The technology skills shortage and what it means for your business
The UK technology industry is one of the most dynamic areas of growth, and the demand for IT professionals is ongoing.
Despite this, finding the right candidate to fulfil an IT position has never been more difficult. Could outsourced IT help?
While the market thrives, the industry is facing a sector-specific skills gap, with Totaljobs claiming that 70% of technology employers are experiencing skills shortages. This figure is only anticipated to increase, with the Learning and Work institute stating the number of young people taking IT subjects at GCSE level has dropped 40% since 2015, and that less than half of British employers believe young people are leaving full-time education with sufficient digital skills.
This global skills shortage is just one of the many reasons why businesses are outsourcing and utilising cloud-based technologies, but what factors are influencing this move and why is finding the right candidates becoming harder? We interviewed Simon Creber of Charles Simon, a specialist IT recruitment company to uncover his experience from a recruiter’s perspective.
The technology sector has grown despite the pandemic
Question: “Have you seen more demand for technology-based roles over the last few years?”
Answer: “Yes, especially over the last 7 months, but 2021 has certainly seen a larger demand for technical specialists. For us, July was the busiest we’ve ever been despite the Coronavirus pandemic, as organisations still need to function and IT still needs to be prevalent in any business,” shared Simon.
As the sector grows candidate numbers are falling
Question: “Has Charles Simon seen fewer IT qualified candidates recently?”
Answer: “Compared to 3-4 years ago we’ve certainly seen a drop in qualified candidates. Lots of people have left the industry to retire, and more recently we’ve seen service desk employees leave their roles to retrain as HGV drivers for the increased salary. A lot of companies are now investing in internal training, and in a few years when these candidates have the required experience, the job market will expand again.”
Cloud based skills are on the rise
Question: “What are the most prominent technology skills employees are looking for?”
Answer: “We’ve seen a big increase in employers wanting candidates with Microsoft 365, Azure, AWS, VMware and virtualisation experience. There is certainly a shift towards cloud-based technologies and services right now.”
Salaries for candidates with specific skillsets are increasing
From our own experience, vendors have been the most successful companies to date hiring throughout the skills shortage, but their tactic for this is to increase salaries. Unfortunately, this is having an impact on the overall cloud and technology market, adding additional costs into an ever-growing IT budget.
Question: What financial implications has the skills shortage had on the market?
Answer: Simon mirrored our experience, telling us that “at the higher end of the market, with desirable skills like Microsoft Azure, 365 and Exchange, candidates know they have a niche skillset and are demanding more money. As this talent pool becomes smaller, it’s harder to fulfil these positions and we are now looking for candidates that have experience to be able to quickly train up and fill the skills gap.
Most organisations want quick replacements for people that are retiring or moving to other positions, and as candidates are demanding more, they are effectively holding the industry to ransom. The result is like how the Government is currently handling the HGV driver shortage – salaries are increasing due to demand.”
Remote working and technology are making the world a smaller place
Question: “What impact do you think the coronavirus has had on recruitment overall?
Answer: Simon said “Since many organisations are exploring remote working, we are finding that fewer candidates are now re-locating for new positions. Project managers and third line support are just two role examples that we’ve seen a remote working increase in, as people realise that they don’t need to uproot their lives for a new position.”
Although this opens a wider pool of candidates for businesses, it also sparks a new wave of national and international recruitment competition.
The recruitment process is getting harder
Advertising a position and attracting the right candidates has never been more time consuming or costly. Advertising on large job boards comes with a hefty cost and driving organic interest to the job posting is time consuming. This is not to mention the physical tasks of filtering through applications, interviewing and completing background checks.
Question: Why would a business work with yourself over advertising on a job website?
Answer: “We’ve got two decades of recruitment experience within the IT sector, we know about the industry and find qualified candidates. We tailor the entire recruitment process to the company and advertised position, keeping up with market changes. All our candidates are put forward with properly prepped CVs, we also manage counter offers effectively. We save hiring managers time and money in the long run.”
virtualDCS can help with the technology skills shortage
If creating and managing your own dedicated in-house IT team is not for you, virtualDCS can help. By outsourcing to an IT service provider, you relinquish the responsibility and time required to recruit the right team. All our staff are Cherry picked for their exceptional skills and the ability to aid our customers and they are also subject to advanced background checks and assessments. In addition to this, we also pay for product, service training, exams, and accreditations. virtualDCS invests heavily in staff recruitment and training so that you don’t have to.
Outsourced IT departments
Not only does outsourcing relieve the pressure of recruitment, but it also provides an array of additional benefits that directly impact the IT department and the running of the business itself.
Outsourcing your IT department to an external service provider means that the business doesn’t have to invest heavily in its own in-house infrastructure and an organisation can outsource all IT services, or one specific area, such as Backup and DR.
Continuing with the example of backup, developing and investing in your own in-house solution isn’t as cost effective as outsourcing. Not only would the organisation need to design and build a secondary off-site facility to match their existing on-premise infrastructure, but they would also need to keep up to date with the latest data protection standards and ensure staff are fully trained and accredited.
Established cloud providers, such as ourselves often have existing vendor relationships and access to preferential rates. Our direct connection with vendors means that we can pass any cost benefits on to your business, making outsourcing IT more cost effective. In addition to this, our enhanced partner levels mean that enquiries and support incidents are resolved at a much faster pace.
You can read more about this in our recent blog “Why outsourcing disaster recovery is more cost effective”.
Trust in our team
virtualDCS can help your IT department and entire organisation thrive, while also reducing the cost and complexity of recruiting and managing internal IT systems. It’s in our interest to look after our customers and provide the best service possible. As such, we’ve invested heavily in our recruitment process and the skills of our team so that you can focus on more important areas. Organisations would struggle to keep up with the platform and employee investment that virtualDCS provides.
Why not speak to one of our cloud experts to discover how we can alleviate some of your business pain points? Simply email enquiries@virtualCS.co.uk or call +44 (0)3543 888 327.
To find out more about the recruitment services offered by Charles Simon, visit www.charles-simon.co.uk or call +44 161 989 7690.