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UK businesses struggling to hire tech talent

New research suggests that UK businesses could face a struggle to hire tech talent over the next 12 months, as companies are proving too slow to embrace remote working.

According to research by developer recruitment platform CodinGame, less than a quarter of developer jobs currently being advertised in the UK are for remote positions.

Of the 13,000 tech jobs currently being advertised across more than 100 major UK towns and cities, only 23% are listed as remote positions, its research reveals. If you also include the tech roles that are currently listed as “temporarily remote”, that percentage rises to just over a third (36%).

With exceptionally high demand for skilled developers, particularly DevOps specialists and cloud computing experts, companies face a huge challenge trying to hire office-based developers, according to the recruitment platform.

Currently, Birmingham has the highest percentage of companies advertising remote positions with almost four-in-ten (38%) of the 330 developer positions being advertised in the UK’s second largest city listed as remote. Bath (35%), Southampton (32%) and Manchester (31%) have the next highest percentage of remote tech roles being advertised. While, in London just over a fifth (22%) of developer jobs looking to be filled are remote.

According to Aude Barral, co-founder and CCO of CodinGame: “It’s concerning just how few developer positions are remote roles, with more than three quarters of the 13,000 jobs we analysed being advertised as office-based. Even though the country is slowly coming out of lockdown, we would still have expected the number of companies offering remote programming roles to be higher."

According to Barral in its recent annual survey, almost half of HR professional said they would offer developers the opportunity to work remotely full-time - among developers, 70% said they would like to work remotely if given the opportunity.

The pandemic demonstrated that working from home was not a problem and in many cases enabled individuals to strike a better work/life balance while at the same time improving levels of productivity.

It does seem odd that when businesses are investing heavily in digital and cloud infrastructures, and when a developer's role can be carried out effortlessly away from the office, that option is not being made available.

As Barral says, “The challenge businesses are going to face over the next 12 months and beyond, is finding the tech talent to fill local positions if they won’t consider remote working as an option."

Companies will need to tap into a much larger tech talent pool and as such will need to open up their searches to include developers who aren’t local and will have to offer the option of working remotely - in the global race for talent it seems odd that UK businesses are failing to acknowledge that we are living in very different times.

Neil Tyler

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