Recruitment Trends in the IT Industry (2024)

BY Chelsea Backhouse   |  

The UK tech sector, a £120 billion economic titan, propels innovation and fuels growth. But this engine roars thanks to its talented workforce. In this dynamic landscape, attracting and retaining these brilliant minds demands a clear grasp of evolving recruitment trends.

Below details the critical trends shaping the UK tech recruitment scene in 2024, so you know how to conquer the talent acquisition battlefield. We'll explore the imperative for diversity, the shift to skills-based assessments, and the blossoming employee marketplace. Finally, we'll showcase the power of employer branding in luring top talent.

The Talent Drought

The UK tech scene, a beacon of innovation and economic powerhouse, faces a formidable foe: a talent drought of epic proportions. By 2030, Tech Nation warns, the UK could find itself short of a staggering 1 million tech workers.

The Perfect Storm:

Several factors brew this perfect storm:

  • Rapid Tech Evolution: The tech landscape gallops forward, leaving traditional skillsets in the dust. Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and blockchain whiz past while the pool of qualified candidates struggles to keep pace.
  • Limited Pipeline: Despite strong STEM education in the UK, university graduates and boot camp alums don't always meet the industry's specific needs. The gap between theory and practical application widens.
  • Global Competition: The UK isn't alone in its hunt for tech talent. Silicon Valley beckons with hefty salaries and career opportunities, further squeezing the UK's already constrained talent pool.
  • Brexit Echoes: The impact of Brexit remains a complex undercurrent. Visa restrictions add friction to international talent acquisition, potentially hindering companies' access to skilled professionals from abroad.

The Stakes Grow Higher:

The consequences of this talent drought are far-reaching:

  • Innovation Slowdown: Without the minds to fuel it, the UK's tech industry could slow, jeopardising its competitive edge.
  • Economic Downturn: A stunted tech sector ripples through the entire economy, impacting growth and job creation.
  • Unfulfilled Potential: Brilliant ideas will remain unrealised, stifling the UK's ability to tackle pressing challenges and seize on emerging opportunities.

Reshaping the Work Paradigm:

The UK tech industry, a powerhouse of innovation and a magnet for talent is witnessing a seismic shift in its work paradigm. Flexibility, once a fringe benefit, is now centre stage, with a whopping 75% of UK tech workers seeking hybrid or remote work options (source: Tech Nation, December 2023). This is a generation redefining work-life balance.

Beyond Boundaries:

For tech talent, location is no longer a defining factor. Armed with digital prowess, this generation craves the freedom to work from anywhere – buzzing co-working spaces, cosy home offices, or even sun-drenched beaches. They seek autonomy, and value companies that empower them to thrive in diverse environments.

Hybrid Reigns, Remote Thrives:

Leading tech companies in the UK are heeding this call. Offices are transforming into vibrant hubs for collaboration, while remote teams are seamlessly integrated through cutting-edge digital tools. Video conferencing platforms, project management software, and instant messaging apps are the new cornerstones of communication, ensuring everyone stays connected and in sync, regardless of distance.

The Rewards of Flexibility:

The benefits of embracing flexibility go beyond employee satisfaction. Studies show that hybrid models can boost productivity by up to 20%, enhance employee well-being, and attract top talent from a global talent pool. Additionally, reduced office space translates to lower costs and a smaller environmental footprint.

Building a Future of Freedom:

Of course, this journey towards a fully flexible future isn't without its challenges. Cybersecurity, data privacy, and effective remote onboarding require careful consideration. However, the rewards are undeniable. By prioritising flexibility, UK tech companies can unlock a hidden reservoir of talent, unleash unfettered creativity, and solidify their position as global leaders in a remote-friendly tech landscape.

Skills Over Degrees - Redefining Talent in the UK Tech Industry

Shifting Focus: From Diplomas to Expertise

The UK tech industry is undergoing a seismic shift. Gone are the days when a degree was simply the golden ticket to landing your dream job. Today, employers are increasingly prioritising skills and experience over academic qualifications. Several factors fuel this trend:

  • Rapid Technological Advancements: Technology evolves at breakneck speed, rendering academic knowledge obsolete quickly. Skills-based learning, with its focus on practical application, can keep pace better.
  • Demand for Niche Expertise: Specific skill sets in areas like AI, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and data analytics are in high demand. A degree in a general field may not equip you with the specific tools needed for these roles.
  • Rise of Alternative Learning Paths: Bootcamps, online courses, and apprenticeships offer flexible and affordable ways to acquire in-demand skills, making them a viable alternative to traditional university degrees.

Data & Insights:

  • A 2023 Tech Nation report found that 72% of UK tech companies prioritise skills and experience over degrees when recruiting.
  • LinkedIn's 2023 Emerging Jobs Report identified cybersecurity analyst, AI specialist, and data scientist as the top 3 emerging roles in the UK, all requiring specialised skills.
  • The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, 50% of all jobs will require skills not yet widely available, highlighting the need for continuous learning and development.

Upskilling and Reskilling: A Shared Responsibility

Companies and individuals must embrace continuous upskilling and reskilling in this dynamic landscape. This means:

  • Companies: Investing in training programs and development opportunities for employees to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Individuals: Taking responsibility for their own learning by actively seeking out new skills and certifications through online courses, boot camps, or side projects.

The Rise of Gen Z: Shaping the Future of UK Tech

Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, is entering the workforce with a bang, poised to shake things up in the UK tech industry. This generation, raised on digital screens and social activism, brings unique values and priorities that companies need to understand and cater to in order to attract and retain top talent.

Unique Values and Priorities:

  • Purpose-driven Work: Gen Zers crave meaningful work that contributes to the greater good. They're passionate about social justice, environmental sustainability, and positively impacting the world. Companies that demonstrate a strong commitment to these values will resonate with this generation.
  • Work-Life Balance and Flexibility: Gen Z values their personal time and prioritises a healthy work-life balance. They expect flexible work arrangements like remote work, hybrid schedules, and unlimited paid time off. Companies that offer these options will be seen as more attractive employers.
  • Tech-Savvy and Collaborative: Gen Z are digital natives, comfortable with technology and adept at collaboration. They expect workplaces that embrace automation to utilise cutting-edge tools and foster a collaborative environment.

Engaging Gen Z Talent:

  • Strong Employer Brand: Build a compelling employer brand that showcases your company's values, mission, and commitment to social responsibility. Be transparent about your culture and highlight what makes your workplace unique.
  • Employee Well-being: Prioritise employee well-being by offering mental health resources, flexible work arrangements, and supportive company cultures. Gen Z values employers who care about their holistic well-being.
  • Mentorship and Development: Provide mentorship and development opportunities to help Gen Z employees grow and learn. Offer training programs, career development initiatives, and opportunities for leadership roles.

Data and Insights (2024):

  • A 2024 Deloitte report found that 74% of Gen Z workers prioritise purpose-driven work.
  • A 2024 LinkedIn survey revealed that 62% of Gen Z would consider leaving a job for a company with a stronger employer brand.
  • A 2024 study by Mercer found that 70% of Gen Z employees value flexible work arrangements.

The Power Shift: How Candidates Rule the UK Tech Talent Market in 2024

The UK tech industry is experiencing a seismic shift – the power has moved to the candidates. With a booming tech scene and a shortage of skilled talent, the tables have turned, demanding a revaluation of employer-candidate dynamics. Let's explore this power shift through three key trends:

Candidate-Driven Market:

  • Data & Insights:
    • 76% of UK hiring managers reported difficulty attracting quality candidates in 2023 (Glassdoor).
    • The unemployment rate in the UK's tech sector fell to a record low of 2.2% in 2023 (Tech Nation).
  • Impact on Dynamics:
    • Candidates have more choices and can readily negotiate for better salaries, benefits, and work conditions.
    • Companies must proactively attract and retain talent, focusing on candidate experience and employer branding.
    • Adapting to flexible work models and prioritising work-life balance becomes crucial.

Employer Branding and Experience:

  • Data & Insights:
    • 74% of Gen Z candidates in the UK consider employer branding very important (LinkedIn).
    • 86% of job seekers say a positive candidate experience would increase their likelihood of accepting a job offer (Talent Trends 2024).
  • Building a Strong Brand:
    • Highlight your company's culture, values, and mission to resonate with talent.
    • Showcase employee testimonials and stories to create a human connection.
    • Actively engage on social media platforms and professional networking sites.
  • Delivering a Positive Experience:
    • Streamline the recruitment process, eliminating unnecessary steps and delays.
    • Communicate with candidates promptly and transparently throughout the process.
    • Provide timely feedback, even to rejected candidates, to build goodwill.

Employee Value Proposition (EVP):

  • Data & Insights:
    • 62% of UK employees would consider leaving their jobs for a company with a stronger EVP (Mercer, 2024).
    • 70% of Gen Z prioritise purpose-driven work when choosing an employer (Deloitte 2024).
  • Crafting a Compelling EVP:
    • Go beyond salaries and focus on offering meaningful work, career development opportunities, and a flexible work environment.
    • Emphasise your commitment to social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
    • Align your EVP with your company culture and values to ensure authenticity.
  • Communicating the EVP Effectively:
    • Integrate your EVP into all aspects of your recruitment and employer branding activities.
    • Train employees to be brand ambassadors and share their positive experiences.
    • Measure the effectiveness of your EVP through employee engagement and retention metrics.

Companies must move beyond traditional recruitment tactics in this candidate-driven market. Attract and retain top talent by building a strong employer brand, delivering a positive candidate experience, and offering a compelling EVP that resonates with their values and aspirations.

Companies can thrive in the UK's dynamic tech landscape by listening to candidates and adapting to their needs.


The future of recruitment in the tech industry is poised for significant transformations driven by technological advancements, changing workforce dynamics, and the evolving nature of work itself.

It will be shaped by adaptability, technological integration, and a commitment to fostering diverse and skilled teams. Companies and individuals that proactively embrace these changes will not only thrive but also contribute to the advancement and innovation within the tech sector.

Contact MBA today for more information on how these trends can affect your business!



  2. Tech Nation Report 2023:
  3. The Future of Jobs Report 2020 by World Economic Forum:
  4. Future of Learning and Work from World Economic Forum:
  5. The Skills Revolution by PwC:
  6. Deloitte 2024 Global Gen Z Survey: (This report explores Gen Z's values, work preferences, and expectations across 44 countries, including the UK.)
  7. McKinsey & Company: The Social Purpose Imperative for Tech Companies: (This article discusses the importance of purpose-driven work for attracting and retaining talent, with specific examples from the tech industry.)
  8. Forbes: Why Purpose-Driven Companies Attract Top Talent: (This article highlights the benefits of purpose-driven work for both companies and employees.)
  9. LinkedIn 2024 Global Talent Trends Report: (This report includes insights on Gen Z's career aspirations, job search habits, and preferences for employer brands.)
  10. Harvard Business Review: Building an Employer Brand for Gen Z: (This article provides practical tips for companies to attract and retain Gen Z talent through employer branding.)
  11. Fast Company: 3 Ways to Attract and Retain Gen Z Talent: (This article highlights three key strategies for companies to engage Gen Z employees: flexible work arrangements, strong company culture, and opportunities for personal and professional growth.)
  12. Mercer 2024 Global Talent Trends Study: (This report highlights the importance of providing career development opportunities and mentorship programs for Gen Z employees.)
  13. Forbes: Why Mentorship Matters for Gen Z: (This article explains the benefits of mentorship for Gen Z employees and how companies can provide effective mentorship programs.)
  14. Harvard Business Review: How to Mentor Gen Z Effectively: (This article provides practical tips for mentors to effectively guide and support Gen Z employees.)
  15. UK Government Digital Strategy: strategy outlines the UK government's vision for a digital future and includes initiatives to help young people develop the skills they need to succeed in the tech industry.)
  16. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT: is a professional body for IT professionals in the UK and offers resources and programs to help young people develop their IT skills.)
  17. Tech City UK: City UK is a network of tech hubs and communities in the UK that supports the growth of the UK tech industry.)
  18. LinkedIn's 2023 Emerging Jobs Report:
  19. Burning Glass Technologies 2023 US Skills Gap Report:
  20. Coursera's 2023 Global Skills Report:



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