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Dan Hammond-Smith, Divisional Director, Oakstone Interrnational

Challenging times ahead for software recruitment market

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Rapid growth in demand and shortage of talent creates tricky situation

Industry specialists continue to warn of challenges in finding the right candidates in the current buoyant software recruitment market.

The rapid upturn in demand and a talent shortage is creating a difficult situation for businesses that wish to expand. Specialists warn that companies need to invest sufficient time, money, and expertise in the employment process if they wish to succeed.

Experts say that one of the reasons for the current challenging situation is an increasing number of recruiters in the technology industry, resulting in candidates receiving significantly more cold approaches than before.

Additionally, remote recruiting has sped up recruitment procedures, even though companies have added layers and touchpoints to ensure that they’re hiring the right talent.

Tristan Heywood, Divisional Director at Oakstone International, commented: “I’m 21 years at Oakstone and I can’t remember a time when we have been busier. Literally every tech company is hiring at scale, which is not only driving salaries up, but also challenging candidates to make the right decision – and that situation is unlikely to change in the near future.”

“There are simply not enough qualified/experienced resources to deliver against the demand across every function – whether that’s technical, marketing, consulting or sales – the average candidate is overwhelmed with offers and for many, the primary metric for measuring an opportunity is on the salary rather than a holistic focus on earnings, culture and genuine career prospects.”

“Software is now driving everything – new banks are essentially technology platforms – and traditional industries are being fully automated by tech and therefore the demand for staff is constant and is only getting bigger and greater and more difficult.

“Companies will also have to think about how to sell their brand to attract the right people. Packaging your opportunity based on earning scope, leadership, personal development and culture will be critical. Otherwise you are in a straight salary shoot-out and if you don’t sell a vision then the risk is that highest payer will win”

Dan Hammond-Smith, Divisional Director at Oakstone International, added: “As we continue to move towards a hybrid working model, most clients who we partner with have adapted and adjusted.

“Those that haven’t – and those that aren’t willing to – will lose candidates because employees are more than ever calling the shots about when they want to be in the office. People’s priorities have changed.”

“There is probably a 20 per cent increase in terms of base salaries within senior technology roles from even where we were last year – coupled expectations of bonus, decent pensions, investment in people’s betterment, learning and well-being – and you have a pretty competitive landscape.

“At the start of 2021, the standard interview process within technology was 27.5 days – now, for most of my clients, it’s 14 days. That’s because they have now got to be even more competitive in the market to succeed.”

All indications are that UK businesses need to continue adjusting and extending sufficient resources in the recruitment process to thrive in the current challenging business climate.

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