Requirement for Software Talent Ever Increasing in Q2

Ian Kinsella 31.07.2018

A rise in demand across the sector with an increase in requirement for React developers as well as female developers and leaders.

OVERVIEW OF Q2 TECHNOLOGY RECRUITMENT


Hiring activity in the technology market for Q2 was on the up in comparison to Q1. There was an increase in demand for React developers across all sectors, but predominantly at  startup level. Due to high requirement in market for such a skill set as React, companies were hiring for these positions at a rapid pace, with recruitment processes averaging two weeks in duration.

Q2 Technology Review
As well as this, the second quarter saw the demand for female developers and women in leadership roles also increase, with many organisations aiming to prioritise diversity within the workplace. The technology industry in Canada is currently predominantly male focused so this is a remarkable development and one which more and more companies are getting on board with within this sector. According to Newswire, a mere 5% of Canadian tech companies have a sole female founder or CEO, and only 13% have a female co-founder, so the demand for female leadership is a development which is seen as a highly progressive step in this area. 


There is a system entitled; Express Entry, which the Canadian government implemented last year in an attempt to speed up the Visa process for skilled tech workers from overseas. This is set to result in major improvements in the hiring process, as there have been certain instances where recruitment processes have taken substantially longer when dealing with professionals based outside of Canada.


According to Bloomberg, demand for software talent is ever increasing as Toronto becomes the fastest-growing tech-jobs market in 2017, with the city creating more jobs than the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington D.C combined during last year alone. Software engineers are also in high demand, with average the professional being available for work for approximately 2 weeks before finding employment. There are some increasingly competitive packages for this type of engineer on the market at the moment. This level of inflation in the market has been a negative effect for cost-conscious startups who are hoping to hire the same type of development talent. 


IN DEMAND AND HIGHEST PAYING TECHNOLOGY ROLES


Senior Java Developers are in demand for permanent jobs. Many firms are looking for seasoned Java developers that can mentor and lead more junior team members. Some of these roles are coming in at as high as $140k, whereas the average salary for these roles is usually $10-20k less than this. These salaries are more what one would expect for a managerial position.


Another role which is in demand recently is that of Machine Learning Engineers, particularly those applicants who possess a PHD. Many companies require commercial experience upon completion of a PHD, however, certain AI/ML driven businesses are offering as much as $120-150k for professionals to move into Machine Learning roles immediately after PHD completion. This is interesting as it means professionals who do not have extensive working experience in an office environment are receiving high figure salaries, despite their main experience being primarily academic. 


There has been an increased interest among employers for the more senior role of Director of Software/Engineering. This is due to many companies within the industry lacking leadership and therefore resorting to reporting to the Vice President or Chief Technology Office, with no layer in between.  This scaling strategy is undesirable as these more senior figures within a company should be focused on the more important technological decisions and strategies. The general market salary rates for these Director roles is between $150-180k, however, salaries as high as $200-220k have been recorded in recent times. As these type of roles are so integral to the overall success of a company, businesses are willing to pay above and beyond in order to attract the right people. 

Q2 Technology Review


MOST DESIRABLE SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS

 

  • PHD graduates that specialise in Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence are in high demand, with or without commercial experience. 
  • React appears to be the leading technological skill required in this field. Skilled React developers are gaining a lot of attention from hiring managers across all the industry. 
  • Java developers with 5 years plus and software development managers with hands on java experience remain to be in demand, as it continues to thrive as the programming language employers want.
  • Above everything, good communication skills and the ability to work well in a team are the main competencies that companies are looking for across the board. Even if you are the most talented from a technical perspective, companies will typically hire a person who has a good personality and the right attitude over the most gifted technical mind.

Q2 Technology Review


CHALLENGES, CHANGES AND PREDICTIONS FOR Q3


Challenges and changes in the market:


There is a need within the technology industry for a more efficient speed to hire which has posed as a challenge for companies for some time now. This means that companies must move at a more rapid pace if they wish to secure the best professionals. A simple solution that we have seen a handful of companies doing recently is trying to get all the meetings done in one day as against bringing the individual back in on 3 different occasions. 


Various companies are requesting passive professionals who are not actively job seeking. These professionals are desirable as seeing as they are content in their current role, they are more likely to be a valuable asset to their employer, as well as the fact that they are less likely to be interviewing elsewhere, resulting in less competition for employers. 
According to Quartz at Work, a significant number of qualified technology professionals continue to pursue careers in the United States, and in particular in Silicon Valley, however this figure is slightly down on last year overall. This has been a challenge for the technology sector in Canada for some time now but seems to be improving slightly. The main reason behind this is that what developers are being  offered in the States is far above the average market rate, and perhaps the lack of a harsh winter is also an appealing draw. However, Toronto is certainly starting to be more competitive in terms salary offers and also promote a healthy work-life balance in order to keep skilled professionals in Canada.


Predictions:


Most companies hiring plans show no sign of slowing down during the summer months, as the demand to scale up and meet financial targets is as strong as ever. There will be an increase in the number of start-ups on the market, who will therefore in turn be looking to hire talented developers. This will mean that the need for speed to hire will increase even further. 


An influx of development talent is expected to come from Europe and South America. These professionals will be using the Express Entry form of Visa system process and this will tie into the growing trend of Canadian companies becoming more open to hiring professionals from outside Canada. 


According to Forbes, an increase in access to venture capital and public funding grants for small businesses will result in an increase in the growth of startups in Canada. Competitive tax rates, business costs and a strong economy have set up the perfect base for success for these kind of businesses and so growth in this area is set to flourish over the coming months.


The digital economy is growing at an unprecedented rate, and therefore is surpassing the digital skills professional within the industry possess, said the Globe and Mail. Therefore, there is set to be a ‘’digital skills gap’’ - this is predicted by the Informations and Communications Technology Council to lead to over 200,000 vacant roles by 2020.

Ian Kinsella's picture
Director | Senior Tech Appointments Recruitment | Canada, Toronto
ikinsella@morganmckinley.ca