Hays UK jobs and employment blog


Tech salaries are climbing alongside demand for vital digital skills 

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


The competition for tech talent is fuelling intense skills shortages, and these have the potential to put key projects at risk.

According to the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 report, an overwhelming 91% of tech employers say they have experienced skills shortages over the past year. Furthermore, over half (61%) foresee a shortage of suitable candidates to be their main recruitment challenge next year too.

Employers reported that their ability to deliver projects is being affected by these shortages and a further 48% state they are impacting productivity, putting their ability to meet vital business objectives at risk.

Tech salaries continue to climb

Of course, short supply and high demand for tech talent means that salaries have, once again, risen as employers try to compete for the best candidates.

Over the last year, there has been a 1.8% average salary increase. Those areas which saw the most notable average salary increases include development (5.1% average salary increase over the last year), leadership roles (3.0%) and data and advanced analytics (2.9%).

Looking ahead, those tech roles which look set to be in particular demand in 2020 include:

Top 10 most in-demand roles for 2020 in tech

1. BI Analyst

2. DevOps Engineer

3. Software Engineering Lead

4. Software Developer

5. Web Developer

6. Security Engineer

7. Cloud Engineer

8. Data Scientist

9. Cloud Architect

10. Scrum Master

Employers will need to be proactive to overcome skills shortages

Tech employers looking to hire and retain talent in this competitive market would be well advised to plan their recruitment needs in advance, source candidates from beyond their traditional talent pools, while also speeding-up their time to hire – which is particularly important in relation to securing contractors.

Of course, wherever possible, they should also look to benchmark their salaries and day rates. However, it is also important to offer technology candidates ‘more’ than just good salaries. This might include promoting clear progression pathways to permanent candidates, as well benefits such as over 28 days’ annual leave and training or professional certification support, which 49% and 43% of technology employees say are important to them respectively.

Tech candidates should remember to focus on soft skills

For employees, the upshot of so much demand for tech talent is that if you work in an area where candidates are in especially short supply, you’ll be in a position to choose from a range of roles with competitive pay rises.

If your role isn’t on the list above, it may be worth using the new year as an opportunity to revise your skills portfolio and have a think about where you want your career to go.

Of course, candidates shouldn’t just focus on their technical skills sets. Soft skills such as communication, problem-solving and critical thinking are all in high demand, reflecting the evolution of technology as a function as it moves from simply offering support, to being a core area of the business with the need to work across multiple departments in a wider strategic capacity. Those tech professionals who can demonstrate the right mix of technical and soft skills will be best placed to capitalise on salary increases in the year ahead.

Find out how salaries and recruiting trends are changing across the tech function by requesting your copy of the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 report.

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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