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Salary increases seen across digital technology and IT roles

By James Milligan, Director UK & Ireland, EMEA for Technology and Project Solutions

The hiring of skilled technology professionals is firmly on 2018’s agenda for many, if not most, UK organisations. Considering the wider landscape of increasing cyber risks and rapid digitalisation, this demand for technological skills is hardly a surprise, and as a result many roles in this area have seen significant salary increases over the last 12 months.

Cyber security skills are in high demand

Perhaps most notably, the cyber-threat landscape is evolving at a daunting pace. The growth in both digital devices and automated systems has opened organisations up to new risks that may disrupt operations or compromise the integrity of sensitive data, and consequently cause critical reputational damage.

According to official figures, last year nearly half of UK businesses detected a cyber-attack or breach of computer systems. Of course, some of these attacks were far more high-profile than your typical fraudulent email. When the dark cloud of WannaCry ransomworm hit multiple NHS trusts and bodies, disrupting appointments and surgeries across the country, perhaps the only silver lining was a renewed focus on more effective cyber security.

As a result of the increasing threat level, qualified cyber security professionals – especially those with regulatory experience – will be in increasingly high demand over the next 12 months. However, there is a notable shortage of these skills, and our recent Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide shows that salaries for cyber security roles have seen a dramatic increase as employers compete to secure and keep the best talent.

Developers and data professionals also see salary increases

In addition, as consumers’ expectations change, many organisations are upgrading their digital product and service offerings. As such, there is an increasing need for skilled developers, notably those with front-end/UI experience and with Java and scalable programming language fluency. Similarly, data insights are increasingly a key component of maintaining a competitive advantage, and BI and data science professionals are finding themselves more in demand.

As per their cyber security counterparts, the competition for developers and data science professionals, combined with the relative scarcity of adequately experienced candidates, has meant that these roles have seen notable salary inflation.

Continued focus on digital transformation and cloud migration

Whilst such digital roles are experiencing the greatest salary increases, certain IT roles have not been exempt from these either. A continued focus on digital transformation is helping drive large-scale projects, and cloud infrastructure continues to proliferate. Reflecting the value their skillsets bring, project and change management professionals and those with Azure and AWS experience have seen their remuneration packages grow.

With salaries in this industry being driven upwards by increasing demand for technological skills, fierce competition for talent and a shrinking candidate market, organisations should aim to set themselves apart as an employer of choice in order to attract and retain the best.

Further to benchmarking salaries, employers with a progressive attitude to work-life balance, a flexible working offering and good development opportunities should promote their culture as a key asset to potential and current employees. Having a strong employee value proposition that is tailored to the type of candidates they are looking to attract will be vital in these times of acute skills shortages, especially to those employers concerned about increasing salary expectations.

Find out further recruiting trends for IT, request your copy of the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide.

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

James is Director of Hays IT, Digital Technology and Project Solutions in the UK, Ireland and EMEA. Having joined in 2000, he is responsible for the strategy of Hays’ Project Solutions, IT and Digital Technology businesses, which includes IT contracting, permanent technology recruitment, resource augmentation and statement of work solutions across both the private and public sectors.

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