Are tech businesses struggling to find local talent?

As Brexit looms, it seems that the UK is not the only country whose tech industry may be facing a local talent vacuum, with CEO’s Europe-wide struggling to locate the development expertise they need locally, or even domestically, a new report commissioned by digital recruitment specialists Global {M}, reveals.

When asked, “how sufficient do you find the talent pool in your city”, only 40% of respondents, made up of hundreds of European tech CEOs, CTOs and technical hiring managers, answered that they felt their local talent pool was sufficient for their needs.

Global {M}’s insightful survey addresses several key aspects of hiring tech talent, including which acquisition channels are the best source of good candidates, the toughest aspects of the hiring process, location of development teams, and periods when tech businesses are in most urgent need of acquiring fresh talent.

But the headline story may well be the revelation that tech firms continue to search throughout the EU, and beyond when it comes to acquiring qualified development and technical talent.

Whilst one quarter of respondents indicated that they would need to search for “good candidates from other parts of the country”, another 25% felt that they would need “good candidates from other parts of Europe”, whilst 10% were keen to attract candidates from outside the EU.

Fortunately, companies like Global {M} are on hand to provide such guidance. Referring to the report’s findings about shrinking local talent pools, Nick Waller, Global {M} Managing Director, commented that: “We work with clients and candidates in 26 countries across 4 continents and specialise in relocating technology talent globally. We save our clients time, money and resourcing by providing candidates with relocation, visa and cost of living expertise directly.”

“In today’s tech world, it is normal to want to outsource development or technical tasks to teams in another region, or country, but expert guidance is often required to find the right people, with the necessary experience and qualifications, to get the job done even to the most exacting of specifications.”

LinkedIn trumps job boards for employee searches, whilst recruiters still have major role to play

Another important trend uncovered by the survey highlights the popularity of digital media-driven talent acquisition strategies, with LinkedIn a clear favourite. Half of Global {M} survey respondents agreed that LinkedIn was their most popular source for discovering job candidates, citing the Microsoft-owned careers platform as containing the largest pool of tech candidates both locally and internationally. 25% of respondents indicated, however, that they prefer to use a tech recruiting firm, as it allows them to save a significant amount of time, money and resources.

Less than 20% of respondents said that they find their best candidates via job boards, and only very few; 6%; found that a dedicated onsite career page helped them find the right candidates.

Commenting on these findings, Waller said: “It is reflective of a changing market; you can no longer wait for the right candidates to find you. Active headhunting and a more proactive approach are crucial if you want to secure the really top talent.”

The Hardest Part About Recruitment Is…?

Returning to the importance of utilising a globally dispersed talent pool, nearly three quarters of survey respondents confirmed that the hardest part of recruitment is finding qualified candidates. Finding time to screen CVs was the next biggest issue mentioned, just ahead of retaining talent once hired.

“Although they may be lesser, it remains important to address concerns about allocating time to screening CV’s and retaining applicants”, Waller commented.

“At Global{M} we have developed our own software and algorithms to quickly locate and deliver candidates in very little time, saving companies hours upon hours of deliberation and agonising over which candidates represent the best fit. We also boast a 98% retention rate across our placed candidates, reflecting our passion for leaving no stone unturned in our quest to find the perfect candidate job fit.”

When do companies feel pressure to make new hires?

The survey reveals that companies feel in most urgent need of new hires when “business needs exceed expectations”, with 55% selecting this option. Hardly surprising, perhaps, when we consider the pressure on agile tech startups to scale fast and gain “first mover” advantage over their equally fast-moving rivals.

Other factors that led to a hiring frenzy included when someone on the team leaves (29% chose this option), when a new round of funding is secured (12%), and before a new product launch deadline (4%).

Where do companies source talent from?

Finally, a revealing pie chart shows that companies like to leverage tech talent from all around the world. Whilst London still claims the largest slice of the recruitment pie, it only just beats tech savvy Barcelona, which hosts the Mobile World Congress and increasingly popular 4YFN startup conference, whilst other hubs identified by Global{M}’s research include Warsaw, Bucharest, Stockholm, Rome, Berlin, Athens, Amsterdam and Vilnius.

Waller’s thoughts?

“Acquiring in-demand talent in saturated markets is tough. That’s why mobility is the way forward. As a strategic growth partner for companies across the globe, our knowledge and expertise will allow us to identify the tech talent needed for your business’ goals and growth.”