The UK is currently undergoing a skills crisis the likes of which have never been seen, with one million vacancies to fill and businesses already fighting to survive.

In this blog post, we take a look at the effects the pandemic has had on businesses trying to recruit software development professionals and provide practical advice on how to tackle hiring challenges.

How the pandemic has affected recruitment

In this current, post-pandemic period, the traditional methods of recruitment – taking an average 63 days to fill a position – are becoming defunct.

Furlough, bounce back loans and CBILS loans have helped thousands of businesses survive the pandemic in the UK, but with this extensive raft of support measures now coming to an end, the second phase of true recovery is upon the founders and decision makers who have navigated their firms through the imminent period post crisis.

Encouragingly, UK business confidence has hit a four-year high, however in the latest analysis report from Lloyds Bank, companies highlighted concerns about a skills-shortage as the primary concern for sustained survival and growth. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) reported there were 1.66 million vacancies at the end of August, with that number set to continue rising in the coming months; in the skilled arena, recruitment company Hays has warned over ‘clear signs’ of skills shortages worldwide stating salaries are rising in IT, technology and life science sectors as a result.

Finding software development talent after a crisis

With an acute skills shortage for small firms and a significant period of change to navigate, sourcing tech talent in a post-crisis business world can be tough.

Here are some of the key things you should consider when trying to hire for your software development teams:

Skills

Carefully consider the skills that the employee you are bringing in needs to possess. This seems an obvious first step, but many firms focus on hiring a job title and not skills. Which skills are business critical? And what can you teach them along the way? It is important to prioritise and then compromise on skills that come lower down on the list.

Experience vs person profile

The kind of person you will hire is also important. Experience is always desirable but after the impact of the pandemic, which disproportionately affected younger sections of society, it can be hard to find. Many young people, although perhaps lacking experience, have spent the last year and a half working on skills and are now raring to go in order to impress.

Flexibility

Remote working, from what we have seen, is very much here to stay, with a recent report for the BBC stating that 70% of workers don’t anticipate a full return to the office. Therefore, it is vital to have an up-to-date policy in place that deals with this issue. Make it clear what that policy is on your job descriptions and be willing to cater to the needs of the individual you are hiring. Buzzwords and phrases like ‘flexible working options’ will no longer cut it for a workforce in constant flux and demanding home working options.

Perks

Competition for skilled talent has never been higher, with record numbers of vacancies and companies seeing application numbers falling rapidly. Therefore, the business needs to sell itself to the candidate as much as you are looking for them to impress you with their skills and experience.

Prepare a clear vision of what actually makes your business stand out over rivals in your space or just as a place to work. The historic perks of pizza parties and office drinks will no longer be enough to make the firm an attractive place to work, but that doesn’t mean that other initiatives, perhaps with purpose in mind, shouldn’t be present and mentioned.

Team Augmentation from DCSL GuideSmiths

DCSL GuideSmiths specialises in sourcing software developers with a specific skillset on either a short-term or long-term basis with a perfect fit between project progress and cost-effectiveness.

We spoke to our CEO, Nick Thompson, about the team augmentation service and how it can benefit businesses who are struggling to hire tech talent:

“The recruitment arena is flush with a number of methods from which employers are able to source workers; with the traditional agency route being one of the many methods with which to secure skilled resource.

In many cases, sourcing the correct role for the brief at hand is the initial challenge closely followed by ensuring that individual or team integrates into the infrastructure of the business seamlessly; to support this, team augmentation sources an immediate skill solution for the brief at hand at a significantly lower cost than traditional recruitment.

Our team augmentation service is the result of years of hard work to become both a market leader in software development and a destination company for talented developers. Through this combination we are able to offer access to essential talent when our clients need it.”

If you’re looking to add to your software development team, get in touch to discuss your requirements, or visit our Team Augmentation page.