Hays UK jobs and employment blog


Considering a new career this new year? Discover the top jobs employers will be looking for in 2020!

By Simon Winfield, Managing Director, Hays UK & Ireland



As the saying goes, “New Year, New Career”. Some of you may have headed back to work with the January blues – money worries after a Christmas splurge and depressed at the thought of a long commute on unreliable trains – and will be wondering what career options you might have. Even those of you who have the most amazing boss and love your job might have enjoyed some time off over Christmas and been busy thinking about what you want from your career this year.

If your career is one of your new year’s resolutions, firstly think about what skills you have and where you want to take your career. Consider what type of companies your skill set might be best suited to. Are you looking to take a step up or a sideways move to shift industries or gain some new experience? Over half (55%) of UK workers plan to look for a new job in the coming year as over a third of staff (37%) say there is no scope for progression within their current organisation, according to the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 guide.

Consider what’s really important to you – it’s rarely just about money. Perhaps you want to improve your commute, you crave more flexibility, or you haven’t got any options for career progression or promotion where you are. Write a list of what’s vital with any move and what is a ‘nice to have’ – it will help you to be clear with any recruiters you speak to and make sure you are moving for the right reason.

Secondly, look at the market. Speak to your peers and industry experts. They will know where the opportunities lie, whether it is a good time for you to move and what you can expect. It is important to be realistic in your job search and to understand what pay you can expect and how likely you are to find a new role and in what timeframe. Build a relationship with your recruiter so they can best support your job search. Look at pay comparison sites and salary guides to check what’s a realistic salary for your level and organisation.

Next, look specifically at what roles employers will be looking for. If you have the skills that are most in-demand from employers you’ll be more likely to secure a new job quickly, be in a better position to negotiate more on salary and have more options open to you. This year, we’ve analysed the top 10 roles that are likely to be most in demand from employers. The roles that make up the top ten list are commanding above average salary increases as skills shortages mean employers are struggling to find the talent they need. Is your job on the most wanted list?

Top 10 jobs for 2020

  1. BI analyst
  2. DevOps engineer
  3. Finance manager
  4. Software developer 
  5. Quantity surveyor
  6. Management accountant
  7. Project and change managers
  8. Digital marketing managers
  9. Automation engineer
  10. Auditor

From our list for 2020, technology and digitally focused jobs are in the greatest demand from employers. This is likely to continue and is largely due to the widespread digital transformation projects, which continue to shape both our personal and work lives. Roles such as project and change managers are also highly sought after to help support organisations to implement and lead change projects.

Within accountancy, technical finance and managerial roles will be a priority for employers when hiring as organisations continue to tighten financial controls. In engineering, automation engineers are now frequently sought after outside of the general manufacturing industry and into the retail, FMGC and pharmaceutical industries.

Even if your job doesn’t feature on our list, your skills are still likely to be in demand and by understanding your options you’ll be best placed to find a new job this new year. Employers are heavily prioritising soft skills alongside technical ability, so bear in mind how you could improve your communication, problem-solving and adaptability skills. We come across candidates all the time who underestimate the importance of selling these soft skills, both on their CVs and during interviews, and can’t emphasise enough how important it is to propel your job search into next year and beyond.

Visit our New Year Career Hub to assess what salary you could earn, read our Hot Jobs 2020 report, discover career advice and more.

About this author

Simon joined Hays in 2006, having commenced his recruitment career in 1993. Initially responsible for our businesses in Western Australia and Northern Territory, Simon relocated to the UK in 2014 where he was responsible for our operations in the West & Wales and Ireland, before being appointed Managing Director of the UK & Ireland business in 2018.


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