As of February 2021, volumes of IT vacancies were at their highest point since the first lockdown of March 2020.

In the first two weeks of February the number of IT roles registered increased by 25%, and we predict that demand will continue to accelerate as projects put on hold during 2020 come live.

Conversely, according to a recent candidate availability report from a large-scale industry study, the number of IT applicants is lower than it was this time last year. With candidate availability dropping and a recent CIPD research finding half of all UK employers are 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 there were a significant number of redundancies across the majority of industries. IT candidate availability rose throughout 2020 as those that had been made redundant sought new employment.

As demand for IT skills increases through 2021, the volume of quality candidates will become constrained as many of those that were made redundant in 2020 have now 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.

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 salary survey.


  • 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.


  • Define your post COVID flexible working policy as quickly as possible; whilst many have found remote working, home schooling and lockdown extremely tough, it 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 post COVID 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 12.5% IT recruitment agency fee.

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