We look at the current hiring trends among digital and technological companies and consider if these will change, as the demand for employees increases.
What level coders do companies currently employ?
A recent survey by the Auxin Partnership found that 79% of participating digital companies in the Newcastle and Gateshead region currently employ advanced level coders, and only just over half are taking on trainees or those with basic qualifications. Yet, as the sector continues to grow and the demand for staff increases, do you still see yourself welcoming highly-qualified individuals into your team? Perhaps you have already had to reduce the talent and recruitment fund and, in turn, settle for employees with less knowledge or experience than you would prefer? No matter what the case may be, filling roles in the industry are already proving to be difficult and, unsurprisingly, it is advanced and leadership positions that are hardest to fill.
How is this trend expected to change over the next three years?
Not only is filling gaps with relevant digital skills going to become increasingly challenging in the years to come, staff retention is also likely to flag up some issues for companies in the digital and technology industry. With a significant percentage of companies in the sector growing by as much as 50% or more, management teams are going to be forced to re-evaluate how they review their existing workforce’s performance. Companies are bound to start asking themselves what they can do to make their business more appealing than their competitors, in order to retain their best staff whilst attracting new talent. However, if the figures continue to correlate as companies expand, there will come a time when the pool of advanced coders in a given area will diminish significantly.
A trend expected to materialise in the not so distant future, and one that could resolve the above problem, is companies investing more time and money in trainees or those with basic qualifications. This would involve developing talent from within the company, rather than recruiting for the higher level coding positions. This can be accomplished by looking at in-house training opportunities, secondments and promotions. With multiple coding schools set up around the country, to put employees through intensive training for particular digital roles, it would be interesting to see if companies begin using this initiative to source up and coming talent from schools and colleges, essentially fast-tracking staff to reach the expertise required for those higher-level roles.
Where will employees come from?
Interestingly, when asked where staff came from, the responses of numerous companies indicated that employees across all levels mostly came from the local area. Only a small number indicated that their more experienced staff had been recruited nationally, and hardly any of the businesses had hired from across the UK’s borders. However, as we look to a much bigger industry with considerably more employees, companies will ultimately have no other choice than to hire less experienced workers to make up the numbers.
With a high proportion of companies believing that the perception of their region played a big role in enticing individuals from other areas, the ability to fill senior positions (if recruiting externally) could vary from business to business, dependant on where it is located. For instance, companies based in large or desirable cities are more likely to attract workers from around the country (or even internationally), so companies without this edge may be those who wind up relying on trainees to fill those vacancies.