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Tech hiring trends in an uncertain economy

CWJobs’ latest report looks at the most in-demand tech roles and explores current working practices. Discover how you can attract and retain tech talent in today’s competitive market.

Tech hiring trends in an uncertain economy

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact individuals and businesses across the UK, the need for companies to stand out is ever more important. The demand for tech skills continues to outweigh supply, and companies are having to work harder to attract candidates.

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

The pressure to find the right tech talent continues

According to Totaljobs’ latest hiring trends index, more than a quarter (27%) of companies expect it to be challenging to fill tech vacancies in 2023. However, despite challenging economic conditions, a third of employers plan to increase their recruitment efforts in the first quarter of the year.

Ongoing skills shortages mean that employers need talent more than ever. As such, unemployment rates are only expected to peak at 4.9% (compared to 8.4% in 2008).

On the candidate side, the top driver behind job searching over the next 12 months, is expected to be a higher salary (57%) as jobseekers aim to counteract the rising cost of living.

In addition to ensuring that salaries are competitive, companies need to make an extra effort to recruit from as wide a talent pool as possible. Our research finds that 75% of candidates consider a company’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) policy to be important when applying for a role.

Demand for developer and engineering roles

Last year*, the most posted roles on the CWJobs platform were Java Developer, Business Analyst, .NET Developer, DevOps Engineer, and Data Engineer.

However, when we look at the most applied for roles on our platform, we see some differences in the skills candidates currently have, and those that employers are looking for. The most applied for roles over the same period were Business Analyst, Scrum Master, DevOps Engineer, Project Manager, and .Net Developer.

We might conclude then, that in 2023, employers will find it most challenging to recruit for Java Developer and Data Engineer roles, given that they don’t feature in the top roles that candidates have been applying to.

To combat this, employers could focus on upskilling their existing workforce by investing in training and mentoring that will futureproof their talent needs.

Similarly, highlighting training opportunities on job adverts can encourage applications from tech workers who are keen to gain more experience in Java development and data engineering.

More targeted candidate searches

We noticed that candidates are using more targeted search terms on our platform. The most popular searches in 2022 were Business Analyst, Project Manager, IT, Cyber Security, and IT support.

As such, employers should be as specific as possible in the job titles they use to ensure they attract candidates with the right skills.

Our research finds that the most important details in a job advert are salary (46%), location (34%), required skills (31%), employee benefits (30%), and working hours (29%).

So, recruiters should also make job adverts as comprehensive as possible to help candidates make informed decisions about whether the role is right for them.

A desire for hybrid working practices

Hybrid working, where employees have the option to work both from home and the office, has overtaken remote working as the most popular practice.

According to research from Robert Half, 73% of tech leaders agree that remote working is limiting junior employees’ opportunities to develop new skills. In turn, this is having negative implications on retention.

Whereas the opportunity to work from home is appealing to candidates, they also need access to the resources that are available in an office environment, such as the insights and experience offered by senior workers.

Our own research finds that 31% of tech workers like to have fixed days to come into the office, and 50% would be put off if a job was fully office-based. What’s more, 76% would be more likely to apply for a job if it provided a 4-day working week.

The need for a short time-to-hire

In a competitive market, employers need to shortlist, interview and make job offers quickly. When asked what would cause them to disengage from the recruitment process, 43% of candidates said a long recruitment process. On average, respondents expect the whole process to take two to three weeks.

Other reasons that tech workers would drop out of a job application include being offered another opportunity (39%), finding out about aspects of the job that weren’t clear on the advert (31%), feedback being too slow (26%), and not enjoying the interview experience (26%).

To keep recruitment times short, and to ensure candidates receive a positive experience, employers could use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). These systems provide greater visibility across the recruitment cycle, so that candidates don’t fall through the cracks.

Download our latest Tech Hiring Insider report, here.


* Source: 1st Jan to 29th of November