Tech Hiring Trends
Tech Workforce Hiring Trends and Analysis
Belgium | Czech Republic | France | Germany | Italy | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Spain
These findings are based on the 2021 Tech Hiring Trends Report by CompTIA. CompTIA’s European Tech Hiring Trends provides an in-depth look at hiring trends across 10 markets. The report is designed as a resource for employers, job candidates, workforce and economic developers, policy-makers, media outlets and more. CompTIA developed the report from analysis of employer job posting data aggregated by Burning Glass Technologies Labour Insights.
ECONOMIC AND HIRING REVIEW
As the devastating effects of the global pandemic begin to subside, many economies are returning to a semblance of normalcy with renewed business investment and hiring. Across the 10 markets covered in this report, economic growth rate projections for the year range from higher-end growth in the 5.8% to 6.4% range for France, Romania and Spain, to those on the lower-end in the 3.5% to 3.6% range for the Netherlands, Poland and Germany.
Unemployment rates in many European countries never reached the levels seen in other markets during the height of the pandemic, such as the United States. As of yearend 2020, several markets were in a very low unemployment rate range, notably Czech Republic, Poland, Netherlands and Germany. Conversely, the unemployment rate remained elevated in Spain.
Despite a degree of labour market stability across many European countries, the uncertainty of 2020 meant new hiring slowed or ceased altogether. Consequently, with pent-up demand to backfill open positions or to pursue new talent to support growth strategies, there was a significant pick-up in hiring activity during Q1 2021. Compared to Q4 2020, total hiring activity as measured by employer job postings for technology positions increased 9%. Compared to Q3, the increase was 40% - again, reflecting the transition from hiring freeze to hiring resurgence.
In total, employers across the 10 markets covered in this report posted nearly 900 000 job advertisements during Q1 2021 in their efforts to hire for a range of technical professions. Key categories for hiring include:
Software Developers, Programmers and Web Developers
Systems Analysts and Cybersecurity
IT Support Specialists and Technicians
Network and Systems Administrators and Technicians
Job postings invariably align with the job roles employers are seeking to fill. Digging below the job role, however, reveals a number of common skill threads that span just about every technology job role these days. Employers frequently expect some level of cybersecurity, data, cloud, project management, and related technical skills. And, because of the intersection of technology and business (aka the business of technology), technologists must possess a solid foundation of soft skills in areas such as communications, emotional intelligence, collaboration, problem resolution and more.
Job advertisements for technology positions represented approximately 13% of total hiring advertisements during Q1 2021, up from 11% during 2020. This stems from the ongoing trend of digital transformation and the growing presence of technology across industry sectors and businesses of all sizes. For Q1 2021, Poland experienced the highest proportion of job advertisements for technology roles at 36%. Germany, Portugal and Romania also had above-average concentrations of tech hiring job advertisements. Top hiring industry sectors for technology professionals during Q1 2021:
Information and Communication
Administrative and Support Services
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
Financial and Insurance
EMPLOYERS SEEK WELL-ROUNDED TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS
Occupation-level and skills-level analysis of job postings confirms the depth and breadth of the tech workforce. As the macro trend of digital transformation continues to remake business operations across industry sectors, job roles and skills requirements will evolve accordingly.
Mirroring the pattern seen in most countries, the software developer occupation category accounts for the largest portion of job postings across the European countries covered in this report. Alternatively, during Q1 2021, there was more employer hiring activity around software positions relative to other categories. As a reminder, there is not a 1:1 relationship between hiring activity and actual hiring. For very competitive positions, such as an emerging field like artificial intelligence (AI) architect, employers may have to deploy significant hiring resources to recruit a single candidate, resulting in a skewed hiring activity to hiring ratio.
Hiring activity during Q1 also confirms the interrelated nature of technology. Software applications require a robust network infrastructure, data optimisation, systems integration, management and support, and of course, a strong cybersecurity posture. To achieve maximum return from technology investments, businesses require orchestration of not only the technologies but also the personnel, processes and workflows.
At the skills level, summary analysis across all job postings for all tech job roles suggests employers tend to seek well-rounded candidates. This also reflects the ever-expanding nature of innovation, whereby new platforms, new coding languages, new hardware and devices, new data streams and new combinations of technology building blocks (think IoT) are a de facto part of the job for any technology professional. In the leading technical skills table, there is representation across these areas, including software, infrastructure, data and business applications. While cybersecurity is not specifically listed in these top 10 skills, it is becoming increasingly common for employers to expect baseline cybersecurity expertise for all IT professionals.
The intersection of business and technology (aka the business of technology) means business skills and soft skills can no longer be viewed as secondary, but rather, of equal importance with technical skills. The job posting data bears this out with employers specifically requiring team work, problem solving, creating thinking, project management and more.
While many employers now hire for skills, expertise and performance, certain criteria, such as years of experience, continue to play a role in hiring. During Q1 2021, employers focused much of their hiring efforts on entry-level positions with the desired years of experience of 0-2 years. It is difficult to determine, but presumably, the ‘not specified’ segment is evenly distributed among job levels, with a portion allocated to entry-level, mid-level and advanced-level positions.
39% 0-2 years of experience
14% 3-10 years of experience
11% 11+ years of experience
36% Not specified
Advertised tech salaries indicate tech positions could range from under €36.000 for entry-level jobs to over €90.000 for advanced-level jobs. Specialised expertise, level of experience, location, non-advertised compensation in the form of bonuses and other factors account for the significant variance in tech salaries. See Methodology for additional factors affecting salary data.