Tech Hiring in Uncertain Times: Trends and Insights in Today’s Tech Recruitment Market

At Vocative we know how challenging it is to find and secure the technology talent you need to take your business forward, regardless of whether it’s a boom or bust cycle. Which is why we look closely at the tech hiring market and provide you with insights and advice on the latest tech recruitment trends that can help you reach the right people, at the right time.

Join us as we explore the challenges and opportunities of recruiting top tech talent in a time of rapid change.

The Current Tech Hiring Climate

Despite ongoing economic uncertainty in the UK economy, it seems we are seeing a degree of rebalancing in the technology jobs market. Unfilled vacancies in the sector are down, but skills shortages and uncertain economic conditions are still making recruiting difficult for technology businesses and departments.

Big names such as Google, Twitter and Microsoft have all laid off staff but the demand for tech talent from SMEs and startups remains high. Big tech firms are no longer seen as a safe bet by employees, particularly those at the beginning of their career, opening the doors for smaller businesses to snap up rising tech talent.

For IT leadership, the lure to manage a function, department and/or company start-up or scale-up has meant that SMEs are in a prime position to access talent with a Big Tech pedigree and/or previous experience in a similar operation.

Not though at a discount, with salaries in tech still showing growth, up nearly 6% over last year. This is largely down to the fact that digital and technology skills are increasingly sought-after by businesses operating in every industry, forcing employers to offer bigger salaries to attract talent in a competitive market.

Those tech layoffs are also threatening diversity gains in the technology sector with female and BAME workers disproportionately affected.

5 Tech Recruitment Trends to Watch

For employers who want to attract and retain high-calibre tech talent in today’s market here are the latest tech recruitment trends to be aware of:

Rethinking the hiring process

Tech isn’t the only industry where employers are having to rethink the way they work, and hire. Traditional recruitment models are simply no longer fit for purpose in a fast-paced, connected, competitive and candidate-centred market.

Recruiters are encouraging employers to simplify their hiring process. Boiling them down to the fundamentals of competencies and skills. Skills-based interviews and assessments are designed to encourage candidates to share real-world examples of their abilities that illustrate exactly how they will succeed in the role. One important caveat to make here is not to ask candidates to do anything in an interview setting that they won’t be asked to do in the role.

Employers must also think more holistically. Learning to see hiring as one part of an overall employee lifecycle that is bolstered by better recruitment processes and stronger onboarding practices. Onboarding is increasingly being seen as the difference between a successful employee and a failed recruitment process.

Candidate experience will win in a competitive market

Tech talent is also making their views on the hiring process known. 78% of candidates would drop out of an application if the process was too slow, with 37% saying they would drop out if they found the process too complicated.

Tech talent today expect a quick turnaround and prompt communication and decision making and employers who fail to provide a good candidate experience will lose out on the most desirable talent to quicker competitors. Candidates also expect greater detail before applying to a role than ever before. Eye catching job descriptions need to include information such as salary, required skills, location, benefits, and the expected working model.

Those employers that can leverage automation to provide quicker hiring processes and better experiences for candidates will find hiring easier as they are able to form good relationships with talent in the hiring process. This yields an engaged talent pool full of passive candidates with favourable feelings towards them as a potential employer.

Standing out from the crowd with stronger employer branding

How often do employers ask themselves what they bring to the table before beginning the hiring process? With strong competition for the best tech talent, employers need to provide a compelling Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to stand out from the crowd and attract skilled tech professionals. This means asking themselves what candidates want and finding new ways to measure up.

Research from Deloitte shows that tech professionals value flexibility, purpose and opportunities to upskill and develop their careers. Tech employers need to make these principles a central part of their employee-employer relationship and their employer brand if they want to stand out from the competition.

Many SMEs do this well! Employer branding goes beyond the amount of advertising you can purchase and smaller businesses have more practice articulating the opportunities and scope to succeed available to candidates.

More inclusive recruitment practices

Incorporating inclusivity into recruitment practices is about more than meeting diversity goals. By making DE&I central to the overall hiring process, tech employers can expand the pool of available talent, address skills shortages and become more innovative and disruptive in the tech space.

To achieve this, data-driven approaches can be used to identify where and when to reach out to underrepresented talent. By proactively reaching out to these communities, employers can create pathways for individuals who might not have considered a career in tech otherwise. Vocative’s Transparent Search is a great way to begin with a diverse talent pool, ensuring a demonstrably fair and inclusive hiring process, whichever candidate is successful.

However inclusive hiring practices alone are not enough. To retain diverse talent, employers must focus on creating inclusive, supportive cultures to help individuals thrive in their roles through initiatives such as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and mentorship schemes.

Quality over quantity – making every hire count

In times of rising costs, skills shortages and squeezed resources, tech firms can no longer rely on hiring in large numbers to meet their needs. Indeed, some big players have shown this dramatically in layoffs designed to consolidate departments and reduce unnecessary costs.

Instead, the focus will shift to a less is more approach that centres on cost reduction and efficiency enhancement. To achieve this, technology recruitment will have to concentrate on improving the quality of every hire. Finding strong, skilled professionals who can turn their hand to many projects and enjoy a long, fruitful lifecycle at a business will be a key priority for the months ahead.

And those big tech employees who have been released back into the market will present a unique opportunity for smaller businesses and start-ups to attract quality tech talent with the offer of more flexibility, and more exciting and innovative work.

Harness these trends to make hiring the right technology talent easy for your business.

Put Tech Recruitment Insights to Work with Vocative Consulting

At Vocative we work closely with you to identify and secure the right people for your business through market insights and strategy, team planning, role design and bespoke campaigns and searches.

Learn more about how we can help you source high-calibre senior technology professionals or contact us directly to discuss your tech hiring needs.

Sign up to our newsletter