2019 Job Hunting Intentions and Recruitment Channels
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2019 Job Hunting Intentions and Recruitment Channels

2019 Job Hunting Intentions and Recruitment Channels

Posted on 12th March 2019

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As we have done for several years, for the second part of our annual salary survey Be-IT has again commissioned* research into candidates’ job-hunting intentions and the channels they use to find new jobs. As in previous years, we’ll publish the results of this in three blog articles over the next few days, starting today with our analysis of job movement last year and candidates’ intentions for the first half of 2019.

Q.1 “In the last year, have you moved jobs?”

Our first question asked respondents if they had moved jobs in 2018. The results are shown in the bar chart below, which also shows the equivalent figures from 2017 and 2016.  

This bar chart suggests that there has been more activity in the market – i.e. a greater percentage of IT people moving jobs – every year.  We’ve gone from 38% moving once or more than once in 2016, to 48% in 2017 and 52% in 2018. The percentage moving more than once is broadly the same for each year, but, obviously, the percentage not moving has declined considerably year-on-year.

My colleague and our MD, Nikola Kelly, has some interesting thoughts on the growth in the numbers moving jobs. Her view is that candidates are still keen to progress but are increasingly motivated by job content and working environment. Although compensation is still very important it’s not quite the factor it was previously. What is driving more people are flexible working conditions, up-to-date technology, a good work environment and recognition of the contribution they make to the business.  

Reasons for moving IT job graphic

 Q. 2 “In the next six months, do you intend actively to look for a job?” 

The bar chart below shows the answers to this question for 2019, 2018 and 2017 and these support the results of the first question. With more people moving job in 2018 (see Q 1 above), it would not be unreasonable to expect that this trend would carry on into the first half of 2019, although some might expect that concerns around Brexit might slow the market (of which more below).

Moving in the next six months graphicClearly, our results show that more people (56%) want to move job in the first half of 2019 than wanted to in the equivalent period for 2018 (43%) or 2017 (47%).   

Although the IT job market is acknowledged to be (very) tight at the moment with skills shortages in many areas, there is no shortage of vacancies and it’s interesting to see that, unlike last year, the number saying they do not intend to move this year has decreased.  The percentage who are undecided has also gone down this year, to the lowest level in the last three years; again suggesting that the market is fluid and that if opportunities are there then more people will seek them out.   

I believe the results here, and the response to question 1 above, confirm my view that what we are seeing is a fluctuating rhythm in the IT jobs market, where, immediately after the Brexit vote, the market tightened due to feelings of insecurity.  However, human beings being human, when the predicted apocalypse didn’t occur and employment in general continued to grow, confidence returned. In addition, skills shortages in many areas, especially within IT, meant that this increasing confidence could feed on an upwardly spiraling salary curve, as evidenced by Be-IT’s annual salary surveys.

That said, why is the market not tightening up again as Brexit draws nearer (or at least does so at the time of writing)?  The UK and many other major economies are slowing, so surely this will kick through and cause indecision and a feeling of “better the devil you know?” By and large, this isn’t happening and I think this is because it’s increasingly recognised that, because we live in a digital economy, there are still skills shortages and rapidly rising salaries and so opportunity abounds. Or to put it more simply, IT is currently a bit recession proof. This has been borne out over the last six months or so, with the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s Markit reports showing IT firmly atop the perm employment market and thus candidates are extra confident about their chances in the job market.   Regardless of any potential Brexit storms, IT skills are still going to be needed (and arguably will be needed more than ever post-Brexit – think Irish Border!?) and consequently we are seeing employers continue to bring us more and better jobs. It’s going to be an interesting, and probably exciting, second quarter in 2019.

Gareth Biggerstaff, CEO, Be-IT 


* The research was carried out by thePotentMix, an independent third party, using Be-IT’s extensive candidate database, our consultants’ substantial number of Linkedin contacts, a SurveyMonkey and a complementary social media campaign.


Posted in Recruitment News, Research

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