Getting under the skin of the severe finance and tech candidate shortage

Alastair Paterson our consultant managing the role

As the vaccine rollout in the UK continues, there is a palpable sense of growing confidence in the job market and the wider economy. The OECD now forecasts a GDP growth of 7.2% in 2021 , which is noticeably up from the 5.1% growth predicted in December.

The world has been suspended in a state of uncertainty for a prolonged period, where the word ‘unprecedented’ became all too familiar. Now, as organisations welcome a new way of working, they’re looking for candidates to join their teams and help steer them along the road to recovery. Though many businesses are on the right path, they're facing the immense challenge of a severe candidate shortage.

Our data paints a picture

We asked a select number of candidates who registered with us throughout H1 2021 to share how many suitable roles they received, and how many processes they are involved in.

The data demonstrates that the market is bouncing back at an alarming rate, and we predict a snowball effect that will see even more demand for great candidates through H2, and into next year.

What is driving the candidate shortage and how to tackle it

The success of the vaccine rollout has sparked businesses to reopen their doors, and organisations that were fortunate enough to shift to a remote workforce during the height of the pandemic are now beginning to welcome back their staff. All of this means hiring plans are in full swing and the tech and finance talent landscape has shifted back to a candidate-driven market.

According to KMPG, May saw a record spike in billings for temporary staff , fuelled by a shortage of permanent staff. The number of permanent vacancies have increased for four consecutive months – the fastest rate the UK has seen in over 20 years.

This makes engaging with and attracting highly qualified, quality candidates all the more important. For executive search, the best people on the market have an abundance of choices when it comes to their next role. Organisations are not only competing on base salary but also equity, bonus value creation, flexible hours and hybrid working.

Highlighting employee benefits is key for candidate attraction, but it’s also a smart way to incentivise strong performance."


A candidate shortage is not the only shift taking place in the job market. As businesses incorporate more sophisticated technology stacks and automate routine tasks, there is a greater demand for finance and tech candidates who are data literate and, therefore, confident in data-rich environments.

Spotting the right talent in a skills crisis

The skills crisis adds another layer of difficulty to recruiting in a candidate-driven market. In fact, 24% of businesses are witnessing a lack of ‘knowledge of emerging technologies and solutions’.

It’s not breaking news that data competencies top the list of most in-demand skills, but what has taken many employers by surprise is how fast the digital revolution has accelerated the skills crisis. Covid-19 impacted almost every aspect of human life, most notably working patterns. Many businesses saw an almost overnight transition to remote working and were presented with the sudden task of engaging a remote workforce . Hiring teams now sense the urgency to find candidates who have the analytical skills that will enable them to expertly navigate their businesses through this wave of digital transformation.

Why working with a recruitment consultancy could be right for your business

The skills gap has been rebranded as a skills crisis. This is alarming for businesses who were already facing the challenge of attracting top talent, and for companies operating in the executive search space where talent pools are often even shallower. For many of these organisations, the answer is a recruitment consultancy.

Enlisting the help of a consultancy is not simply about having an extra pair of hands. Businesses place their trust in us, relying on our expertise, knowledge of the market, and carefully nurtured talent pools.

When weighing up the pros and cons of in-house recruitment , it’s important to look at the full picture. While it can seem a cost-effective decision to handle the hiring process internally, when you add up the time and money spent writing and advertising vacancies, contacting passive candidates, responding to questions and applications and vetting CVs, the value of a consultancy soon becomes clear. A specialist consultant will be entrenched in their field, meaning their candidate network comprises some of the best active and, more importantly, passive professionals out there. They’ve often been pre-vetted - another factor that can seriously cut down the time-to-hire.

Our specialist consultants at Marks Sattin can find you the best finance and tech professionals

At Marks Sattin, we know that hiring the right people - especially at the leadership level - requires a methodical approach with a clear time-bound structure. Every aspect of our service - from sourcing and screening candidates to relationship building with clients and candidates - is approached with the utmost care and professionalism.

Our clients partner with us because they’re confident placing their trust in our process and they continue these partnerships because we deliver the best candidates. No matter the level of candidate you’re searching for, whether you’re looking for an accounts assistant, a head of finance or an IT audit manager, we’ll tap into our strong database of quality candidates to make sure you find the person who is the best fit for your team.

Submit a brief and we’ll be in touch right away to discuss how we can help you.
22/07/21
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