Sector Trends Report

IT continues to surge across the UK with May proving to be the busiest month so far. When comparing IT vacancies in May 2022 to May 2021, we see that volumes are up by 55%. Analysed by year a similar story emerges, in that the monthly average for 2022 is 30% up on 2021.. The surge in IT vacancies looks set to continue in the months to come and we are forecasting that 2022 will see three times more postings than we saw in 2020.

Anecdotally we are hearing that part of the reason vacancy postings are hitting such record levels is due to the endemic skill shortages impacting the UK. It’s possible that businesses are conscious that hiring for certain positions can be challenging, consequently, they advertise hiring for multiple different roles, yet only hiring for one of the positions.

When looking at the IT function by department, Development and Engineering remains the leading area of recruitment, with vacancies up 45% compared to the same period last year. Interestingly though the fastest growing area is IT Management, between Change, Product and Projects. For many businesses, faced with a war for talent, along with increased flexibility post COVID for near sourcing, there is now the opportunity to tap into remote talent, packaging up workflow by person, with IT management positions sitting in HQ. For context, many of the start ups we monitor are advertising for development roles either remotely or in another country.

By Region, London is the holds the largest share of IT vacancies, accounting for 46% across England & Wales., Remote vacancies are on the rise and this option is now included in up to 11% of all advertised positions, which should come as no surprise, given that the biggest change in work since COVID has been the rise of work from home, ,. This is a phenomenally high amount compared to pre-covid, where 2% in IT was as high as we would see. Other regions worth mentioning include the South East, now responsible for 11% of all vacancies, along with the north west. (7%) By sector, technology companies are the biggest constituent, where between January and May we gathered over 32,000 vacancies from the sector, which accounts for 43% of all the IT positions advertised. However, when you consider a big part of this has been the continued growth in companies hiring after receiving funding, there may be concerns. In May alone start ups in London including DAZN, Zapp and Uncapped all announced plans for redundancies, where Pollen’s announcement was the largest of them all (33% of staff to go.) With funding also becoming significantly harder to secure, this could mean that the war for talent is likely to cool somewhat. As it stands, IT remains a hot area, equally for bigger businesses with offices across multiple jurisdictions, and the nature of the IT roles often means that if the right person can’t be found in the UK, they can be sourced through another team more easily than a start-up looking to create a culture and build its first product. With that, we are expecting businesses to look to seek to use FTCs more when they can as well, so they have more flexibility in scaling up and down teams while the market remains buoyant a word of caution for IT recruiters: Diversify.

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