Overcoming the candidate shortage in IT and engineering

10 mins

If you had to take a punt at the one trending topic that’s dominated technology recr...

If you had to take a punt at the one trending topic that’s dominated technology recruitment and engineering recruitment in recent years, what would you pick? Artificial intelligence? Guess again. Rising automation? Nope. Brexit, perhaps? Not even.

Across organisations of all types – recruitment consultancies to Fortune 500 employers to tiny start-ups – recruiters and hiring managers are talking about the shortage of talent in IT and engineering jobs.

 Where does this skills shortage come from?

Essentially, increased demand across the IT and engineering industries has meant there’s simply not enough technical talent to go around. Demand for workers with data skills has more than tripled in five years[i] and, according to Engineering UK, there’s a shortfall of 59,000 candidates a year for core engineering roles.[ii]

 And when there’s a shortage of candidates, the obvious happens: you end up with a very candidate-driven market, where available talent has its pick of IT and engineering jobs, and the best candidates command a premium. Right now, top data engineers can expect to earn as much as £130k.

 This obviously makes it difficult to fill vacancies but it also poses wider organisational challenges. For instance, how are companies supposed to get the most out of their data when they don’t have the right in-house skills?

 Addressing the challenges

This skills shortage needs to be tackled at multiple levels. At a national level, we could be attracting more candidates to the UK to increase the talent pool. At an industry level, there’s more to be done in steering homegrown talent towards IT and engineering jobs – particularly women, who are underrepresented in these fields. Just 11% of the UK’s engineers are women.[iii] Compared to countries like Bulgaria, where women make up around 30% of engineers,[iv] that seems pretty dismal.

 And at an organisational level, working with a recruitment company is the simplest way to ensure you get the pick of talent in a candidate-driven market. That’s because IT recruitment and engineering recruitment professionals have ready access to a large pool of talented candidates actively looking for their next challenge.

 Experts in engineering and technology recruitment, Roc Search is here to help solve your recruitment challenges. Tell us about your technology and engineering talent needs. Candidate shortage or no, we’re certain we can help.


[i] Source: https://royalsociety.org/news/2019/05/data-science-skills-shortages/

[ii] Source: https://www.engineeringuk.com/research/engineering-uk-report/at-a-glance-2019/

[iii] Source: https://fullfact.org/economy/women-engineers/

[iv] Source: https://www.theengineer.co.uk/women-in-engineering-2/