Demand for tech talent amid COVID-19

Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Demand for tech talent amid COVID-19

  • 16 Jun 2020
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    New report analyses the most coveted office based jobs and skills since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and identifies what talent is the most sought after.

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  • With unemployment spiking across the country, and with many businesses utilising the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) amid the Covid-19 pandemic, data and software development roles are leading the way as the most in demand office-based jobs by employers. 

    Data and software development roles saw an increase in volume (1% and 8% respectively), making it one of the few industries to increase hiring since the start of the pandemic – according to a COVID-19 impact analysis report released today by specialist recruiter Randstad. 

    The report, entitled “how is key talent impacted by COVID-19 in the UK?” examines how various industries have been impacted, what key jobs and skills profiles have grown in demand during the crisis, and how the candidates who possess those skills are behaving in the current job market.

    Earmarking itself as a job market safe haven, demand for data engineering roles rose 6% post strict lockdown measures, reinforcing the fact that data talent is still considered essential under COVID-19. The new findings identify a record strong start to the year (up to 93% more jobs in January 2020 than in December 2019, which despite obvious month-on-month seasonality is a huge increase), followed by a steady decrease for most role types, excluding data and software development roles. 

    “The economic slowdown brought about by the pandemic has forced companies to focus on what jobs and skills are truly essential, and how these roles can be carried out safely. It’s become clear that technology plays a critical part in ensuring a remote workforce is as efficient and productive as possible.” said Adam Nicoll, Randstad UK Marketing Director. 

    “With this analysis, organisations can gain a detailed, data driven picture of the skills landscape during the pandemic and use this to make decisions based on market insight. We’ve also taken a qualitative look at the mindsets and behaviors of candidates working in these job families to provide companies with a more complete talent picture and help them shape their recruitment strategies.”

    The report analyses data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), World Health Organization, job boards, career sites and social media postings to map the demand for software, audit, sales, marketing, data and finance roles. Randstad combined quantitative demand data and qualitative supply information to provide organisations with a clear outline of which skills to safeguard in the future. This data can also inform what additional recruitment efforts may be needed to manage competition.

    The report identifies the changes in demand for key jobs across six job families between January 2019 and April 2020, and highlights what specific skills have become most valuable during the pandemic. 

    The shift in demand for certain skills will inform how employers hire once they begin to reopen and could signal longer-term trends that recruiters must be aware of. Some sectors with increased demand will become candidates’ markets, which will make engagement and attraction plans critical. Other sectors may face less competition for talent, but have trouble recruiting for specific skills. With the right information, employers will be more prepared to recruit as things begin to return to normal.

    COVID-19 Impact Analysis Report Highlights

    • Sales and marketing  experienced the steepest drop in demand for roles, with more than 70% cut in vacancies, significantly limiting the ‘movement’ of these professionals
    • The top ‘in-demand’ skills in each job family were identified as: SQL (data); background in finance or economic studies (finance); a marketing qualification or accreditation (marketing); in-role sales experience (sales) and Java (software development)
    • Inexperienced workers hit the hardest – each of the six clusters have displayed the trend that only mid-senior level roles are still advertised online. Junior roles are seemingly more dispensable, at least they were at the beginning of the crisis.

    More findings are available in the COVID-19 Impact Analysis.