Technology Recruitment: What to expect in 2024

Written by Divisional Director Dan Hughes

We are now in an era where digital transformation is a necessity rather than a mere luxury. IT professionals have become some of the most in-demand members of the workforce, as companies across industries push for further adoption of digital technologies.

According to Statista, more than 262,000 employees at tech companies worldwide were laid off in 2023, with major tech firms such as Meta, Amazon, Twitter, Uber and Microsoft all cutting their headcount that year.

But, there’s good news on horizon. Divisional Director Dan Hughes is confident 2024 will be a better year for the IT and technology recruitment sector. Here, he shares his predictions for the rest of the year.

Now let me start off by saying I’m no Mystic Meg, nor do I have the foresight of Warren Buffet. But what I do have is enough experience within technology recruitment to predict what may be in store for the coming year.

Over the last few months I have been having the same conversations and making the same observations with a number of CIOs.  I thought I would put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) and share my findings with a wider audience.

There are no two ways about it –  2023 was a tough year to be looking for work, or indeed working in recruitment. Coming off the back of a booming 2022, the market took a down turn and vacancies across the UK dropped by 24% on average. However in Q4 there was hope. Within technology recruitment, we found that demand for mid to senior level roles rose dramatically, and confidence seemed to be growing in the market.

The word confidence is key to how I would describe the current market. There is still nervousness around spending in the UK, and it still feels like the aftermath of the 2023 market. Major transformation projects are on hold, companies are hesitant to sign off big permanent hires, and this is creating an influx of interim work or ‘try before you buy’ roles. When spending is down, you drop the luxuries and just do the essentials – BAU over transformation, maintain over upgrade –  but this can’t last forever.

Working closely with a number of Private Equity Firms, we know there is money out there to be spent. It is just a matter of when, not if. Typically once Private Equity opens the taps, the rest of the market follows, and we are starting to see that confidence return. As of February 2024, we had registered as many new vacancies in tech as we did in the whole of Q3 last year. While UK economic news isn’t as positive as we’d like, companies are no longer able to hold off on projects and are ready to move things forward.

So how will 2024 pan out? My prediction is Q1 will remain steady; candidates’ phones won’t be ringing off the hook, but there will be plenty of vacancies to go after. Q2 will start in a similar way, but come May, I think the market will shift. I believe the market will shift  to a candidate-led market where there are jobs aplenty and job seekers will be back in the driving seat, with an abundance of great transformational roles  available. I hope we will see a return to the 2022 market, where technology could be the business-enabling function we all know it should be, rather than the necessary evil it has been made to feel like over the last 12 months.

For job seekers, keep your head up high – good times are coming. For employers, get your ducks in a row because if you wait too long, the best talent will be harder get.

If you have tech vacancies you’d like to fill, or are a candidate looking for your next IT role, please get in touch with Dan who will be happy to support you would your executive search needs:

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