Posted on January 13, 2020 by staff
Mat Knutton, of recruitment firm Robert Walters, says employers must offer more to fill sought after roles like software developers and data specialists
Tech companies need to offer more than just a competitive salary if they want to recruit the best staff, especially software developers.
That the view of Mat Knutton, who manages tech recruitment at the Manchester office of leading recruitment firm Robert Walters.
He said the growth in the North West tech sector meant the competition for the top tech talent was hotter than ever and companies needed to work even harder to stand out from the crowd.
Knutton identified software developers and data specialists as being especially sought after roles with demand outstripping supply.
“The North West tech sector is booming and that has led to a big push on recruitment,” he said. “The Hut Group, Auto Trader; Booking.com, AO World, UKFast, On The Beach, Boohoo and wejo are just some of the region’s fastest growing tech firms.
“There’s competition for all roles but software developers and data specialists are among the hardest positions to fill and that has resulted in wage inflation. For example software developers will typically earn between £45k-£65k but it could be as high as £70k while contractors will command a day rate of between £450-£550 or higher.
“It’s not that the people don’t exist to fill the vacancies but there’s more demand than there is supply so companies need to offer something different to stand out.
“For the majority of developers we work with their job is their hobby and they like to work with the latest technology and that’s sometimes more important than the amount they earn.
“The things that are most important tend to be the chance to have an impact, the chance to build something new or the opportunity to work on something that is going to get used. Altruism and doing something with a really good social impact is also important. Just saying ‘come and work with us because we’re a big company’ is not enough.”
Knutton also said that age or the years of experience should be no barrier when it comes to working in certain tech roles, development or engineering for example.
“As with any job you learn through experience but it’s a skill,” he said. “Companies which are still asking for ‘X’ number of years’ experience are shooting themselves in the foot.
“Yes skills can be honed and developed over time, but there is a natural ability element to roles like a developer. To give you an analogy – I’ve played football for more years than Cristiano Ronaldo, but nobody in their right mind would want me on their team over him!
“When it comes to recruitment in tech the most successful companies need to have a clear story and convey what it is that makes them different.”
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