Over 70% of employers expect a shortage of technology professionals

Over 70% of employers believe that they will face a shortage of technology professionals over the next year, according to research from Robert Walters, totaljobs and Jobsite. Shortages are expected to be most acute at mid-management level (55%), while 36% of employers expect to struggle to secure junior technology specialists. Just 9% expect the most severe shortages at senior levels.

Ahsan Iqbal, Director, Robert Walters Manchester, comments: “Britain’s technology sector has enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth over the past few years through a combination of overseas investment and a vibrant community of start-up businesses operating in this space. While we are seeing a growing number of young people entering the field with a wide range of skill sets, the legacy of the 2008 financial crisis is creating ongoing challenges for employers. Junior level hiring dropped significantly during the recession, and this has created a skills bottleneck at the mid-level today, with an insufficient number of professionals with the required experience available to meet demand.”

The research also revealed that many employers believe that Britain’s technology sector is unprepared to compete on the Global stage. Just 11% felt that the UK was very well prepared while 24% felt that the UK was somewhat unprepared or very unprepared.

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Ahsan Iqbal continues: “It is important to bear in mind that almost half of employer believe that Britain is at least somewhat prepared to compete in the global technology market. However, with almost a quarter of employers expressing concerns, hiring managers may have to consider how they will attract and retain professionals with the necessary skills to help their business flourish. Competitive salaries, flexible and remote working strategies as well as the opportunity to work on interesting projects are all effective in helping employers to source desirable professionals. In terms of finding professionals with the requisite skill set, employers may also want to consider attracting candidates who are willing to relocate, both in the UK and internationally. Engaging with international recruitment agencies can give hiring managers access to talent from around the globe.”

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Martin Talbot, Director at totaljobs, adds: “The technology sector boasts an incredible amount of exciting opportunities, which will continue for years to come, thanks to continued advancement in areas such as artificial intelligence. Rapid technological progress means that many existing candidates may not have the required level of specialist skills when it comes to cyber security, BI and data management, or software development. Therefore, it is important for employers to remember the value of technology professionals’ transferable skills, including project and programme management, as well as strong interpersonal skills when recruiting.

“Employers may want to consider investment in additional training for new recruits who already possess key transferable skills. Additionally, casting the recruitment net wider to overseas candidates is essential; the UK is the fourth most attractive country for IT and technology professionals worldwide, proving candidates are determinedly searching for their next opportunity.”

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