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Tech skills shortage still a problem for employers

Almost 95% of employers looking for tech talent have encountered a skills shortage over the past year, according to Hays.

In a survey of 13,000 employers and workers in the UK, 1,400 of which were in tech, the recruitment and HR firm found 94% faced a lack of talent last year, up from 89% the year before.

Hays director James Hallahan, who specialises in technology, said: “Tech skills gaps are intensifying as we continue to see fewer young people engaging in tech careers each year. There are ways businesses can get over this hurdle though.

“Upskilling, reskilling and training new talent is now critical to an organisation’s growth and should be central to any credible people strategy. Training opportunities not only allow employees to progress and reach their goals, but ensure employers gain a competitive edge to succeed in today’s ever-changing market.”

A lack of skilled tech talent has been an issue for many businesses in recent years. Previous research by Nash Squared found 68% of businesses were being held back by a lack of tech skills, while Remote found businesses were looking for tech talent in other countries.

More than 80% of employers have plans to recruit tech staff over the next year, according to Hays, but to help tackle the shortage of skills, 75% have plans to recruit talent they can then train rather than continuing to hunt for elusive skilled workers who tick every box.

Offering the opportunity to learn new skills could be a way to attract and retain new workers – something firms should have in mind with 63% of employees in the tech sector thinking about moving jobs over the next year.

“Upskilling, reskilling and training new talent is now critical to an organisation’s growth and should be central to any credible people strategy” James Hallahan, Hays

With a large number of young people leaving the technology sector for a variety of reasons, and the phrases “the great resignation” and “quiet quitting” gaining traction over the past year, organisations need to focus on ways to draw in new talent.

Hays found jobseekers have several priorities that could persuade them to take a job. Flexible working is a big draw, with 46% of those surveyed wanting to find a hybrid role and 43% seeking a fully remote role.

Last year, research by Thoughtworks found 60% of tech workers thought more needed to be done to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Meanwhile, Hays found 69% of those it asked said diversity and inclusion played into their decision-making when applying for a job, while sustainability was a consideration for 75% when looking at jobs.

Over 80% of respondents were also concerned with a company’s goals and purpose, hoping to find a job in an organisation that would have a positive impact.

A higher salary is something 55% of those asked would be tempted to move jobs for. Some 76% of employers said they had increased tech employee salaries in the past 12 months. Roles such as Salesforce architects, product managers and SAP basis consultants saw a more than 16% salary rise last year.

Hallahan explained: “Although tech professionals value pay when looking for a new role, our research shows that organisations need to make sure they are profiling their values when it comes to sustainability, the ‘why’ behind what they do, and how their organisation is attracting diverse and inclusive talent. Only then will organisations looking for tech talent stand out from the crowd.”

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