our 2022 Confidence Index, where 53% of tech workers said they expected their salary to increase over the next 12 months. To retain tech talent, companies need to acknowledge employee financial pressures and provide incentives in addition to a high salary.

On the CWJobs platform, 35% of the jobs posted in the first quarter of 2023 were for high salary roles of over £90k. As such, employers need to ensure that salary expectations are being met to retain tech workers over the long-term.

For more valuable insights, data, and industry views on how to attract and retain tech talent in a fast-paced market, download our latest Tech Hiring Insider report, here.