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How COVID-19 has Impacted the UK’s Technology Recruitment Space

by Xcede

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When the UK entered its first country-wide lockdown, small and large businesses alike faced uncertainty about short-term survival as well as long-term growth plans. However, what did this mean for the technology recruitment market and the technology specialists on the lookout for a new job role amidst a series of lockdowns?

Here we look at how COVID-19 has affected the technology jobs space over the past year, exploring which roles are in highest demand. We will also share some expert insights from our Sales Manager and Head of Tech Freddie De Metz regarding the current boom in specific roles across the sector.

The Job Sectors Demanding Top Tech Talent Throughout COVID-19

COVID-19 has illustrated just how crucial having a strong digital strategy and presence is for businesses to succeed, or even survive in the first place. One sector that has been transformed by the pandemic—and one which we cannot ignore when discussing the boom in technology roles over the past year—is ecommerce.

As eConsultancy notes, by 2024, it is predicted that retail-focused ecommerce sales will reach ‘$7 trillion annually, or one-quarter of all global retail for that year’. Amazon sales alone expanded by 38% last year, reaching a whopping $386.1 billion.

Speaking to our Sales Manager and Head of Tech Freddie DeMetz, the current high demand for top tech candidates in ecommerce and across a range of other sectors—from gaming and retail to MedTech and EdTech—is evident.

Speaking about just one space, ecommerce, it has grown massively and just continues to grow. Demand for top tech candidates is also continually increasing in line with the wider sector expansion.”

As demonstrated with the huge growth in ecommerce, companies with a solid digital strategy in place were able to adapt, survive, and even grow throughout COVID-19. This growth in digital-first sectors has meant that the demand for outstanding technology candidates is bigger than ever before, and in turn, the technology recruitment market has remained relatively undisrupted by COVID-19.

So, what tech roles are in highest demand?

The Tech Job Roles in Highest Demand Through COVID-19

Regarding specific roles, Freddie discusses the rise of engineering jobs, specifically in the Java arena.

“Many of the jobs that we are seeing are on the engineering side, specifically relating to the actual physical development of products.

This has included a lot on the back end as well as the front end. Python, Java and JavaScript are all areas which have continued to grow during this time, with JavaScript using React and Python with Django.

Java as a whole just keeps growing and scaling. Those types of roles are hot at the moment, and we have a huge range of jobs related to those arenas live currently.”

What is Next for Technology Recruiters?

Although business as usual has been disrupted, it is safe to say the technology sector adapted, expanded, and evolved throughout COVID-19.

As companies decide whether they will continue operating remotely post-pandemic, as well as the ambiguities surrounding Brexit and the looming arrival of IR35 regulation changes for contractors in April, Freddie predicts an imminent short pause for breath for the technology recruitment market.

“We have been very busy up until this point and will continue to be busy throughout 2021. We are in a bull market and again, and getting the jobs lined up is no longer a problem.

 However, I do believe that this next period will bring with it a relatively slow growth phase up until around September. With schools and the world gradually reopening, hiring decisions are gradually going to start being made again.”

On the arrival of the IR35 regulation changes that are set to shake up the UK contractor market in April, Freddie is already noticing the shift in candidate placements.

“Many of the financial incentives of being a contractor have been removed due to the changes happening to IR35 in April.

This has meant many career contractors have now found themselves leaning towards permanent positions.”

Are you currently looking for a new job in technology, or would you like to know more about the current state of the tech recruitment market to help you map out your next career move? Get in touch with our dedicated technology team today to explore our latest permanent and contract roles.