Why UK Tech Skill Shortage Is at Its Highest

If you face difficulties hiring tech talent, you’re not alone. Tech job vacancies in the UK have grown to over 191%. Still, the skill shortage continues to be at its highest, increasingly hampering recruitment outcomes. 

Despite the rising competition for qualified candidates, firms’ inability to fill critical tech roles due to poor hiring practices is proving to be very costly. 

As the talent crisis continues to impact every aspect of the tech industry, companies in the UK are having a tough time finding enough qualified individuals to support the work required – a challenge exposed by the acceleration in digital transformation necessitated by COVID-19. 

So, why exactly is the UK tech skill shortage at its highest? And what can recruitment teams do to fill this widening gap? Let’s explore.

Tech Skill Shortage Is Surging in the UK

The tech industry is one of the most dynamic in the UK, causing the demand for IT professionals to skyrocket. As the need for high-calibre tech specialists surges, companies struggle to fill critical roles. In fact, over 70% of technology employers have been experiencing skills shortages for the past few years.

A recent Gartner survey revealed talent shortage as the biggest barrier (64%) to emerging technology adoption, far more than other barriers such as implementation cost (29%) or security risk (7%). So, what is causing this talent shortage?

The Pressure of Digital Transformation

As businesses are drastically forced to rethink the way they work, digital transformation has become a top priority. The increase in emerging technology investments has led to a sudden demand for qualified staff, which unfortunately isn’t readily available – causing the challenge of skill shortage. 

Hiring Freezes During the Pandemic 

There were more than 64,000 vacancies for UK tech jobs in the third quarter of last year. One of the primary reasons for this dramatic increase in job vacancies is that most organisations froze all hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic due to uncertainty and disruption. 

The Rise in Hybrid Working

Another repercussion of the pandemic was the sudden and widespread shift to hybrid working. As companies began adapting to this new model, they pushed forward with long-term transformation projects and needed digital experts to adapt to the new normal. 

Employee Attrition

Employee attrition is another reason companies in the UK are facing a constant shortage of tech skills. Limited opportunities for career progression, non-flexible work hours, a lack of remote working options, job burnout, and poor training are common reasons for employee dissatisfaction. These cause companies across all sectors to compete for talent. 

Fierce Competition

Companies that manage to source highly qualified tech candidates face the issue of candidates receiving multiple job offers, thanks to fierce industry competition. Such candidates expect higher salaries and better growth and upskilling opportunities, which, when not provided, can cripple the tech business. 

Human Errors

Hiring tech talent is a complex and time-consuming undertaking. When done manually, it can cause tech firms to miss out on quality hires due to human errors and bias. Manual approaches can not only delay time-to-hire, but they can also add to the overall cost of hiring while impacting objectivity in identifying the best-fit candidate for each role.

The Role Technology Plays 

Plugging vital skill gaps requires recruitment teams to opt for tools that allow them to build a talent pool to meet tech hiring demands while providing the necessary training to bring on skilled workers and specialists. 

Modern technology platforms like X0PA AI can help organisations in the UK overcome the widening skills gap and bring much-needed objectivity and intelligence to the hiring process. 

Using advanced technologies like AI and automation, these platforms can:

  • Accurately match roles with company personas, thus reducing hiring time by a large margin.
  • Precisely evaluate applications for their relevance to the job and ensure only the best-fit candidates are hired.
  • Eliminate manual work, speed up the hiring process, and improve the overall candidate experience.
  • Maintain a strong pipeline of candidates by building talent pools or existing and new candidates.
  • Enable streamlined and transparent hiring, ensure inclusive hiring, and completely remove bias from the hiring process.
  • Streamline interview workflows through automated interview schedulers, automated candidate emails, and automated candidate references and offers.
  • Match employees with their skill potential so they can grow into the right roles.
  • Identify skills through detailed profile assessments against company jobs and enable lateral growth opportunities.
  • Predict candidate retention and performance and ensure best-informed hiring decisions.

In a Nutshell

As companies in the UK struggle to bridge the growing tech skills gap, relying on modern hiring automation tools is a great way to establish and maintain an updated talent pipeline. 

Such a pipeline can ensure the right employees are hired for the right jobs at the right time, thus, curbing the challenge of tech skill shortage across the UK. 

At the same time, since these platforms eliminate manual efforts and infuse intelligence into the hiring process, they allow for quick and objective hiring while making sure tech jobs are filled quickly and accurately.  

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