With more companies looking towards a digital-first approach to business going forward, demand for digital skills is on a sharp upwards trajectory. Finding developers, cybersecurity professionals and cloud migration experts is top of the agenda for many hiring managers as organisations look towards long-term growth and sustainability, following a period of rapid transformation. In this special feature, ZDNet examines technology's role in helping business leaders build tomorrow's workforce, and employees keep their skills up to date and grow their careers. The extent of this demand is reflected in a booming tech jobs market. According to CompTIA's June 2021 European Tech Hiring Trends report, employers posted just shy of 900,000 ads for new tech roles in Q1 2021, representing a 40% increase compared to the third quarter of 2021.
Demand for tech workers is greatly outstripping supply following a spike in tech investment during the past 18 months. With demand rapidly outstripping supply, simply trying to hire more tech workers onto organizational teams is no longer viable. As such, reskilling, upskilling and training employees is more crucial than ever for companies hoping to build digital-ready workforces that can carry their businesses into the future. One example of this is Liberty Mutual Insurance, which has been running an internal training initiative since 2017 that allows participants to develop skills in technical areas that interest them. In this special feature, ZDNet examines technology's role in helping business leaders build tomorrow's workforce, and employees keep their skills up to date and grow their careers.
The UK tech shortage has been made worse by a combination of Brexit and the global COVID-19 pandemic. As organizations crank up their digital ambitions and put more of their faith (and systems) in the cloud, software developers, solutions architects, cybersecurity specialists and myriad other technology professionals find themselves the subject of a fierce bidding war. UK businesses have found themselves in a particularly tricky spot. The country's withdrawal from the EU prompted many European developers, who had been working in the UK under freedom of movement rules, to return home or move elsewhere. Then the pandemic struck, placing even more demand on an already limited supply of tech talent.
New research suggests that less than a third of tech workers plan to stay on in their current role – leaving organizations facing an exodus of digital skills as they emerge from the pandemic. A survey of 1,000 technology workers and 500 IT decision-makers by careers platform CWJobs found that just 29% of employees intend on staying with their current employer for the next 12 months, with the majority planning to make career or lifestyle changes as life opens up again. CWJob's research found that 14% of tech workers would look for a new role at a different company, with others planning to establish their own business (11%) go part-time (11%) change locations (11%) or become a contractor (10%). Eight percent are contemplating leaving tech altogether. CWJob's study offers yet another indicator that employers face a skills shortage in the coming months as employees make post-pandemic career moves.
A third of tech leaders are planning to hire for new positions in 2022 as demand for multi-skilled workers grows, according to research. A survey of 300 senior leaders in the UK comprising CEOs, CFOs, CTOs and CIOs at SMEs and large organizations by recruiter Robert Half found that 34% plan to up their headcount next year, driven by the ongoing shift to digital and "online-first" business models. Two in five (41%) tech leaders said changing behaviours had inspired business confidence, which in turn is prompting hiring activity, the research found. However, 56% of respondents said they expected that finding qualified candidates to be a greater challenge compared to the pre-pandemic market. Front-end developers are in particularly high demand, said Robert Half.