UK Heading For A Technology Talent Crisis
Almost three-quarters (72%) of UK Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) believe there is a lack of quality developers available to hire, according to a new report - State of Development Landscape and Trends for 2024 - from curated developer marketplace platform Deazy.
It's an issue on the minds of CTOs, with one-third of respondents saying that this lack of tech talent kept them awake at night. The main reasons for this dearth of tech talent were the UK education system not producing sufficient quality candidates and tech moving so fast that it is difficult for candidates and their skills to keep pace – both were cited by half of respondents.
Other factors for the lack of quality tech talent given were people being put off by the prospect of AI doing much of their work (36%), the industry putting off diverse candidates (35%), and Brexit shrinking the talent pool (35%).
“A lack of tech talent has been an issue for years, but it feels like we could now be approaching crisis point,” commented Andy Peddar, CEO, Deazy.
“A combination of Brexit, GenAI, the lightning pace of tech, a lack of industry diversity and long-term issues around the education system’s ability to create strong candidates have created a perfect storm. CTOs need to put in place measures that address this in the longer term, but also plug gaps in the short-term to ensure projects don’t suffer.”
The main challenges that CTOs found when recruiting were a combination of internal and external factors. 37% of respondents said their organisation lacked the budget for the packages needed to recruit the best candidates, while 31% said they lacked the time and resources to source candidates effectively.
External factors cited by CTOs included a lack of expertise and skills in the areas required (43%) and a general lack of quality candidates (35%). The current economic uncertainty was also a factor, with 31% of CTOs saying candidates are more reluctant to switch roles.
The most important benefits to offer when recruiting quality tech candidates, according to CTOs, are the opportunity to progress and develop (53%) and a competitive salary (50%). However, just one in four CTOs felt that being a purpose-driven organisation was most important, a finding that goes against popular perceptions of what candidates themselves seek in a package.
“The role of CTO is pressured at the best of times, but the current recruitment challenges and dearth of tech talent are making it even harder,” continued Andy Peddar. “Attention must be paid to becoming a purpose-driven company and creating a culture that engages people and attracts talent. They must look beyond their own organisation to plug the technology talent gaps they are facing and also look at longer-term measures such as academies and training camps to ensure their digital skillsets are current and that they have enough people to carry out the work.”