In February 2021 volumes of IT vacancies were at their highest point since the first lockdown of March 2020, with the number of IT roles registered increasing by 25%, and demand continuing to accelerate as projects put on hold during 2020 came live.

Conversely, according to a candidate availability report from a large-scale industry study, the number of IT applicants was lower than it was that time the previous year. With candidate availability dropping and CIPD research finding half of all UK employers looking to hire within the first half of 2021, if you're planning to recruit into your IT team, it may be in your best interest to act quickly.

What does this mean for hiring IT professionals in 2021?

When the pandemic hit in 2020 there were a significant number of redundancies across the majority of industries. IT candidate availability rose as those that had been made redundant sought new employment.

As demand for IT skills increased through 2021, the volume of quality candidates became constrained as many of those that were made redundant had secured new roles and there is a reluctance for those employed in stable positions to move whilst uncertainty around the pandemic remains.

In the coming months demand is set to surge, whilst at the same time the pool of available candidates diminishes. If you intend to hire into your IT team, we would advise you to move as quickly as possible, giving yourself the best possible chance of securing the strongest IT professionals.

Read more on IT jobs during economic uncertainty.

Tips to secure the best IT talent:

  • Ensure you are fully informed; call on your recruitment partners to give you a real insight into the market for the IT skills you are looking to hire. The larger and more professional recruiters will produce real time data and salary benchmarking to support you in positioning your role competitively. If you do not have this information, the Ashdown Group offer free, bespoke, up-to-date market information and provide the data you need to ensure your recruitment campaign is successful; everything from detailed salary data, guidance on candidate availability and competing demand within your industry. Read more on our IT salary guide.


  • Consider a Temporary IT Contractor; Ashdown will market your role within our private network of highly skilled IT contractors. We will align, where appropriate, industry sectors, project delivery experience and niche skills with certified IT talent. We can guide and assist you through IR35 regulations and compliance. Read more on our Contractor recruitment.


  • Present your business in the best possible light; whether you use an agency or hire internally, it’s critical to ensure the candidate’s first impression of your business is top rate. Share what makes your company special; including your values, beliefs, benefits, long term vision and goals. When working with Ashdown, we’ll compile a full profile of your company and the role you are hiring into, presenting your company and vacancy in the best possible light, providing the fullest information, and managing any further candidate questions. This depth of candidate support can often give our customers the edge when a candidate has multiple job offers. If remote interviewing and onboarding is something you’re new to, we have provided some helpful resources and insights. Read more on the importance of employer brand to attract top talent.


  • Define your flexible working policy; remote working has brought to light the benefits of a flexible working environment. From our own candidate research, almost all applicants now expect an element of flexibility regarding home working. If your flexible working policy is yet to be confirmed, you may find your role is less appealing than those competing for the same talent.


  • Partner with a well established recruitment agency with a large network of candidates within your industry sector. The Ashdown Group has been a leading light within the IT recruitment space for over twenty years, with 1.4 million registered candidates, representing 1 in 2 of all IT employees in the UK. If you do not have the resources, time or available network of IT professionals to reach out to, we can help.


Get in touch to find out more about our exceptional commercial terms including a full, 100% 13 week rebate for new hires and a 15% IT recruitment agency fee.

Get In Touch

Latest IT Jobs

CRM Software Developer

Northamptonshire / £45,000

This is an exciting opportunity for a CRM Software Developer to join a leading finance firm in the Northampton area. This role is paying £45,000 + generous annual bonus.   To be considered for this position you will have previous experience with application support & development.   This role will be based around a CRM...

Read more

Cyber Security Engineer

Hertfordshire / £45,000

A well-established business is looking for an accomplished Cyber Security Engineer to join its team based in North London. Please note this is an office-based role, so you will work from the office 5 days per week. Reporting to the Head of Cyber Security, you will work to ensure that the business has a secure,...

Read more

Network Security Engineer

London - North / £45,000

A well-established business is looking for an accomplished Network Security Engineer to join its team based in North London. Please note this is an office-based role, so you will work from the office 5 days per week. Reporting to the Head of Cyber Security, you will work to ensure that the business has a secure,...

Read more
Browse all IT jobs
Ashdown Openminds - Connecting intelligence. Join other industry thought leaders in our round table events. Sign up to benefit from this exclusive network.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
finance professionals

Put us to the test

It costs nothing to register your role. If you’ve never tried us out now is the time to find out why so many companies and managers use us as their preferred supplier.