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Struggling to find your next hire? This could be why:

YOU’RE FIRED! The 2 words no one wants to hear.
Fortunately for Mark Wright, he avoided those words back in 2014 when he won The Apprentice and set up his own Digital Agency with the help of Sir Alan Sugar. However, the past 7 years have proven to be a difficult time for hiring new staff.

“Right now, I have 14 roles immediately available and over the last few months we’ve had one application”.

Mark Wright has all the financial backing of Alan Sugar. As well as his group and if they are struggling to fill roles. I hope that puts into perspective the current state of the market.

The skills shortage is real – particurly in the tech sector – and is taking it’s toll across the country. With the ever-increasing demand for niche technical skills and thus talent, there is a growing job-role surplus. With digital expansion in some parts of the world still very much in it’s infancy, the situation is only going to get worse.

“Facebook advertising. Google advertising. Some of this stuff has only been around 5-10 years and there’s a huge skills shortage”.

Admittedly Mark makes reference to new marketing technologies however the same issues still arise across the world of software development. VueJS was released in 2014. React released in 2013 and even much sought after frameworks such as Kotlin have been around for a decade now. This amalgamation of old & new technology is creating a skills conundrum whereby developers are penalised in a recruitment process for not having 2/3 skills in a job spec wish list of 15.

We get that when you pay anywhere between £25,000 and £80,000 for the services of a developer you have a right to be picky but is it doing you a disservice?

This is where it becomes tricky.

When you are hiring you have 3 options:

  • Employ someone who has the skills needed.
  • Hire someone with the core base and train them in their gaps.
  • Don’t hire anyone.

If you are put off by the salary expectations of a Senior Developer who does not have 100% of the skills & frameworks you see as essential, you may be tempted to go down the route of hiring a more junior employee with a view to training them up. What you may not realise is that an accomplished senior with years of experience under their belt should have the professional nouse to appy themselves to whatever you need them to.

We spoke with the Ex-Chief Engineer of BJSS who claimed any accomplished senior developer should be able to pick up a new technology and be comfortable using it within one week. To that end, he highlighted that when you employ a junior it is preferable to hire for the skills you are looking for there & then as they will not be fully attuned to the complexities of different languages that Senior Dev’s can easily recognise.

Both of these methods are going to require some level of training, as should any career move. Speaking with hundreds of Software Engineers the two main factors candidates consider when moving roles are increased remuneration & learning new skills. The excuse of “training takes too long & is far too expensive so we need to hire for the skills right now” just isn’t going to cut it in today’s market. We get that training is cost and time prohibitive so let’s take another look at those options:

  • Employ someone who has the skills needed. Ideal situation and 100% problem solved but such individuals are hugely in demand by your competitors
  • Hire someone and train them in their gaps. In the long term, the ROI could be huge and you also help instill a sense of company loyalty
  • Don’t hire anyone. The cost of this isn’t worth considering as an option. No new hires can lead to project delays and loss of earnings.

The gap is getting bigger, and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down.

You need to make a choice:

Help bridge the skills gap by offering more training and being less picky when it comes to senior candidates. Or you dont have to anyone resulting in your growth plans to stagnate. You can always drop us a line to discuss your future plans.

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