A cocktail of challenges — namely the energy crisis and rising inflation — have fuelled hiring freezes, layoffs and the Great Resignation throughout Europe. But there are still reasons to stay optimistic about the tech market.
Hired’s new 2022 State of Tech Salaries report has found that, despite a blip during the pandemic, tech salaries continue to rise globally.
But what is the tech hiring environment really like today? Here’s a closer look at the stats.
Engineering management roles continue to pay
This year, an overwhelming 93% of interviewees (from marketplace data and a talent survey) say they preferred a remote or hybrid work setup, with 32% saying they are only open to remote.
In addition, businesses across the board are considering candidates from a wider remit of markets — 4.4 markets up from 3.3 in 2021.
These new expectations have had multiple offshoot effects, namely the capacity to “hire outside your own backyard”, says Josh Brenner, CEO of job search marketplace Hired.
And with the pool of talent acquisition expanding, so has the ceiling for salary expectations. In the UK, 2022 salaries grew across all years of experience.
Across the UK, US and Canada, engineering management roles continue to pay the highest throughout tech. In the UK, these roles are up 7.9% — from £107,205 last year to £113,358 today.
“People noticed that it’s relatively easy to become a tester or developer and after three to six months of learning ‘at home’ they try to land a job”
However, junior candidates’ salaries haven’t grown as quickly in all markets. Impact angel investor and CEO of startup software company Ragnarson Maciej Gałkiewicz suggests that this is because “the supply of less-skilled devs are much higher than higher-level professionals”.
“People noticed that it’s relatively easy to become a tester or developer and after three to six months of learning ‘at home’ they try to land a job. As they don’t have any commercial experience, they are ok with whatever salaries they can get,” he says.
Brenner adds that “now over 50% of hires come from a non-traditional background in that they’re either self taught or have gone to a coding boot camp”.
Either way, half of all the report’s candidates expect further salary increases by 2023, and 89.9% said that they would walk if they were denied a raise in the next six months.
A general rise in salaries
The report found 15 out of 17 markets’ remote salaries have outpaced local salaries — which is up from 13 in 2021 — paying approximately £2,540 more on average globally.
London is an exception to this rule, with remote salaries 3.6% less than local ones, with the lowest remote to local salary percentage difference across all markets globally. On the flip side however, London and Toronto witnessed the biggest local salary increases during the last year.
Salaries in the US (particularly the San Francisco Bay Area and New York) are still flying the flag for highest salaries across the board, but Tier 2 cities (which Hired defines as Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle) are on the up.
The general rise in salaries is true across all sized companies. Nonetheless, the salary differences between corporate versus startups in the UK remains the greatest at 4.5%.
Keeping up with the cost of living
While salaries are increasing, both remote and local respondents don’t feel their salaries have kept up with rising inflation and living costs. Only 20.2% strongly agree pay should be determined by candidates’ locations, and remote salaries should be based on an employee’s cost of living.
But the cut in salaries that reflect cost saved in travel, for instance, can be gained elsewhere with greater flexibility. Arfah Farooq, the cofounder of Muslamic Makers, a London based organisation upskilling Muslims in tech, says she was relieved to have a child at a time where her husband was present for the first year of their child’s life because he worked from home.
“If I need to pray, I can just pop upstairs and ask ‘can you hold her?’, or I need the toilet, ‘can you hold her?’”, she tells Sifted.
Farooq adds that hybrid work setups offer the “the best of both worlds” because “employees can go into the office to network and learn, whilst maintaining a sense of self”.
Hired’s report does not consider gaps in salary as affected by gender or race, but their 2022 State of Wage Inequality does. It found the wage gap — across gender and race — is narrowing, but still prevalent. In 2021, in the UK, it was 2.8% (compared to 1.6% in the US).
“We’ve seen that the gender pay gap has actually been shrinking and is continuing to shrink, with the one exception of black women,” says Brenner.
However, pay gap consultant Michelle Gyimah is more wary, telling Sifted that “across all sectors, we see the number of women in senior, higher paid roles diminishing the further up the organisational scale you go”. She says the pressures of Covid, redundancies, lack of career flexibility and affordable consistent childcare “has impacted the problem further with women leaving at all organisational levels”.
But are the tides changing? Farooq is soon returning to work from maternity leave and had a frank conversation with her manager about wanting to be in the office one day instead of two. “Ultimately I know they are struggling to hire, so I felt like I had the power to tell them what I want,” she says.
Diversity and inclusion
Hired’s report found that 60.6% of surveyed candidates are concerned that the 2022 economic climate will lead to the deprioritisation of DEI efforts, with 14% reporting that they had already seen this peeling back.
Brenner says this is exactly the antithesis of what companies should be doing. “This is the right time to shift from hyper-growth to more efficient growth”, and part of that is to be more “cognisant of the hires you’re making and to stay on course with your DEI efforts”, he says.
“Be proactive not reactive. Make the investment by building pipelines and relationships with candidates, and show them what your company’s culture can really offer”
Employees value company cultures — including DEI initiatives — more than ever, ranking it third in their top factors (after salary and flexible/remote work options) influencing whether to accept a job. This is particularly true of Gen Z hires, who are increasingly more concerned with the alignment of their own personal values than the company’s mission.
“Be proactive not reactive,” says Brenner. “Make the investment by building pipelines and relationships with candidates, and show them what your company’s culture can really offer.”