According to the Digital Leadership Report, a collaborative study by The Harvey Nash Group, CIONET and Massachusetts Institute of Technology CISR, the positive economic growth in the UK tech sector is under threat as massive skills shortages continue. This comes as companies signal their intentions to increase technology investment (61%) and headcount (66%) – record levels – but have limited talent to support it.
The study found that the UK’s tech skills crisis is at its highest with 8 in 10 digital leaders reporting that following the pandemic, new life priorities of staff is making retaining talent even more difficult. Forty percent of leaders in the UK admit they can’t keep key people as long as they’d like because they’re being lured away by offers of more money. Only one in three organisations (38%) have redesigned their employee offer to make it attractive to staff in the new hybrid working world.
Other findings included:
- There has been record tech investment and headcount growth rising by over a third (36% and 37% respectively) since 2020.
- The impact of skills crisis on business growth means that 66% of digital leaders in the UK are now unable to keep pace with change because of a lack of the talent they need.
- Cyber security is the most sought-after tech skill in the UK with 43% indicating a shortage, followed by big data/analysts (36%), and technical architects (33%).
- A lack of developers (32%) has been identified amongst the three jobs with the worst skills shortages in the UK behind HGV drivers and nurses. Harvey Nash Group says that this shortage correlates with the report’s finding that companies are focusing on creating new products and services, and therefore need developers to do that work.
Bridging the skills gap
Bev White, CEO of Harvey Nash Group commented: “With businesses planning record levels of digital investment, we could be standing on the verge of a ‘second renaissance’ for technology. Organisations are looking to push their digital transformations further and faster than ever before, putting technology at the very heart of how they operate. This will take them beyond being merely ‘tech-centric’: technology will literally be dispersed throughout the business, everywhere.
“But these ambitions are coming under threat from the acute skills shortages that are now worse than ever before. In fact, businesses face a triple whammy. They lack the supply of skilled resource they need; they have not yet evolved a new and effective employee proposition for the hybrid working world; and the skills they need are themselves changing as technology develops at pace. Digital leaders need to rapidly assess their needs and find solutions if their plans are not to be derailed by this potent cocktail of challenges.”
Bev White will be sharing some of these insights and what that means for recruiters at the TALiNT PointSix Lunch & Learn: Post-pandemic tech priorities for recruiters: How to build the best business case for the next phase of tech transformation on 24 November.