Britain’s booming tech sector is faring better than its EU and American rivals when it comes to attracting staff and filling vacancies.
New analysis by the world’s largest job site Indeed shows that the number of UK tech sector vacancies posted on the platform doubled (up by 101%) between October 2020 and October 2021.
Recruitment is a challenge for tech employers everywhere but it is comparatively easier in the UK than in any major EU country and the US.
In October, 37% of the UK tech vacancies listed on Indeed were classified as ‘hard to fill’ – that is, they had not been filled within 60 days of being posted.
By contrast, Germany (47%) and France (39%) had higher shares while over half of tech vacancies in the Netherlands (57%), Portugal (53%) and Belgium (51%) were deemed ‘hard to fill’.
Filling tech positions – many of which require people with specialist, in-demand skills – is trickier than it is for most jobs. Just 16% of all UK job postings on Indeed go unfilled for more than 60 days.
Insights into the squeeze for talent feature in tech VC Atomico’s annual State of European Tech Report, which is published today (7 December).
Two reasons may explain why Britain’s tech employers are finding it easier than their peers in Europe and the US.
The first is a steady increase in the popularity of tech jobs. Over the past two years, the number of jobseekers clicking on UK tech vacancies on Indeed has risen by 34%.
The second is that British tech jobs have become more popular among foreign applicants. In October 2021, more than one in 10 (11.3%) of the prospective candidates clicking on UK tech vacancies were based overseas. Two years previously, in October 2019, overseas applicants accounted for just 7.9% of interest.
During those two years, interest from EU candidates has remained flat, but enquiries from tech jobseekers living beyond Europe have picked up markedly.
Bill Richards, UK managing director at global job site Indeed, comments: “The rebounding economy has sparked a wave of hiring across the board but many sectors have seen a surge in the proportion of roles taking more than 60 days to fill.
“By contrast the success of Britain’s tech industry has long made it a challenging sector to recruit in. Not only do tech employers typically require people with specialist skills and experience, but they invariably face stiff competition from rival firms seeking to woo people from the same talent pool.
“But while the proportion of UK tech vacancies classed as ‘hard to fill’ is high at 37%, this number is the same now as it was two years ago. Crucially, as the demand for staff from tech employers has picked up, but so too has the popularity of tech as a career.
“Tech sector vacancies are attracting a third more interest from jobseekers now than they did two years ago, and more than one in 10 of those prospective candidates is based overseas – a sign that a job in UK tech remains an attractive proposition among foreign tech professionals.”