Demand for Scots tech experts soars to new high

Akash Marwaha, managing director for Hays, Scotland. Picture: Contributed
Akash Marwaha, managing director for Hays, Scotland. Picture: Contributed
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Demand for technology talent in Scotland has hit a fresh high as skill shortages push up salaries, a new report today reveals.

Recruitment heavyweight Hays said technology roles north of the Border had secured the top salary rises over the last 12 months.

Publishing its salary and recruiting trends 2019 guide, the firm noted that in a list of the top ten roles which received the greatest salary increases, five of these were technology positions.

Data architects saw an average increase of 16.7 per cent, with SAP architects increasing by 15.4 per cent.

Other sectors which saw high salary increases included demand planners, who are focused on forecasting processes, production and revenue (15.8 per cent), internal communications managers (14.3 per cent) and credit risk analysts (14.3 per cent).

Akash Marwaha, managing director for Hays, Scotland, said: “Overall, we’ve found that employers are pressing ahead with business plans. In fact, recruitment plans are at their highest for five years since our survey began, for both temporary and permanent recruitment

“However, the lack of suitable candidates for the majority of industries, and technology in particular, is still a serious challenge.

“And as the market continues to improve, internal communication with employees is an increasingly vital component for staff satisfaction and productivity, especially for the public sector and larger businesses.

“This increase in new roles is clearly putting pressure on candidate availability with specialised internal communications experience, consequently pushing up salaries.”

Overall, Scotland has the highest volume of employers (78 per cent) of all the areas of the UK examined who expect to increase salaries in next 12 months.

The research also shows a considerable increase in the number of employers who are anticipating a shortage of suitable candidates, from 57 per cent last year to 70 per cent this year, although the percentage planning to hire permanent staff is lower in Scotland than the rest of the UK. Hays said this might indicate a lack of long-term confidence.

Marwaha said: “Activity levels are high in Scotland with two-thirds of employers saying they plan to increase activity levels.

“However, the trend in Scotland is to hire fewer permanent roles. If employers in Scotland feel they won’t find the staff they need, they may be focusing more on temporary roles until the landscape improves.”

He added that employers needed to take a more creative approach to tackling hiring challenges.

“It’s really important that employers start thinking about hiring – based not just on experience – but on potential,” Marwaha said.

In Scotland, just 4 per cent of respondents said they planned to decrease activity next year.