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Tech sector is heading for a brain drain

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The technology sector is facing high staff churn as more than half of tech professionals plan to look for a new role in 2023.

That’s according to new survey, What Tech Candidates Want 2023, from Lorien that suggests tech employer woes are also set to continue beyond the first half of the year, with 83 per cent of candidates stating they are likely to look for a new role by the end of 2023.

While this could be indicative of the wider uncertainty in the UK economy and tensions around the cost of living crisis, Lorien has warned employers that the battle for top tech skills is still rife in what many would presume is a calmer jobs market.

“It would be unwise to assume that the economic climate and tech layoffs from big brands have alleviated the skills gaps in the sector,” Darren Topping, Lorien’s director of solutions & insight, said. “Highly skilled tech professionals are still in significant demand and our data shows that the vast majority are planning to change jobs this year. Knowing what’s driving these career moves and what candidates want is going to be key to the strength of an organisation’s tech talent strategy for 2023 and beyond.”

According to the data, while salary is the top driver of moves – cited by 40 per cent of respondents – flexible working ranked second (26 per cent), with 55 per cent of those surveyed also saying they would prefer to be fully remote on a permanent basis. With employers such as Amazon pushing staff to spend more time in the office, those firms that maintain the flexible working practices that emerged post-pandemic will be in a better position to attract and retain top tech talent during any continued uncertainty.

“Pay is certainly going to be a key motivator for tech candidates as the cost of living crisis continues, but with so many firms mandating office returns the large-scale job moves could be driven by a mismatch between what tech talent wants and what employers are pushing for,” Topping added.

“The nature of many technology roles means that they can be easily managed in a remote environment, which presents a wealth of global opportunities for individuals. Businesses that don’t find that happy compromise with both current talent and future recruits will find it tough to attract and retain the skills they need to remain competitive as digital transformation and tech growth continues throughout the coming year.”

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