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Tech News : Five-Year High For Tech Hiring

New figures from job search engine Adzuna and data provider Dealroom show that hiring in the tech industry has reached its highest level in five years.

Vacancies Exceeding Pre-Pandemic Levels

The data, which was compiled by Adzuna and Dealroom for the Government’s Digital Economy Council shows that job vacancies in the digital tech sector have now exceeded pre-pandemic levels and are at their highest level since 2016.

For example, in April 2021 almost 10,000 vacancies for software developers were recorded.  This figure is almost double the number recorded in the same period last year. Also, in May this year, 132,000 tech/digital job vacancies were recorded in a single week.

Increased Demand For Digital Services

The increased demand for digital services created by the pandemic was a key driver in the increase in tech job vacancies.  For example, the pandemic meant that retail, healthcare and other sectors had to rely more on digitisation and many businesses found that they were forced into an accelerated digital transformation.  These factors created greater demand for tech products and services, and this, in turn, increased demand for those who could develop tech products and services.

Big Investment in UK Tech Companies

Another factor driving the rise in UK tech vacancies has been the big increase in the investment in UK tech companies over the last year. For example, as reported by TechNation and Dealroom, despite the global pandemic, there was a record level of venture capital (VC) investment in 2020 into UK tech companies, with investment reaching $15bn. This investment, particularly in London, Oxford, Bristol, Cambridge, and Edinburgh, meant that the UK became the third highest investor in tech globally, behind the US ($144.3bn) and China ($44.6bn).

Start-up Hiring Strong

The investment in tech companies has fuelled tech start-ups which, in turn, has kept start-up hiring resilient, and this has contributed to more tech job vacancies.

Almost A Quarter of Tech Jobs Now Remote

One important pattern in the tech-jobs arena is that almost a quarter (22 percent) are remote. This figure represents a doubling of the figure from the same time last year and is likely to be heavily influenced by a general move to remote working during the pandemic as well as by jobhunters hoping to avoid commuting, together with the uncertainty of office-based work in a changing public health situation. This move to remote working has boosted tech job vacancies outside London, and particularly in the north-west of England (Manchester) and Birmingham.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Back in 2019, much of the focus was on the challenge of a tech skills gap. Investment through 2020, and the effects on demand for tech skills caused by a surge in demand for digital/tech services during the pandemic have boosted confidence in the industry, boosted vacancies, and changed the geography and nature of tech jobs e.g., away from London and in favour of remote work. The government is, of course, keen to talk-up these increases as evidence of its investment in what now appears to be a booming UK tech sector. For UK businesses, this shift in focus of tech job vacancies should mean that they are more able to fill roles and get their required tech skills from a wider pool of talent around the country, perhaps considering more remote input.