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Pandemic increases need to hire tech workers

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed consumer behaviour and technology use within organisations, leading to plans for technology hiring to increase over the next year

Hiring of technology talent is set to increase over the next year as technology adoption during the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted customer behaviour and business needs, according to Robert Half.

Research by the recruitment firm has found that 34% of technology leaders are planning to hire people with technology skills in 2022.

Phil Boden, senior manager at Robert Half, said: Technology initiatives have been at the heart of many businesses’ pandemic recovery efforts and underpin their plans for future growth. As technology is always advancing, candidates who can adapt and evolve their skills over time are also highly desirable to businesses.”

The uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic meant many companies dialled back on spending and – in turn – hiring.                 

This has since gone in the opposite direction as the Covid-19 outbreak also forced firms to adopt technology to meet customer demand and operate remotely – in 2020, there was a new technology business created every 30 minutes in the UK. Robert Half claimed that increased use of data and importance of technology has put roles such as data scientists and front-end developers in high demand.

More than 40% of technology leaders claimed changing consumer behaviours have increased business confidence, and just under a quarter of CIOs and CTOs said technology innovation and investment are one of the top strategic priorities for 2022.

Other priorities for tech leaders over the next year include balancing budgets, a focus on 5G, and cloud-based projects.

The technology skills gap in the UK is nothing new – many firms believe there are not enough skilled workers to fill technology roles.

There has also been a focus on soft skills such as empathy, emotional intelligence and communication in recent years, which many have claimed is where the biggest technology skills gap lies, with firms now looking for candidates who meet both the technical skills requirements and the soft skills needs of a role.

Technical skills are clearly important for tech hires, but Robert Half’s research found that tech leaders are looking for people with additional soft and transferable skills such as adaptability and problem solving.

Soft skills are lacking in the talent market, according to the research, which found that 34% of tech leaders believe most candidates are lacking in the soft skills needed for available roles, making the pool of talent to fish from even smaller.

Boden said: “Across the board, the level of demand is intense and candidates that meet businesses’ heightened requirements for soft and technical skills are in short supply, so companies should be prepared to compete.”

When it comes to technology skills gaps, there has been effort from the government, education system and industry in recent years to ensure people are leaving education with the skills they need to take technology-based roles, including easier access to role models, a better understanding of what tech careers involve, and easily accessible teacher training.

There has also been an emphasis on life-long learning in recent years, with many claiming an increase in technology adoption and innovation will mean people should be prepared to re-train if jobs become automated, as well as keep up-to-date with technology skills as they become a part of all aspects of life.

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