2021 European Tech Hiring Trends

in DevOps , Software Development

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Even though the Covid-19 pandemic is gradually subsiding, the effect will still linger for a while. This article measures the effect of the pandemic on the European tech hiring sector and exposes the new trends sought by tech employers in Europe.


    Across all industries, 2020 has been a catalyzing year for hiring, forcing hiring teams to modify and improve their talent acquisition models to meet the ever-increasing demand for skilled personnel, especially in the tech industry. Like many other economies, European economies experienced a shock from the pandemic and are rapidly recovering from its effects.

    Using the employer job posting data aggregated by Burning Glass, CompTIA developed the European Tech Hiring Trends, covering tech hiring activities in European countries in Q1 2020. The report surveyed ten European countries: Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Portugal, Germany, Romania, Italy, and Spain, comparing hiring activities in Q1 2021 with 2020 to gauge how well the tech industry is recovering from the 2020 decline.

    This article recapitulates this report and highlights the critical findings to help employers, professionals, and tec stakeholders understand the hiring trends in the European tech job market.

    The Economic Size of Countries Grows

    Image courtesy: https://comptiacdn.azureedge.net/webcontent/docs/default-source/research-reports/comptia-european-tech-hiring-trends---q2-2021-release.pdf Image courtesy: https://comptiacdn.azureedge.net/webcontent/docs/default-source/research-reports/comptia-european-tech-hiring-trends---q2-2021-release.pdf

    It is general knowledge that the Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on the global economy in 2020. Sequel to the ease of lockdowns across European countries, the economies gradually begin to pick up with renewed business activities. Economic growth is projected to see up to a 6.4% increase at 1198 billion for Spain, 6.0% at 237 billion for Romania, 5.8% at 2409 billion for France, and 4.2% at 1727 billion and 226 billion for Italy and the Czech Republic, respectively. Other countries projected for a lower-end Groth include Belgium (4.0% at 475 billion), Portugal (3.9% at 211 billion), Germany (3.6% at 3542 billion), Netherlands, and Poland projected for a 3.5% economic growth each.

    The Unemployment Rate in European Countries Remain Stable

    Image courtesy: https://comptiacdn.azureedge.net/webcontent/docs/default-source/research-reports/comptia-european-tech-hiring-trends---q2-2021-release.pdf Image courtesy: https://comptiacdn.azureedge.net/webcontent/docs/default-source/research-reports/comptia-european-tech-hiring-trends---q2-2021-release.pdf

    Compared to other countries like the US, the unemployment rate in European countries remains relatively stable in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic except for Spain with over 15% unemployment rate in 2020.

    However, despite the stability in unemployment rates, the slowdown in economic activities led to a slowdown in hiring activities across European countries.

    Increase in Hiring Activities

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    In recovery from the effect of the pandemic and slowdown of hiring activities, there is a 9% resurgence in hiring activities in Q1 2021 compared to Q4 2020 and a 40% increase compared to Q3 2020. Postings for tech positions experienced a new high in Q1 2021 of over 900,000 job postings compared to 600,000 in Q1 2020, about 400,000 in Q2 2020, and over 600,000 and about 800,000 in Q3 and Q4 2020, respectively.

    Software Developers, Programmers in Higher Demand

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    Across the ten European countries surveyed, Software Developers, System analysts and Cybersecurity, System administrators, Web Developers, It specialists, Database, Network, and application programmers are the tech positions with most hiring activities. In Q1 2021, there were 249,017 job postings for Software Developers, 231,464 for System analysts and cybersecurity, and over 84,000 job postings for System administrators. Further confirming the interrelated nature of technology, other occupations like IT Support Specialists and Technicians, IT MAnagers and CIOs, Application programmers, and Database and Network personnel are also in high demand.

    Employers Seek Well-rounded Tech Professionals

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    As technology keeps expanding and the advent of new scopes, tools, hardware, and methodologies, analysis of job requirements suggests that employers are more interested in candidates with an understanding of a broad scope of technical skills. Take a Software Developer position; for example, a typical employer prefers a candidate with experience in multiple programming languages, a knowledge of cybersecurity, at least one cloud platform, and familiarity with DevOps processes.

    Office/Spreadsheets, programming/object-oriented programming, Business IT systems, SQL, Database, and Unified Modelling Language are some of the most sought-after technical skills in tech job postings.

    Employers Require Soft Skills as Part of Primary Skills

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    Business and soft skills are no longer viewed as secondary in tech positions. Job postings reveal this with tech employers regarding soft skills like critical thinking, teamwork, problem-solving, project, and time management, equally important as technical skills.

    39% of Job Postings Seek Professionals With 0-2 Years of Experience

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    While most tech employers now hire based on expertise, skills, and performance, years of experience remain a decisive criterion in tech job postings. In Q1 2021, employers seek more entry-level professionals with 0-2 years of experience. 14% of tech job postings in Q1 2021 require 3-10 years of experience, 11% require 11+ years of experience, while 36% did not specify the years of experience required.

    Salary Ranges from 36k to 90k

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    Employers offer a salary in the 36,000 range, primarily for entry-level job postings, excluding other side incomes. Varying with the level of expertise, years of experience, and locations, tech job postings offer up to 90,000 in base salary, excluding other compensations and bonuses. Compared to periods before the pandemic salary for some tech roles such as DevOps, platform engineer, and AI engineer has also increased post-pandemic.

    Germany, France Lead in Tech Hirings

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    Even though it is a 4% decrease from Q4 2020, Germany leads all ten countries surveyed with 421,109 tech hirings in Q1 2021. France follows a 16% increase at 121,863 compared to Q4 2020, while Poland trails with 105 921 tech hirings at a 37% increase to Q4 2020. Italy and Netherlands also experienced a 50%(60,082) and 43%(53,313) surge in tech hirings in Q1 2021, respectively.

    Information and Communication, Manufacturing Industry Leads Tech Hiring

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    As organizations turn to technology to cushion the effects of the pandemic and increase business growth, the Information and Communication industry leads in hiring for tech positions. Other industries like the manufacturing industry, Administrative and support services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and Finacial and industrial industries are also among the leading industries hiring for tech positions.

    You may be also interested in reading these articles:

    Devops Pros Salary on the Rise Despite the Effect of the Pandemic

    Salary Trends for DevOps and Cloud Native Professionals


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