Market Turmoil and Recruitment Sentiment

It’s a been an interesting quarter to say the least, a change of leadership in Government and reversal of direction...

Andy Bristow
Andy Bristow
5 min read Reading Time
5 October 2022 Date Created

It’s a been an interesting quarter to say the least, a change of leadership in Government and reversal of direction in fiscal policy combined with rising energy, inflation and interest rates all signalling a possible recession – what does this all mean for the IT workers and hirers?

It may seem counter intuitive, given the tone of the press, but there are significant reasons for optimism in the IT community, bar a few exceptions. Business leaders are used to crises by now, from Brexit, then the pandemic and the Ukraine, we’ve been bouncing from one challenge to another for the last five years and decision makers at all size of business have learnt to keep their eyes on the prize and stick to their strategy. Sticking to the strategy inevitably means investing in IT. 

Back in 2008, it was relatively easy to ditch IT projects and staff, and many companies did at scale. However, 14 years later the level of reliance on IT, particularly among SME’s, means taking a similar approach is inconceivable and any CEO rowing back from investing in IT will be sabotaging future competitiveness. Why can’t businesses just freeze investment instead? The dangers of not continuing to invest vastly outweigh the risks, any short-term savings would be dwarfed by the costs in terms of lost ground to competitors and the impact on staff. 

It would be an exercise in wishful thinking to expect skilled IT staff to wait around for a company to start spending money on IT again. One of the most common reasons we hear from people looking to move on across all our IT specialisms is a perceived lack of investment or interest in technical strategy and direction of their current business.  Once confidence has left an IT team, a brain drain can happen in a heartbeat – yet replacing individuals will take significantly longer and require substantial investment to correct.

This presents some challenges and risks for public sector employers and IT businesses with a high percentage of public sector clients as this sector is certain to see spending constraints over the coming 24 months through the freezing of budgets at 2021 levels.  It was already challenging to attract and hire skilled technical staff and it will be interesting to see the prioritization of spending in this sector – will IT projects be the driver of future efficiency as expected or will budgets be cut across departments including IT?

Put aside your employment anxiety

At times of political and economic turmoil it is common for employees to hunker down and wait for the storm to pass, better the devil you know and all that.  Here’s reasons why putting off a job search is the wrong call:

  1. Ask yourself: who hires now? The answer is self-affirming because businesses hiring now are optimistic about the future, investing in their workforce and gearing up for growth in the next economic cycle.  Understanding that personal feelings of risk are clouding the logic behind making a move gives you a chance to get ahead of your peers…
  2. You can experience less competition for roles and greater choice of position
  3. You will have more negotiating power
  4. Joining businesses investing at the low point of the economic cycle gives you the rare chance to be front and centre of the next stage of the business’ investment in IT, particularly important for those looking to progress to senior management
  5. Avoid stagnating in a ‘steady as you go’ type business where investment and salary increases are all on the backburner.  Months can easily turn into years of doing this and before you know it you are well behind market

If you’re looking for a specialist IT recruiter to support you with finding your next role, or if you’re a business looking to gain an understanding of your current and future employment needs, myself or another specialist member of the team is on hand to provide consultancy and advice.

Get in touch with our team today.