Tech industry sees surge in remote working job postings

Pandemic drives an increase in demand for “work anywhere” jobs and hybrid skills, research says

Technology professionals have seen a sharp increase in the availability of “work anywhere” vacancies, as well as demands for an ability to “handle everything” since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report.

The industry is becoming more geographically diverse, with a 149% rise in the number of remote working technology jobs posted since March 2020, according to the Demand for skilled talent report published by recruitment firm Robert Half and global labour market trends experts Burning Glass, which polled 1,500 executives in the UK, Germany, Belgium, France and Brazil.

Two-fifths of workers polled (39%) said they plan to relocate to another country or city and continue working remotely, while almost half (49%) plan to switch to a four-day week in response to increased workloads seen in 2020. Most of those surveyed (68%) expressed a desire to continue working from home for between one and three days a week after the pandemic.

According to Matt Weston, managing director at Robert Half UK, businesses are shifting away from ideas around “presenteeism” and moving towards metrics related to productivity and output.

“What an employee produces is more important than where they do it, which is why businesses are increasingly comfortable with remote or hybrid working,” he said.

In addition, the report said companies now want “hybrid skills”, with a 52% increase in demand for system administrators who can satisfy customers and a 51% increase for software developers who can establish customer rapport, and a 42% increase in web and multimedia developers who can provide customer follow-up.

According to Weston, the findings highlight that employers want “agile, adaptable candidates who can effectively marry strong technical capabilities with essential softer skills like interpersonal communication”.

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He added that the findings stress the need for hiring managers to have a thorough understanding of the job function and required skillset for all roles in their teams.

“Without a clear picture of how various team members are working and the demands being placed on them, it’s that much more difficult to develop sensible policies around remote working and training and development to maximise efficiency, productivity, and team morale,” he said.

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