Leaders Navigating the Upside: Why Hiring Technology Talent in a Tough Market Can Be a Boon

In the ever-evolving landscape of the technology industry, hiring top-notch talent has become both a challenge and an opportunity. Director, Alistair Shaw investigates why organisations should consider hiring tech professionals, even in a volatile and unpredictable market.



As the global economy recovers from the recent tech job recession, we’ve seen a slowdown in open tech roles compared to the past two years. It did feel like some sort of re-alignment was on its way with salaries rising rapidly, even in Scotland, for relatively inexperienced skillsets; but from conversations with some Tech Leaders in my network, this hold on hiring seems unlikely to continue, as lean tech teams struggle with workload and failing projects.

I’ve led teams through difficult times before. Firstly, the Great Recession/Global Financial Crisis in 2008 (that was fun); and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in 2008 we made the decision to continue hiring whilst others let go, and when the market came back reasonably quickly, we were in a great place and were able to take market share. The pandemic was different as we were in unchartered waters, and like everyone else, difficult decisions had to be made around talent.

Of course, we know the market went into overdrive around 9 months after the first lockdown, creating a true war for talent across leadership roles and niche skillsets. At one point, recruiters were in the top most in-demand jobs across the UK, and tech talent had never had so many dreaded InMails on LinkedIn about jobs. Most organisations that had let staff go were now scrambling to rehire to meet a new demand in the economy. So, from my experience, those who are able to hire during difficult times, do have a great opportunity.

I have noted below why I believe hiring technology talent in a tough market can actually be advantageous, drawing insights from a recent Business Insider article titled “The Tech Job Recession Is Over, When Will Hiring Reaccelerate?”

According to the article, the tech job recession has come to an end, marking a pivotal moment for the industry. As the article highlights, the reacceleration of hiring in the tech sector is on the horizon. This shift signifies an optimal time for businesses to focus on acquiring technology talent, even in the face of a competitive market.


Why Hiring in a Tough Market Can Be a Positive Strategy

  1. Access to Top Talent: A tough job market often means that talented individuals are available due to layoffs or downsizing in other companies. Businesses can capitalise on this by hiring experienced professionals who may not have been open to new opportunities during a thriving job market. This allows companies to build a stronger and more diverse team.
  2. Cost-Effective Hiring: In a challenging job market, candidates may be more willing to negotiate on compensation and benefits. This can lead to cost savings for companies while still attracting high-quality talent. Hiring in such a market allows businesses to achieve a balance between skill and budget, contributing to long-term financial stability.
  3. Cultivating Resilience: The process of hiring during tough times necessitates careful consideration and strategic planning. Businesses that successfully navigate these challenges build a culture of resilience, adaptability and forward thinking. This culture can prove invaluable when facing future disruptions.
  4. Strengthening Employer Brands: Companies that demonstrate their commitment to their workforce during challenging periods, enhance their reputation as stable and supportive employers. Such a reputation can attract not only potential employees, but also clients and investors who value a robust and dependable business.
  5. Investment in Growth: Hiring during a tough market indicates a company’s confidence in its future growth prospects. This confidence can translate into increased motivation among the existing workforce and inspire innovation, ultimately driving the organisation towards its long-term goals.
  6. Opportunity for Upskilling: When hiring in a competitive market, companies may not find candidates with the exact skillset they need. This presents an opportunity for investing in upskilling and training existing employees. By doing so, businesses can foster loyalty and retain valuable team members, while shaping them into the talent they require.



In the wake of the supposed tech job recession’s end (perhaps this will take a bit longer to reach our shores), the technology industry is poised for a resurgence in hiring. While the market may still be challenging, the benefits of hiring for technology talent during such times are numerous and compelling.

Companies that take a proactive approach to talent acquisition in tough markets stand to gain; not only through skilled employees, but also in terms of resilience, cost-effectiveness and enhanced brand reputation. As the tech landscape continues to evolve, leaders who make strategic hiring decisions will position themselves for success in the dynamic and competitive world of tech.


If you are looking for support building out your tech leadership team, or some market intel, please get in touch for a confidential conversation: [email protected]

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