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IT Overview

IT Overview

Our 2020 Northern Ireland Salary Guide features tech industry insight from our Specialist IT Recruiters- request a copy of the guide by emailing or read our sector insight below!

2019 saw Northern Ireland’s tech sector thrive in ways it has never done before, garnering worldwide recognition for its advances in fintech and cyber security. Belfast in particular has been recognised as one of the world’s “Fintech Hubs of the Future” by the Financial Times’ fDi, beating out other major cities to rank second on the list. 

As the market for IT and tech talent becomes more competitive, the ability to attract, secure and retain the best people will intensify and evolve. A majority of businesses have reported difficulties in finding the talent required in an appropriate time. We have already seen a shift to a market being dominated by passive candidates and the ability to identify and connect with these people will dictate success. In this supply and demand situation, the power sits with the candidate. This has forced the sector to come up with novel ideas and offer ever more increasing levels of flexibility in terms of hours and locations.

We hear the phrase employer of choice being touted more and more. The days of salary being the deciding factor for candidates are over. Company culture, brand values, work environment, career development and other aspects of the package area are equally important. 39% of companies offer flexible working as a tool to attract talent with 44% using it as a tool to retain their best people. We expect this trend to continue into 2020 and long beyond.

A looming issue for the sector is the implementation of IR35.  More and more businesses are being forced to turn to a temporary workforce to meet demands. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation have  outlined how employers in tech are increasingly concerned 
about encountering a shortage of agency workers, however most of this concern stems from IR35. From a candidate viewpoint, contract work can seem very appealing given the flexibility it affords. It will be interesting to see how IR35 affects this trend, but already the demand for both permanent and temporary agency workers in IT and tech has grown by 3 and 16 percentage points respectively.

Burgeoning technologies such as Blockchain, automation and A.I. and the implementation of these will be critical to continued growth. With these emerging technologies, the issue of cybersecurity will become even more prevalent.  Demand for mid-level Cyber Security Specialists will increase. Sourcing people with relevant cyber security experience will be critical, expect CISSP and CCP certified professionals to be highly sought after. Highly skilled Cyber Security Specialists can expect an increase in excess of 10% for their next move.  We are already experiencing a shortage in these disciplines.

Cloud-based platforms and solutions will continue their mpressive growth. Expect Azure, AWS and Dynamics 365 to be key skills and experiences hiring managers to want to see.
Business Analysts and Business Intelligence Developers will be some of the most soughtafter positions moving through the next few years. These positions will demand a high level of technical expertise and an exceptional level of communication and management skills. Expect ITIL and PRINCE2 certifications to be high on the list of demands.