​Our recently published Future of Work 2024 report discusses a myriad of challenges that businesses face when it comes to attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. From economic uncertainties, talent shortages and advancements in AI – the hiring landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

One of the key insights from the 100+ business leaders we surveyed, stated that over a third are concerned that are unable to recruit individuals with the necessary skills. Furthermore, the same amount believe their current workforce does not posses the skills needed for the world of tomorrow; but with 600,000 unfilled digital and tech jobs already in the UK, and with a further 678,000 set be created by 2025, how are businesses expected to plug the gap?


One of the ways is by exploring a skills-based hiring approach, where employers evaluate potential candidates, focusing on practical abilities and competencies rather than education or career progression. The aim is to hire people who are most capable of excelling in their role, not someone who looks best on paper.


The Emergence of Skills-Based Hiring

Over the last few years, skills-based hiring or skills-first hiring has emerged as a solution to a variety of converging trends. The emergence of AI and AR means that many job now require specific skills that weren’t taught in traditional education setting even a few years ago. Furthermore, the recognition and value of having diverse teams and inclusive workspaces, has prompted organisations to look beyond conventional hiring criteria, which can inadvertently favour certain demographical profiles.

By focussing on skills, companies can access a wider talent pool, including those who are self-taught professionals, career changers, and those who have acquired their skills through non-traditional means. Evidence suggests that this approach creates a more efficient hiring process that is faster, fairer, and more enjoyable, in addition to:


The Benefits of Skills-Based Hiring

1. Identify Better Candidates

By prioritising the skills necessary for the position, employers increase the likelihood of recruiting candidates who are a good fit for the job, and who can adapt quickly to their new role. What’s more, it can lead to a faster time-to-hire as companies are able to efficiently evaluate and prioritise candidates based on their quantifiable skills in early candidate assessments.

2. Broadening a Diverse Talent Pool

This approach can increase the talent by up to 10x times and helps level the playing field by prioritising transferable skills. It also allows businesses to find new, untapped talent, lessening the need to compete with other companies for the same talent.

3. Improved Performance & Productivity

Employees hired through skills-based hiring are 2.8x more likely to be high performers in their roles compared to those hired solely based on their formal education or pedigree. Overall productivity and outputs of the organisation are also greatly improved.

4. Increased Retention

One of the most significant advantages to skills-based hiring is a reduction in employee turnover rates. When candidates are hired based on their skills, they are more likely to be a better fit for the role, therefore leading to greater job satisfaction. Interestingly, those employees without degrees tend to stay at a company 34% longer than those with degrees.


Considerations in Implementing Skills-Based Hiring

Adopting a skills-based approach requires a cultural shift within organisations, as well as changes in HR practices and policies, but the evidence for such a transition is rather compelling. To do so, employers need to consider implementing:

  • Competency frameworks – develop clear frameworks that define the skills and behaviours for each role (sometimes referred to as a skills and competency matrix)
  • Structured interviews – drive structured interviews that are focussed upon behavioural and situational questions to assess candidates competencies
  • Skills assessments – employ skills assessments and practical tasks to evaluate candidates’ abilities in a real-world context
  • Anonymous hiring practices – consider anonymous CV’s to reduce unconscious bias, focusing solely on the skills and competencies of a candidates


By shifting away from traditional hiring models, a skills-first approach can unlock opportunities for millions of candidates, equipping organisations to build agile, innovative, and future-ready workforces. This approach also supports more diverse, motivated workforces, comprising of individuals who are likely to succeed in their roles. In turn, this creates better employee engagement and higher retention rates.

This is just one solution to help tackle the talent and skills shortage, and with the world of work becoming more convoluted by the week, it’s important to build a workforce that is future ready. Download our Future of Work 2024 report to discover other actionable imperatives that will enable you to remain ahead of the curve when it comes to talent attraction and retention.

Alternatively, if you’d like to discuss how to implement skills-based hiring into your process, then reach out to us at info@arrowsgroup.com.

Download our Future of Work 2024 Report

​Last year was undoubtedly a tricky year for Talent Acquisition, both as a profession but also in terms of job satisfaction and fulfilment. It already feels like there have been some positive in roads in 2024, and there are lots of reasons to be optimistic for the year ahead. There are many trends that will transcend from last year, which will continue to define and shape the talent and recruitment landscape.

In this article, I have highlighted some of those including skills-based hiring, the ongoing power struggle between employee and employer, and of course, AI.

A re-balancing in the jobs market

​Firstly, let us start with the jobs market – and the normalisation of.

​Over the last few years, we have experienced two parallel worlds – the recovery from the pandemic where there was an immense hiring boom, and then the economic downturn where the market contracted greatly. Unfortunately, the creative, digital and tech industries were hit the hardest with layoff’s, restructuring, and hiring freezes. As a result, the feast to famine felt extreme, and businesses continue to grapple with difficult economic conditions, an evolving customer base and an increasingly demanding workforce.

​Overall, the market has re-balanced similar to pre-pandemic times – and so employers are still hiring but are far more cautious and diligent. Equally, talent have also been hesitant, however, in January alone, we’ve seen an increase in 14% number of applications from Q3 to Q4, suggesting that people are open to new opportunities.

​Whilst candidates are open to new opportunities, I’m afraid the market is going to continue to be relatively volatile – with a marginal prediction of growth in GDP in the UK, the biggest voting year in the world on record, and on-going global unrest.

Tackling the talent and skills shortage

​​Our Future of Work Report 2024 highlighted that over one third of businesses are concerned they are unable to hire the right talent, with the right skills; and with over 600,000 roles currently unfilled, and 600,000 more to be created by 2025, employers and recruiters are going to have to think and work differently.

​​One approach that can help fill the void, and we’re already starting to see it, is a shift towards skills-based hiring. This approach focusses on what candidates can do, rather than just what their credentials say – which enables businesses to identify untapped, diverse talent more efficiently. Equally, it reduces the number of mis-hires by up to 88%, and talent often sticks around longer because they’re a better fit for the role and therefore have greater job satisfaction.

​​However, it’s not just about the technical skills of a candidate – there is going to be far greater emphasis on soft skills particularly around communication, collaboration and problem solving. I recently wrote an article on why soft skills matter in the creative industries(which can be applied to all industries) – and how it’s vital they should be assessed in the hiring process.

​​Enabling a skills-first approach can unlock opportunities for millions of diverse candidates, and equips businesses to build more agile, innovative and future-ready workforces.


The power pendulum is swinging

​​Over the last 18 months or so, we have witnessed businesses beginning to back-pedal on their flexible workplace policies. Some of the biggest in the world including the likes of Apple, Amazon, Disney, Google, and even Zoom (the irony is not lost!), to name a few, have begun to mandate their employees return to the office.

​​There are several perceived reasons for this – a perceived lack of remote work productivity, a desire for greater collaborations and mentoring, a better workplace culture, and perhaps even a lack of trust from leadership. With recent redundancies, and an increase in applications, we are seeing the beginnings of a shift in the power pendulum swinging back towards employers.

​However, what employees continue to value the most (alongside salaries), is flexibility, or at least a certain level of it. In the years since the pandemic, people have realised and become used to the benefits of flexible working, and most do not want to go back to 5 days in the office. Our 2023 Salary Census findings show this, with almost two-thirds of respondents (61%) stated they wanted a fully flexible workplace policy – something I anticipate will not change hugely when we come to analyse the data of our 2024 Salary Census.

​​This means there is a disconnect between what employers and employees want – and whilst there will not be a complete reversal on flexible working, there will be more comprises to be had.


The emergence and navigation of AI and automation

​One of the hottest topics of 2023 was how businesses and employees should navigate the complex world of AI, specifically generative AI. We saw last year how these advanced technologies have started to re-shape elements of the world of work, enabling users to accelerate processes and create efficiencies.

​Despite all the talk, only 17% of businesses felt fully prepared for AI and were investing into it – so there is still quite a bit of exploration to do for most. Businesses will be challenged in striking a balance between making the most of the technologies, while mitigating a multitude of risks – including security and privacy, usage, quality control, regulations etc.

​From a talent acquisition perspective, one of the biggest challenges will be how to utilise the power of AI in the hiring process, without dehumanising it. We know that these tools can sort through thousands of resumes quickly, identifying core key skills for a vacancy, however, it’s the humanisation that discerns the nuances of whether a candidate is the right cultural fit for a business.


Encouraging far greater pay transparency

​​A topic that has rumbled on for what feels like an eternity, but grossly important is pay transparency. With the EU’s recently approved ‘Pay Transparency Directive’, we can expect far great coverage, traction and pressure on UK businesses to be transparent around their salaries and day rates.

​Businesses who are transparent with their salary listings are quickly becoming hallmarked as progressive – and arguably have a better success rate in attracting, engaging and retaining talent. From increase applications from diverse candidates, to reducing negotiations, to increased candidate trust – it’s a better experience for everyone. Additionally, studies by the CIPD have found that businesses with more transparent pay practices had considerably lower turnover rates amongst their employees, as their more engaged and motivated.

​As part of our pledge to encourage greater pay transparency, we launched our Earn Your Worth campaign in 2019, where we actively do not ask our candidates to divulge their salary history, in a bid to cut pay gaps and improve equity across the creative industries. We believe asking for salary history can perpetuate pay inequalities and hinder those from minority groups across gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability & neurodiversity.

​​By making this simple change to the hiring process, it levels the playing field, and ensures talent are paid fairly based on their skills, experience, and ability to do the job; not on their perceived worth or ability to negotiate


2024 is the year for action

​​Whilst none of the trends outlined are particularly new, the world of talent acquisition is going to continue to evolve rapidly. We can expect it there to be greater scrutiny on transparency – from tech, data and policy perspectives, with demands and expectations from job seekers and candidates ever growing.

​Forecasting the economy and the labour market is incredibly tricky, however, the expectation is that 2024 will be about stability and incremental growth. It’s therefore important, that businesses and talent acquisition professionals continue to remain agile, and pivot where necessary.

​​Our recent Future of Work 2024 report provides business with valuable insights and actionable strategies to help navigate the changing landscape of work and remain competitive. If there are any trends or insights in the report or above that you would like to discuss in greater detail, or if you would like to talk about your talent acquisition strategies then please email hello@arrowsgroup.com and member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Over the last few years, business leaders have become more aware of their responsibility to ensure that their workforce feel supported and have appropriate measures when it comes to mental health provisions. The ongoing economic uncertainty has put budgets under greater scrutiny, with many making cuts across all areas of the business to alleviate financial pressures.

Operations and internal people budgets are likely to be at the front of the queue – with some activations seen as more of a ‘nice to have’ than a ‘must have’. As a result, businesses risk de-prioritising things like mental health at a time when it is arguably needed the most.

Early data from our 2024 Tech Census indicates that:

o   Only 12% of permanent workers feel like they get lots of support with regular wellness programmes and check-ins, while 27% get no or very minimal support

o   While over half of freelancers (56%) receive no or very little support

o   Additionally, a quarter of workers, both permanent and freelance, feel that changing roles will positively improve their mental health

Our charity partner, MIND, also highlight that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year; and the cost-of-living crisis only making it harder to look after our mental health. It’s important that workplaces continue to provide support and guidance to those who need it.

On Thursday 1st February 2024, it’s Time to Talk Day – an annual date in the diary aimed at getting the nation talking about mental health. It is a day where friends, families, communities, and workplaces can come together to talk, listen, and support one another – and the more conversations we have, the easier things can feel.

What’s more, is that it doesn’t cost a thing to get involved in and can make a real difference to somebody. We encourage all businesses this Time to Talk Day to carve out a safe space for their employees to converse with one another – as simple as providing a space to have lunch together.

There are wide range of resources on the Time to Talk website – along with further guidance for supporting those in the workplace from MIND.

Top Tips for Getting Started:

Ask questions and listen

Asking questions can give the person space to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through, and it will help you to understand their experience better. Try to ask questions that are open and not leading or judgmental, like “how does that affect you?” or “what does it feel like?”

Think about the time and place

Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. So, if you do talk in person, you might want to chat while you are doing something else. You could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic. However, don’t let the search for the perfect place put you off!

Don’t try and fix it

It can be hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time but try to resist the urge to offer quick fixes to what they’re going through. Learning to manage or recover from a mental health problem can be a long journey, and they’ve likely already considered lots of different tools and strategies. Just talking can be really powerful, so unless they’ve asked for advice directly, it might be best just to listen.

Treat them the same

When someone has a mental health problem, they’re still the same person as they were before. And that means when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple. Do the things you’d normally do.

Be patient

No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through. That’s ok – the fact that you’ve tried to talk to them about it may make it easier for them to open up another time.

Support helplines and services:

o   MIND – provide a number of services including helplines, crisis resources and an A-Z for mental health. They can provide support via their info, welfare benefit or legal lines. For more info visit www.mind.org

o   Shout – offers confidential 24/7 text messaging support for times when you need immediate support. Trained volunteers can help with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression and will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better. Text the word “REACH” to 85258.  Visit www.giveusashout.org

o   Samaritans – a safe place to talk 24/7 about whatever is troubling you. Call 116 123.  Visit www.samaritans.org/

o   Talking Therapies – free NHS therapy for people with common mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, to help you change the way you feel by changing the way you think.  Online therapy available 24/7, with weekly online support from your therapist. Six-week course also available to help you to develop skills to manage your mood.  Visit merseycare.nhs.uk  and search talking therapies.

o   Listening Ear – provides counselling support for people of all ages. Call 0151 488 6648 Visit https://listening-ear.co.uk

o   Silver Line – free, confidential telephone service for those aged 55 and over, provides friendship, conversation and support 24/7. Call 0800 470 8090 or visit thesilverline.org.uk/

o   AMPARO – free confidential support for anyone affected by suicide. Call 0330 088 9255 or visit amparo.org.uk/

o   StayAlive app – for those at risk of suicide and for people worried about someone. Suicide prevention resource which provides information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis including a safety plan and LifeBox where people can upload images or videos that remind them of their reasons to stay alive.  Download free on both iOS and Android devices.

o   Every Mind Matters NHS website – offers expert advice, practical tips and personalised action plans from the NHS to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Visit  Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Crisis mental health support:

If you or someone you know are in mental health crisis and no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation and need urgent helpyou can call the NHS Mental Health crisis line. NHS staff will then support you to get the help you need. Available 24/7. Call freephone 0800 051 1508.

How we work, the importance of work in our lives, and even what we mean by work are all being transformed at a pace which can at times feel unmanageable. Businesses are having to adapt and evolve like never before in response to geopolitical turmoil, financial downturns, technological advances, and societal shifts – and understanding the future of work is vital for those striving for success.

Our Future of Work 2024 report draws upon the insights and experiences from 100+ business leaders from across the UK, including Domestic & General, Sky, Nestle, Financial Times, Haygarth (Omnicom Agency) and Proud Robinson; and provides actionable strategies to ensure your business remains agile, resilient, and competitive in a constantly changing landscape.​

If you’d like to receive a free copy of the report, then fill out your details below:

This year’s Tech Census (formerly our Salary Survey) will delve deeper than ever before into the sentiments surrounding the world of work, specifically careers, salaries, and workplace trends.

With separate permanent and freelance / contract surveys, your input will shape how businesses engage with their employees, enabling you to explore:

  • Your true worth by benchmarking your salary or day rate versus that of your peers or teams

  • What benefits and rewards people want, and what businesses are currently offering

  • How AI is already impacting careers and industries

  • Whether representation, pay gaps or diversity has improved over the last 12 months.

  • What businesses are putting in place to attract, engage and retain talent

We fully understand that your time is valuable, but the survey will only take a few minutes to complete, and you will be adding to the largest collective within marketing, digital, product and creative. As an appreciation for your troubles, you will automatically be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win any of the following: reMarkable 2, a coaching session with executive coach, Francesca Hernandez or one of 5 x £50 Amazon Gift Vouchers. That’s not all, for every participant in this year’s survey, we will plant a tree in our Forever Forest – plus you will receive a copy of the findings a week before it is officially published.

You can also be rest assured that all your information is handled with the utmost care and confidentially. We use this survey for research purposes only, and your data is securely stored. We are committed to protecting your privacy, and your information will never be shared with any third parties.

Take Part Here 

This October we are commemorating Black History Month, a time dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the significant contributions of Black individuals to British culture and progress. As the month draws to a close, we’re ‘Saluting our Sisters’ and joining the #WeMatter movement, to highlight and celebrate the Black Women who have been instrumental in the STEM.

Black women in STEM have stood as monumental pillars, reshaping landscapes and challenging norms. Despite challenges, these Black women have used their brilliance to leave indelible marks in their fields, often trailblazing the way for others.


Chi Onwurah

“Technology is an incredibly creative and exciting career choice for women, it’s not just about coding in a back room.”

Chi Onwurah’s world highlight her dedication to bridging technology and governance. As an engineer-turned-MP, she paves the way for the fusion of innovation and policy, inspiring women to thrive in both realms.

Kit Ahweyevu 

“Building a diverse workforce and leadership layer, and empowering those folk is essential to meaningful and systemic change.”

Kit Ahweyevu

Kit Ahweyevu is the CEO of Mindweaver, and a board advisor championing inclusion, belonging, and equality in technology. A pioneer, Kit is highly regarded within the technology industries, and is dedicated to empowering the underemployed and overlooked groups through working with UK businesses and government departments to build diverse teams, and create antiracist and inclusive policies.


Jacky Wright

“Inclusion drives innovation.”

Jacky Wright’s leadership echelons of Microsoft, ascending the status as a beacon of unwavering commitment and dedication. Now at McKinsey, her contributions to fostering innovation while ardently championing diversity serve as a profound testament. Her journey is a testament to the importance of resilience, vision, and a deep commitment to inclusivity. Through her exemplary achievements, she illustrates that with purpose and tenacity, transformative change is not just possible—it’s imminent.


Dr. Samantha Tross

“Orthopaedic surgery chose me.”

In 2005, Dr. Samantha Tross, as the UK’s first black female orthopaedic surgeon, became a beacon of talent and determination. Her groundbreaking journey not only shattered barriers but also lit a path of inspiration, highlighting the transformative power of representation and diversity in medicine.


*Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE

“I quickly realised that the only way to address the lack of women in STEM was to inspire the next generation.”

With this conviction, Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon founded Stemettes. Beyond academic prowess, she’s on a mission to ensure every young woman knows her potential in science and innovation.


Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE

“Space is not only for rocket scientists and billionaires.”

Through ‘The Sky at Night’, Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock brings the wonders of the universe closer to everyone, young and old. Her passion communicates an essential truth: the cosmos is a vast treasure trove of discovery, waiting for all of us.


Dr. Nike Folayan MBE

Engineering Change: A Vision for a Diverse Future

Dr. Nike Folayan MBE’s heartfelt fight just on engineering as a career, isn’t just about. Serving as WES’s Technical Director, she’s also the heart of AFBE-UK, touching the lives of 200,000 beneficiaries and amplifying diversity in engineering. With accolades like an MBE and honorary doctorates, her name is synonymous with transformational leadership.


Professor Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu

“Increasing awareness is crucial.”

Professor Anionwu’s dedication to nursing and her groundbreaking work in sickle cell and thalassaemia care underscores the importance of understanding, compassion, and education in healthcare. Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of dedication.


Gisela Abbam FRSA

“I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Gisela Abbam FRSA, Chair of the Global Health Impact Council, is a beacon of passion and dedication in the STEM field. Her unwavering influence in initiatives to harmonise global talent spans the broader expanse of science and innovation. With illustrious track records, from significant roles to commendable awards and global collaborations, Gisela’s mark on health, business, and STEM is undeniable. From General Electric to the World Health Organisation, her steadfast commitment to elevating global health and mentoring the next STEM leaders is forging pioneering pathways.


There are also a number of organisations across the creative industries, who are breaking down barriers, increasing representation and enable people to thrive in their industries:

Mindweaver – they help build diverse digital teams, embed antiracism, create more inclusive environments and unlock innovation ensuring under-represented communities are part of shaping the technological places and spaces that will change the world.

Inclusive hiring is more than just a catchphrase; it’s evolved into a crucial component of any contemporary business strategy within the tech sector.

Our latest Tech Industries Census Report disclosed that 52% of tech enterprises are still expanding their teams, and our findings consistently highlight the importance of adopting measures that attract and foster diverse talents. Executives in the tech space are urged to adopt a thoughtful and forward-thinking approach to form diverse teams and cultivate an inclusive environment, to stay competitive, spur innovation, and adapt to the fluctuating demands of the market.

It’s evident that businesses emphasising inclusive recruitment are more inclined to enjoy a diverse and engaged team, contributing to enhanced innovation and a variety of thoughts and experiences. As an increasing number of clients prioritise diversity, equity, and inclusion, the question arises: do leaders eager to partake know where and how to commence their journey?

Common hurdles such as insufficient diversity in the talent pool, unconscious bias during recruitment, and inadequate support for marginalised employees post-hiring often lead to a stagnation of inclusive hiring initiatives. To realign focus on inclusive strategies, we’re elucidating our top 4 methods to refine your hiring practices for inclusivity:


Incorporate DE&I Throughout

From initiation to culmination, tech firms can equip themselves with equitable and comprehensive hiring strategies at every phase.

While starting with entry-level roles is advisable, it’s vital to establish a hiring process that is inclusive and just for all. Initiatives like workshops and reasonable modifications can level the playing field, ensuring candidates from diverse backgrounds have equal opportunities to excel. Referral programs have their merits, but they might not always yield a diverse range of candidates and should be approached with caution. When progressing beyond entry-level roles, considering the implementation of ‘long list’ quotas can be beneficial to explore a broader spectrum of candidates.

Early on, hiring managers can employ ‘long list’ quotas and diverse job platforms to aid underrepresented groups or those facing industry obstacles. These quotas enable managers to discover candidates with transferable skills, either ascending the career ladder or re-entering the sector post hiatus.

Additionally, leveraging diverse job platforms enhances the diversity of talent pools across gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, and race. Investing in such platforms allows businesses to connect with inclusive organisations, fostering relationships to further DE&I initiatives.

Companies might also explore masked recruitment phases, where specific demographic details of applicants are hidden during the preliminary stages. Group Commercial Director, Rosa Rolo shares, ”the challenge around anonymised recruitment processes is that it doesn’t address the bias in the organisation. This gap could negatively impact a less inclusive organisation and therefore affect retention of diverse candidate pools.” This highlights why a one-size fits all approach is not effective and likely can do more harm than good. Ultimately, it is about ensuring that at each stage of the process has DE&I recommendations against it.


Harness the Power of Data

Assessing the efficacy of your hiring endeavours is fundamental to ensuring your strategies are custom-built and sustain their effectiveness. Relying solely on a ‘one size fits all’ model does not cater to the distinctive needs of today’s tech businesses.

Instead, focus on what your data is telling you. As a crucial research tool at the disposal of hiring managers everywhere, data can help to reveal blind spots and unique issues facing your businesses. From the percentage of hires from underrepresented groups to retention in these spaces, metrics can help identify trends and make data-driven decisions to improve their hiring practices. This makes strategy planning a far more tailored and purposeful exercise, where you’re more likely to carve out a more realistic and grounded plan for change.


Foster Open Communication

Inclusive hiring should not be viewed as a mere compliance requirement, and while data is instrumental in identifying improvement areas, consistent feedback is essential to refining hiring and broader operational processes. Establishing regular channels for feedback and collective decision-making empowers employees to share insights, contributing to the development of a more holistic business model. A study by Deloitte revealed that companies with a dedicated diversity and inclusion council were 3.7 times better equipped to adapt to market shifts and customer requirements compared to those without. These companies were also 2.3 times more likely to exhibit innovation and agility and 1.7 times more likely to be industry leaders. The structure of such forums may vary, but they ensure sustained commitment to inclusive practices and provide a platform for employees interested in DE&I to make a meaningful impact.


Catalyse Change at Any Stage of Your DE&I Journey

Regardless of where you find yourself on your DE&I path, embracing inclusive practices remains invaluable for leading tech companies.

As experts in tech talent acquisition, reach out to one of our consultants to discover how we can assist you on your inclusive hiring journey or for personalized staffing consultancy.

To explore more about inclusive hiring processes or our partnerships, feel free to connect with us.

In our latest ‘5 Minutes With’ series we caught up with Suraj Bist, Chief Technology Officer at SimplyPhi to discuss how technology is tackling the current housing crisis, and how data, if used correctly, can help shape the future of housing in the UK for the better.


Could you talk us through your current role with SimplyPhi?

In my role as CTO at SimplyPhi, I play a pivotal role in shaping the company’s technology direction, spearheading product development, nurturing essential partnerships, and strategically allocating resources to propel the firm’s growth and success within the investment sector. I have a wealth of experience in technology, finance and real estate which uniquely positions me to excel in an influential leadership capacity.


In your own words, could you describe the business mission of SimplyPhi?  

SimplyPhi is a B2B proptech platform, speeding up the process for institutional buyers of residential property to acquire or rent homes in volume and at pace. Our customers are primarily local authorities and other central government bodies (Home Office, MOD etc), and real estate funds and investors. As a Certified B-Corp (https://bcorporation.uk/) we have a clearly defined mission to develop technologies and services to help eliminate the housing crisis in the UK.


Having understood there is a gap in the market for this type of product, what are the biggest challenges with filtering a particularly disorganized data set like the one we see in the housing industry?  

Trying to cross reference the vast amount of fragmented data available on the housing sector and then deliver relevant data sets to the many different stakeholders involved in property acquisition processes is our key challenge. Our technology is literally “simplifying” and speeding up the process of assessing individual property transactions at a very granular level, to the detail required by institutional acquirers and renters of property at scale.


What are the other big challenges in the housing industry at the moment and how do you feel SimplyPhi can help solve them?  

Affordability is probably the biggest key challenge in the housing sector right now. With financial obligations on landlords to address issues like decarbonisation, fire safety, cladding, damp and mould to name a few, this translates into more expensive rent or higher cost of delivery. By collating the data we do through our tech platforms, we provide clarity on what is happening in local markets, and improved efficiencies to ensure transactions are more certain and quicker to complete, giving our customers more of a commercial edge in negotiations.

Our customer are institutional by the very nature of their makeup (local and central government and real estate funds). These type of organisations are accustomed to dealing with large transactions and given housing is very granular, it is difficult for institutional buyers to manage, source and acquired portfolios on a property by property basis. By cookie cutting and digitising the property acquisition process, SimplyPhi allows its customers to carry out a greater degree of diligence on individual properties almost instantaneously, making the overall investment process viable.

We also experiment with new technologies, particularly with the advent of AI, to automate the process of valuing and surveying properties. This sort of technology will become of particular value as net-zero targets get closer, and retro-fit programmes gather pace. Digitising the makeup of a property allows for much more advanced analysis on the ongoing use of a property, such as monitoring fuel poverty, and picking up on risks of damp and mould.


From a personal perspective, what do you most enjoy about your role as CTO?  

In my role as CTO, I find immense satisfaction in the opportunity to shape and lead the technology strategy of SimplyPhi. It’s fulfilling to be at the forefront of innovation in the Proptech space, where we are addressing critical challenges in the housing industry. I particularly enjoy the creative aspect of my role, exploring new technologies to streamline processes and create solutions that have a positive impact on the market. Additionally, being part of a mission-driven organization like SimplyPhi, with a goal to help eliminate the housing crisis in the UK, adds a deeper sense of purpose to my work.


Moving forward – what are your hopes/ambitions for the product and where do you see it ending up in 5 years time? 

We are perfecting our technology in the B2B space, where there is already huge demand, but there is still a long way to go… particularly around pricing up works and managing net-zero retrofit programmes (there are over 15m homes that need upgrading in the UK) as well as monitoring property usage whilst lived in. Once we have a tried and tested end-to-end B2B solution, we will open up our technology to the retail market in a B2C platform, with plans to then make our systems available in international markets as well.

The ongoing cost-of-living crisis continues to have a profound effect on the UK economy, despite inflation dropping to 7.9%, the lowest seen since March 2022.Cost of necessities continue to rise, and despite reporting salary increases in our 2023 Census, they are not going as far as they once did.

Often, during economically turbulent periods, workers choose to remain in their current position, valuing job security and consistency of a steady income to weather the financial uncertainty – however, we recently reported an increase of 27% in new applications from Q1 to Q2, suggesting that employees are leaving their jobs, or strongly considering doing so.

A lot of this seems to be driven by the cost-of-living crisis, which is particularly acute in the UK, where 47% of workers said they had little to no savings left at the end of each month, with a further 15% also stating their household is struggling to pay the bills (Source: PWC). Historically, when there is a downturn, there job market would usually contract, however, one of the hangover effects of covid has mean that open roles still outnumber pre-pandemic levels, enabling far greater movement of talent.

HR departments and hiring managers must navigate this new landscape, striving to attract fresh talent for the company’s sustained growth while simultaneously ensuring they retain their current workforce amidst a climate of rising salaries and higher living costs.

In this article, we explore the practical strategies to help you maintain a balance between attracting and retaining staff, ensuring your business remains resilient and adaptable during these turbulent economic changes.


Strategies to Attract & Retain Talent Amid the Crisis

Revising salary bandings and benefit packages: It’s important to know what you’re up against, and so by benchmarking your salary bandings with the latest market data is incredibly important. Our latest 2023 Tech Industries Census enables you to compare your own in-house salaries versus those of the market, thus highlighting areas of concern before they arise. It also enables you to budget for future hiring, ensuring your roles are positioned to attract the best quality candidates you can afford.

​While meeting the top end of salary expectations maybe challenging for some businesses right now, you may also want to revisit your benefit packages. Are they adequately meeting your employees’ current needs? These needs have continued to shift over the last few years, and whilst remuneration remains paramount, improvements around benefits and perks can positively impact employee satisfaction, engagement and overall well-being.

​Some of the key benefits employees are looking for include far greater holiday allowance, flexible working, pensions and L&D. By tailoring your benefits to your current and prospective employees, will allow you to set yourself aside from your competitors.


Showcasing growth and development opportunities: It’s important to highlight that as an employer, you can create career-paths that offer security, growth and fulfilment. Ambitious individuals seek roles that allow them to evolve personally and professionally, apply their knowledge, and make meaningful impact. In a time of financial stress, the promise of growth and progression becomes more than a perk—it turns into a vital consideration.

​Specific ways in which you can showcase growth opportunities including setting clear career pathways with defined milestones and timelines; implementing mentorship and coaching programmes; offering tailored learning and development opportunities; and enabling non-work-related opportunities that align with their interests and company values.

​During a downturn, the importance of growth opportunities is magnified. While immediate financial concerns are pressing, the longer-term view of an employee’s career trajectory arguably becomes more vital and can become a beacon of stability in turbulent times.


Emphasising work-life balance: This becomes increasingly important during a financial crisis where stress-levels are high, and employees are juggling multiple pressures both at work and home, and so emphasising your support measures will help take a load off.

​This can include things such as:

  • Remote work options –communicating the expectations from the company, and allowing employees to balance their personal and professional lives
  • Supportive and engaging office environments – juxtaposed against flexibility is the need to support employees in the office; somewhere that facilitateslearning, coaching and highlights the benefit of human connection
  • Flexible hours – offering suitable working hours that can accommodate various lifestyle and needs. For example, working parents or someone pursuing further education may need to flex different work hours
  • Mental health and wellbeing support – the cost-of-living crisis doesn’t just hit the wallet; it can also take a toll on mental health too, and so supporting employees through it is important. This can take many forms including financial wellbeing workshops, counselling services to mindful programmes or initiatives
  • Time off –many of us are suffering from burnout more often and so ensuring employees take regular breaks, or holidays, should be actively encouraged – not only to allow them to reset and recover, but also to garner the best from them

These suggestions may seem simple, and often don’t have to cost a lot – it’s about emphasising and communicating what you have, and how employees can use it.

Cultivating an inclusive and supportive environment: creating an environment that supports employees during tough should not be underplayed as they can help foster a sense of belonging through shared goals, values and understanding. Additionally, a strong community within the workplace can act as a support system, providing reassurance and connection:

  • Create open lines of communication – encourage a two-way dialogue between employees and the leadership team, this could be in the form of townhalls, open-door policies, feedback loops. This will enable greater understanding of employee challenges, and will ensure they feel valued and heard
  • Establish support groups –setting up support groups or ERG’s (employee resource groups), will help provide support for different demographics within your business, offering a platform for connection, support and advocacy
  • Celebrate success and promote recognition –it’s so important to acknowledge individual and team accomplishments, and ensuring that people feel valued and appreciated
  • Providing additional support – understand the pain points that your employees are going through and put in place support mechanisms that tackle these. It doesn’t have to just be monetary, although only 28% had put in place cost-of-living provision, you could also look at flexibility and wellness practices.

While this cost-of-living crisis poses challenges, it’s also an opportunity to innovate and strengthen your workforce. By implementing these strategies, you’ll not only navigate the current storm but also build a more resilient, engaged and satisfied team, in addition to supporting your EVP.

As business leaders, those in talent and HR teams and ultimately anyone responsible for other people – we completely appreciate that this can feel like a minefield of information. If you’re interested in discussing how to put this into action, please do contact us or get in touch with your talent partner.

In the latest in our ‘5 Minutes With…’ series, we sat down with Nicole Hardiman, Director of Engineering at Flagstone. Join us as we dive into Nicole’s career, exploring her experiences, and how she keeps her team engaged.

Can you share a bit about your background and your role at Flagstone?

I didn’t break into technology the conventional way – I just had a knack for it, and decided to try my hand at “computers”, which has turned out to be a great career for the last twenty years.

I’m what I’d call a ‘multipotentialist’ – I’ve done a lot of different things, development, operations, support at various levels, service management, DBA, CRM and worked on one of the early adopters of Azure. I love learning new things – then I discovered that I love it even more when I create space for other people to learn new things. A small taste of line management was all it took for me to know that’s what I wanted to do with my career whilst leveraging my technical career collateral, I have all these different experiences which allows me to talk to lots of different technologists.

I joined Flagstone as a Senior Engineering Manager, but have taken that next step, and currently I’m the Director of Engineering. As such, I am responsible for our engineering function, making sure we’re delivering value to the organisation and that our engineers are engaged and happy. My role has a multitude of responsibilities, from future proofing and training our technologists, through to ensure programmes or projects are meeting required objectives and deadlines. One of my key focuses is on our engineering community, ensuring everyone has a voice, that they have aligned autonomy and they’re happy to (respectfully) challenge where appropriate.

What inspired you to join and what do you enjoy most about your current role?

The culture inspired me to join Flagstone. The focus on allowing people to learn, to help shape their own career. The way we bring people together.

As for what I enjoy most, it has to be the people. Whether that’s the folks I look after or my peers or the rest of the business, there are some amazing people who really care. I really enjoy watching the people I look after explore new technical solutions to existing problems and love to celebrate when one of those outside the box ideas comes to fruition. We give them time and space to do that which I think is invaluable.

With the growing influence of ‘Holistic Engineering (HE)’, can you explain what is meant by the term and what importance you think it should have on an Engineering Function?

Holistic Engineering is something our Lead Principal Engineer is driving, which I’m very happy to get behind. This is wider than DevOps and expands on that mindset. It’s how you bring in Test Driven Development, security by design, thinking about how you’ll decommission what you’ve worked on, managing pipelines and within reason, the infrastructure. It’s understanding developing and engineering with the whole software delivery lifecycle in mind. We then take it even further and include the business. If you don’t know what impact the thing your developing is – how do you know you’re developing the right thing?

What are the most important principles to consider when trying to grow a positive ‘HE’ culture?

Allow people to explore it, see where the shadows are that you need to throw some light on. Offer engineers opportunities to conduct their testing and gain a deeper understanding. Instead of relying on others, foster a security mindset by educating everyone about it. Provide a chance to experience the broader business context and comprehend the implications of their work.

There is a lot of discussions around Developer Experience (DevEx) at the moment, what are the best ways to keep Engineering teams happy and engaged from your experience?

I’ve touched on it a lot, but in my experience, developers want to learn new things. Let them. Those new things could solve old problems.

I think having the right tools, the right equipment and reasonable challenges is important too. If you present folks with something they have no hope of achieving, you’ll impact morale. Similarly, if it’s too easy, people get bored. Pitch the challenges correctly, allow them space to explore new technologies and give them freedom to find solutions to the challenges they face.

It’s also really important to break out of that “tech bubble” make sure they have a relationship with product and other stakeholders, enabling a greater holistic view. Make sure they’re comfortable coming to your leadership team to talk about anything that’s bothering them.

Our 2023 Tech Industries Census is our most comprehensive yet, with the latest careers, salaries and workplace trends from across the world of technology. Compiled using data collected from over 478 professionals and with 10,000 data points, our 2023 Census (formerly our Salary Survey), delves deeper than ever before into what really matters for businesses and talent.

Our report outlines the following:

  • Why the sector has plenty of room for optimism with over 52% of businesses still looking to hire in 2023
  • Inflated salaries with over 61% in permanent positions earning a pay increase in the last 12 months versus 47% of contractors
  • Rise of AI and digital innovation, and how this is shaping the industries
  • ‘The Great Recalibration’, with 93% of employees are willing to stay with a business for a longer period if it invests in their learning and development
  • Employee and employer disconnect when it comes to workplace policies, benefits and perks, and working practices
  • A snapshot of what diversity, equity and inclusion looks like within the tech industries

You’ll also be able to benchmark yours and your teams salaries.

Download your FREE version below:



With the digital age truly upon us, the world of work is becoming increasingly global, with talent crossing borders to seek new opportunities and experiences. So, for hiring managers and those looking to start a post-Brexit life in Europe, it’s never been more crucial to stay informed about the various incentives and benefits available to international talent.

Arrows Group Global have signed up to Earn Your Worth – a campaign championing fair pay for all.

A growing understanding of the importance of diverse teams has brought renewed urgency to addressing one of the tech industries most persistent problems: gender pay inequity. According to Diversity in Tech, Around 78% of large organisations admitted to having a gender pay gap in the technology sector, with women earning up to 28% less than their male colleagues in the same tech roles.

As part of our commitment to eradicating pay disparities, we have teamed up with Major Players, who launched the campaign in 2019, and will no longer ask our candidates to divulge their salary history. We believe for a candidates salary history only perpetuates gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability inequality; and allows for unconscious bias to take control. There is clear evidence which indicates that when making this simple, low-cast change to the hiring process, we can positively impact pay inequality.

As one of the UK’s leading technology recruiters, we have a responsibility to play our part in closing pay gaps across marginalised groups; and championing fair pay for all. If you’d like to find out more about Earn Your Worth, and our commitments to creating equitable futures for all, then please reach out to us using the contact form below.

Our preliminary findings have been compiled using data collected from direct response to our 2023 Tech Industries Census, of which 478 professionals completed over a 8-week period. With over 10,000 data points, this is our most comprehensive survey on careers, salaries, and workplace trends.

Diversity representation from our survey respondents:

  • Gender: 84% males vs 11% female, 1% non-binary and 4% preferring not to say
  • Age: 73% were aged between 18-44 years old, whilst almost one-fifth (18%) were aged 45-54
  • Ethnicity: 51% identified as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic, with over 30% from the Asian community
  • Sexuality & Identity: 6% identified as being LGBTQIA+
  • Disability & Neurodivergence: 8% had either a mental health condition (3%) or Neurodiversity (5%)


Despite difficult trading conditions, the Tech Industries continue to be a key contributor to the UK economy, adding over £150 billion and employing over 1.7 million people. Figures from the Government suggest that if investment continues, the sector could create a further 678,000 new jobs by 2025, adding an additional £41.5bn to the UK economy. Despite downsizing, economic turbulence and global instability, over half of businesses (52%) are still looking to hire, showcasing the resilience of the sector.

Our Census highlights that 39% of respondents are open to moving roles within the next 6 months, with the majority in permanent roles stating that a more attractive salary and bonus structure (92%); good work/life balance (85%) and career progression (84%) as their top motivations for doing so. Those in permanent roles earn on average £72,000, with over 61% having received a pay increase in the last 12 months.

Those in contract roles consider day rate (86%), flexibility of working (83%) and having interesting work/projects (82%) as important factors when considering their next project. The average day rate within the UK Tech Industries is £525 per day, with 47% increasing their daily charge rate within the year.

Whilst inflation has decelerated in recent weeks, this is still 4 times the expected rate. With 67% earning less than £80,000 per annum, coupled with the fact that only 31% of respondents had reported their company had put in place cost-of-living provisions, means that many have lower living standards than previous years.

Interestingly over 20% of respondents had reported that their workplace policy had changed recently, and anecdotally we are seeing many organisations mandate days back into the office. This is at odds with what employees want, with over 50% preferring hybrid models and 47% desiring remote working.

These findings present just a small snapshot of some of the data analysed from our 2023 Census, but despite the challenging start to the year, the UK Tech Industries have plenty of room for optimism. For opportunistic business, and job seekers alike, there are fantastic opportunities to hire great talent and put their skills to the test.

If you’d like to receive an exclusive copy of the 2023 Census, due to be published in June, then please fill in the contact form below.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week which is why we want to discuss the importance of addressing mental health issues and managing work stress. Mental well-being directly influences our behaviours, interactions, and productivity, and subsequently, the overall business success. Particularly prevalent in today’s work environments are burnout and anxiety, which we are going to discuss in the article.

Unpacking Burnout and Anxiety in the Workplace

Burnout, often the result of prolonged and unmanaged work stress, is a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion. This goes beyond everyday fatigue. It can be characterised by an employee feeling cynical, feelings of detachment, a sense of ineffectiveness, and a lack of accomplishment.

However, anxiety disorders can be characterised by excessive and uncontrollable worry, fear, and a constant feeling of impending doom. These feelings can be so intense that they interfere with an individual’s ability to function effectively at work.

Both burnout and anxiety can significantly impact an individual’s job performance, affecting their concentration, decision-making abilities, and interpersonal relationships.

In fact, a recent study from AXA UK and the Centre for Business and Economic Research has stated that stress, burnout and poor mental health are resulting in a massive 23.3 million sick days a year at a cost of £ 28 billion per year.

And that’s not all, the study also revealed that almost half of the country is currently struggling or experiencing an absence of positive well-being or in emotional distress. This means it’s time to take action in managing work stress and to put in well-being strategies to protect your employees and your business.

The Future of Work

The future of work is evolving, with mental health becoming a critical consideration. Companies are beginning to understand that prioritising mental health is not only a moral obligation but also a strategic business decision. Good mental health can boost employee retention, engagement, and productivity.

Managers, as the nexus between the organisation and its employees, play a pivotal role in improving employee mental health at work. They can set the tone for open dialogue about mental health, build an inclusive culture, and ensure that business policies and practices support mental well-being.

The Role of a Mental Health (MH) First Aider in the Workplace and Why You Need One

A MH First Aider is a trained professional who supports the mental health of employees. Providing guidance, facilitating mental health programmes, and offering the necessary support to those experiencing any mental health issues. Some of their key functions include organising mental health and well-being training sessions, raising awareness about the importance of mental well-being, and offering confidential advice and support to employees.

Companies that have incorporated MH Aider in their workplace wellness programmes have reported tangible positive impacts, including improved employee well-being, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity.

Actionable Strategies for Addressing Burnout and Anxiety at Work

Combating burnout and anxiety in the workplace calls for a strategic, multi-pronged approach. It’s not simply about putting policies in place but also ensuring they’re fully implemented and embraced.

  • Implement Robust Mental Health Policies: It’s essential to develop comprehensive policies that promote mental health. This could include flexible work hours and remote working options. Such policies don’t just tick boxes; they are an acknowledgement of the various roles and responsibilities that employees juggle. They demonstrate that the business respects and values its employees’ time and personal commitments. This, in itself, can go a long way in reducing workplace stress

  • Promote Work-Life Balance: Beyond policies, it’s also about developing a culture that genuinely respects work-life boundaries. Encourage employees to take regular breaks, use their holiday time, and disconnect from work after business hours. It’s essential to lead by example here. If managers regularly send after-hours emails, employees may feel pressured to do the same. Respect for downtime can help prevent burnout and promote overall well-being

  • Encourage Open Communication: Creating a psychologically safe space where employees can discuss their mental health concerns without fear of judgement or repercussions is paramount. This requires an atmosphere of trust and openness, where mental health is not a taboo topic but a recognised aspect of overall health

  • Regular Mental Health Training and Workshops: This isn’t just about bringing in a speaker once a year during Mental Health Awareness Week. Regular training sessions are crucial to equip employees with the skills to manage stress, recognise signs of burnout and anxiety in themselves and their colleagues, and know where to seek help when needed. Mental health literacy should be an ongoing part of professional development, keeping pace with the latest research and best practices

  • Create a Supportive Work Culture: The role of empathy and understanding in work culture cannot be overstated. It’s about creating an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and understood. A positive and supportive work culture can act as a buffer against workplace stressors and reduce the likelihood of burnout and anxiety

Remember, these strategies are not standalone. They must be pursued in tandem, reinforcing each other to create a healthy, supportive workplace environment. Addressing mental health at work is a continuous process that requires commitment, empathy, and action.

How Hiring Managers Can Act

Hiring managers are uniquely placed to champion MH Aider interventions. Their close interaction with employees provides them with insights that can be instrumental in identifying and addressing mental health concerns. Here are some in-depth steps they can take:

  • Identify Signs of Burnout and Anxiety: Training hiring managers to spot employee burnout signs is a proactive step towards maintaining a healthy work environment. This could include noticing changes in work performance, frequent absences, increased irritability, or a lack of engagement. It’s important to remember that these symptoms are not indicative of an employee’s professional capabilities but may be signs of deeper, underlying issues. Early identification paves the way for early intervention, which can significantly improve outcomes and demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to employee well-being.

  • Facilitate MH Aider Strategies: Hiring managers can be instrumental in facilitating the implementation of MH Aider strategies. This could involve coordinating training sessions, distributing educational materials, or arranging for individual consultations with the MH Aider. By taking an active role in these initiatives, hiring managers signal the importance of these programs, encouraging more employees to participate and benefit.

  • Promote a Proactive Approach: Encouraging employees to take advantage of available resources, such as mental health days, counselling services, and wellness programs, is critical. It’s equally important to reinforce the message that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Hiring managers should advocate for mental health resources as they would for any other professional tool, underscoring their value in maintaining a healthy, productive workforce.

  • Maintain Confidentiality and Trust: Trust is at the core of any effective mental health initiative. Assuring employees that their discussions about mental health will be kept confidential and will not impact their job security or advancement opportunities is crucial. This requires clear communication about privacy policies and consistent follow-through.

Managers, as the human link between an organisation and its employees, are key to driving any mental health initiative. By embracing this role, they can help to create a work environment where mental health is acknowledged, understood, and supported.

The importance of addressing mental health in the workplace is more important now than ever. A holistic approach, combining sound organisational strategies with the dedicated work of MH First Aiders, can significantly improve the mental well-being of employees and the overall success of a company.

As we commemorate Mental Health Awareness Week, it’s essential for managers to take the lead in promoting mental health awareness. This involves creating a culture of understanding, facilitating necessary support systems, and taking proactive steps to prevent burnout and anxiety at work.

Remember, mental health is not a destination but a journey, and it’s a journey that we, as a society and as businesses, must undertake together. By prioritising mental health, we can create a future of work that truly values and supports the well-being of its most important asset: its people.

For more information visit Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 | Mental Health Foundation or Home – Mind.

In the second instalment of our 5 Minutes With series, Team Leader, Dan Sullivan, sat down with Tessian’s Vojtech Mares, sharing his thoughts on the ever changing world of cybersecurity, and specific challenges businesses and individuals face within their Cloud Email Security. 


Can you share a bit about yourself and what you do? 

I moved to London to pursue studies in games technology, and today, I’m proud to call London my home and live here with my family. My career in tech began as a C# engineer with a finance start-up, but as I grew into my role, I discovered a passion for building teams and helping gifted individuals create exceptional products. Currently, I lead two teams, both devoted to protecting our customers’ inboxes from malicious actors by analyzing threats and constructing advanced ML models. My professional journey has been an incredibly fulfilling one. At JustGiving, I helped those in need; at JustEAT, I enabled large-scale food delivery to a massive customer base. And now, at Tessian, I take pride in protecting customers’ inboxes from malicious content. 


What does a day look like in your role?

As an Engineering Manager, I enjoy the dynamic and ever-changing nature of my work. My days are typically filled with a variety of tasks, including stand-ups, assessing any urgent matters that require attention, and holding regular 1:1 meetings with colleagues to stay up-to-date on their progress and goals. In between meetings, I devote my time to strategic planning, identifying areas where we can improve operational efficiency and optimize our resources.    


What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a cybersecurity professional, and how do you stay ahead of emerging threats? 

Staying ahead is the biggest challenge in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. The emergence of new threats makes the conventional rule-based/block list approach to security less effective since they demand pre-emptive detection before we can respond. We have optimized our system to deploy new rules or indicators within a matter of minutes. The utilization of advanced ML models enables us to identify new, unseen threats. Another challenge is the safeguarding of Personal Identifying Information (PII). As working with customer data means a well-defined, robust process, getting the right balance is crucial to ensure that people can effectively perform their duties. 


What challenges do you see emerging in the email security space, and how is Tessian preparing to address them?  

Threat actors are constantly refining their tactics to bypass legacy security systems like secure email gateways. Tessian Cloud Email Security intelligently prevents these advanced email threats and protects against data loss by using machine learning combined with threat intelligence and data science research. 


With the increasing adoption of cloud technologies and remote work, how can organisations ensure their cybersecurity strategies keep up? 

As a minimum, enforce strong authentication and access controls, such as multi-factor authentication and role-based access, and make sure all your software is always up to date. Security is a team sport, so define security best practices and share them with all employees. Tessian offers ‘in the moment’ training, alerting the end user when suspicious or misdirected emails are seen.  


Finally, what advice would you give to organizations looking to improve their email security posture, and how can they evaluate and choose the right solution for their needs?

My advice would be to align with your organisation’s overall objectives, which means working with the wider business, particularly the C-Suite. Security isn’t just about products, however, it’s about support from partners like Tessian. From a technical perspective, the move to the cloud means complex legacy security stacks are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Today, products like Microsoft 365 E5 offer a strong foundation on which users can add Tessian for a fully comprehensive security strategy for both inbound and outbound threats. But at the end of the day security is about two things: risk and trust, and every organization differs on how much they’re prepared to accept.


Looking to scale your tech teams with the industry’s top talent at the helm?  

Arrows Group are the Technology Talent Experts for the Hyper-Growth Era. From household names to pioneering start-ups, all around the world, we ensure all our clients have access to the best tech talent and workforce management services on the market to enable their growth and expansion. Learn more about how we can help you here. 

As companies grapple with challenging and dynamic market conditions, the importance of retaining employees has never been more paramount. While attracting new talent is crucial to remain competitive, businesses can look inward and capitalise on their existing workforce. 

Preliminary findings from our 2023 Tech Industries Census shows that 92% of respondents say that Training & Development is a key consideration when looking at opportunities for their next role. In addition, a recent LinkedIn survey showed that investing in employees’ learning and growth can result in a longer tenure and increased job satisfaction. These results underscore the significance of providing professional development opportunities to tech employees. 

By implementing strategic Learning & Development programmes, companies can boost employee engagement and job satisfaction while reducing the risk of turnover and workforce instability. Emphasising upskilling and internal mobility is not just a driver of organisational success; it also serves as a testament to a company’s commitment to its staff and its reputation as a desirable workplace for top tech talent. Business leaders who prioritise these practices demonstrate their commitment to the long-term success of their organisation. 

As tech professionals increasingly value personal development, companies are advised to scrutinise their progression offerings to better attract both new and former employees, colloquially known as ‘boomerang employees.’ This trend of rehiring ex-employees is gaining momentum, with LinkedIn reporting that 4.5% of all new hires in 2021 were boomerang employees, up from 3.9% in 2019. This hiring approach can expedite the onboarding process, allowing returning staff members to contribute to business success more quickly. Additionally, they bring a renewed knowledge base, key market intelligence, and a fresh perspective to the organization. 

For managers and leaders, boomerang employees provide valuable insight into a company’s strengths and weaknesses, revealing why employees leave and what entices them back. Therefore, leaders and hiring teams should assess the potential benefits and consequences of rehiring employees who quit earlier in the pandemic, particularly since hiring and retention are top business priorities. 

There are several compelling reasons to consider boomerang rehiring, including reduced time to productivity and cost savings. However, it is critical to determine whether this aligns with a company’s long-term hiring strategy before making any decisions. This is where the expertise of talent professionals comes in.  

At Arrows, we are dedicated to providing innovative and transformational talent solutions for the hypergrowth era. As Europe’s leading tech and data talent partner, we are proud to offer agile solutions that help organizations shape the future of work. Reach out to our team here to learn more about how we can help you. 

At times like this, outsourcing the development of your software to an engineering team aboard is a popular route to delivering a product at lower cost. But how often does it work, and is it an effective method or just a false economy? MD for Solutions & Consultancy, Charlie Sell looks at the pros and cons of outsourcing development to an offshore team.

The risks of outsourcing

Over the years, I’ve worked with many clients who have experimented with outsourced development. One model involves a handful of experts in a London office and 100 mid-level developers in India. In theory, each team plays to its own strengths, but in this blended approach the outcome is often plagued by difficulties with quality control, troubleshooting, bug fixing and frustration.

If an engineer has a question that could be answered in 30 seconds, everyone is in the same room (or on Slack), English is their first language and there’s an understanding of the culture among the team, it will get solved quickly and efficiently.

In distributed team situations where the engineer has no relationship with senior colleagues 10,000 miles away – and especially if a them-and-us culture exists – the engineer may not have the confidence to raise the query at all, or if they do, may not get an answer and productivity is lost.

I’ve seen companies attempt to build remote teams in places like Ukraine where the language barrier has been the main driver of issues, though there are also risks in setting up in countries with political uncertainty.

Cultural differences can also derail a project. In India, language is not a barrier as their English is often excellent, but engineering teams have a tendency to agree rather than challenge, which can cause huge problems.

Nine times out of 10, outsourcing is done because of price but unless you consider these barriers and weight up the many factors, it can proves to be a false economy that dooms your project to failure.


Weighing up the benefits

Speed to market, quality and cost all play into the decision to outsource some or all of your engineering capability. On the one hand, an outsourcing solution may take more time but be delivered more cost effectively, whereas internal teams will get you there quicker but at greater cost.

Sometimes, offshore teams are seen as the solution to situations where UK teams are under pressure to deliver and extra resource is needed to avoid technical debt. There’s a perception that many hands make light work, but the experience of many of our clients over the years shows that rarely happens.

Flexibility is another attractive feature of outsourcing your technology, as it enables you to quickly upscale resource in your team. You can triple your engineering capacity almost immediately, and downsize it too. If you’re working towards a major product release or need resource for a specific project, outsourcing can support the delivery and avoid redundancies afterwards.

If you’re attracted by these and other upsides to outsourcing, just bear in mind there will still be an upfront investment of your time and energy to transfer knowledge and expertise across to the remote team.


How can outsourcing be done right?

Fortunately, there is rarely a question mark over ability, as engineers in locations like India or Africa will be every bit as good as engineers in Europe.

The success stories we hear from clients all share common themes, where risks are mitigated by leadership and guidance.

Instead of outsourcing to a third-party, the most effective models involve embedding a company’s own people into an outsourced office, where they can develop relationships, train and mentor the new team.

Some of our clients have set up a new office, sent their leadership and welcomed the offshore team’s senior staff back to the UK to fully share knowledge and integrate the teams.

A software company I know are a great example of a company that has chosen outsourcing and supported it with a great strategy.  They chose to create an engineering hub in Poland, but made it their engineering headquarters and moved their CTO and many of the senior engineers there.

It’s also next to a technical university which they sponsor, ensuring they get the best graduates as they leave. For the graduates, the company is an attractive proposition as they can learn from internationally-minded engineers and sector leaders and benefit from a proper training and development infrastructure.

Engineers are treated the same wherever they are in the business, and viewed more as rock stars than a rock bottom cost solution. That model, making use of access to talent, is very different to most peoples’ assumptions on outsourcing, yet it’s a fantastic example where everyone wins.

If however you still really want to outsource your entire operation to a third-party, then look for subject matter experts who have greater experience than you. This kind of model is effective for founders who have an idea, see an opportunity, but lack the technical knowledge, but it relies completely on expertise and trust.

There are always arguments in favour working with remote teams, and always risks that must be considered. What’s important is that your strategy fits your business and products, and that once you’ve made your decision, you fully commit. For tech-first businesses with teams in multiple countries, the engineers must have the same capability and get the same respect if you the relationship is to succeed.


If you’d like to discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing your development team, then get in touch with us.

Introducing our new interview series, 5 Minutes With, where we sit down with the Tech industry’s leaders to discuss the evolving world of tech and share their insights for the future. To kick off, Dan Sullivan, Team Leader, sat down with Aaron Hammond, CTO of leading European cryptocurrency exchange, BitPanda Pro. Aaron shares more about his role as CTO and his insights into the volatile, exciting cryptocurrency space. 


Can you share a bit about yourself and what you do? 

I’m currently the CTO at Bitpanda pro, I’m in charge of the technical teams on the exchange side of the business. I’ve worked at a lot of growth phase startups early in my career and then switched to running a consultancy focused on helping large scale cloud based platforms in the latter years prior to joining Bitpanda pro. 


Tell us more about Bitpanda Pro  

Bitpanda pro is a cryptocurrency exchange licensed in Europe. We offer sophisticated trading solutions suitable to both retail and institutional customers. Primarily, we deal with complex types of trading like automated algorithmic trading via API’s and trading that is considerably price sensitive. 


What challenges have you faced while building and scaling the platform and how have you overcome them? 

When I first joined Bitpanda Pro, I joined an existing team that had been working together for a long time, they were arranged by competency, with a front end and a backend team that covered the whole domain problem. My main objective was to scale the team to tackle an increase in the number of work streams that we were looking to add.  

In order to not overload the team cognitively, we went about breaking the system down into its domain boundaries and then slowly building out those teams to capacity. Although this is a people problem first, it was intended with the idea was that Conway’s law would take over and we would end up with a well architected platform that could serve the needs of the business as it scaled.  

The main drawback to this was shifting everyone out of their comfort zone into a new way of working, it forces people to be uncomfortable. Despite this, the team really backed the idea and now we have the foundations of something that’s scalable and well architected for growth as a result.  

The other main challenges come from the things you can’t control, crypto markets, economic situations, bad actors, you have to be constantly adjusting the business to account for things that a week ago would have been unthinkable.  

My theory here is that if we set the people up right and give them a foundational platform that is hard wired to the non-changing elements, i.e. the domain, then we can somewhat incubate them from the external factors we can’t control and just empower them to react when necessary.  


What new advancements in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are you keeping an eye on? 

I think there is a lot of discourse around the subject both negative and positive. I like to focus on some of the problem solving around the known technical limitations.  

We know scaling and throughput has been an issue in the past so solutions like ZK-rollups are interesting to think about. Whereas, transfer between networks is a problem that projects like Polkadot are solving in interesting ways. 

A lot of people seem to believe that the environmental impact is generally negative, the switch to proof of stake on the Ethereum mainnet has been one way to counter this issue but for what you gain in the reduction in environmental cost you’re paying for in what we’ve seen with the loss of decentralisation. 

I think the most interesting thing is all of the ways in which people are trying to use the blockchain. We’re going through a period of rapid growth in the area and the charge is being led in the UK for sure. Some of it’s useful and some of it isn’t but it’s interesting to see it evolve. Where the problem is a transparent movement of value then the blockchain can help. 


How do you plan to continue to innovate and improve your platform in the future? 

Given some of the points around the environmental impact of the blockchain I’m currently pushing the tech team to think about a serverless first approach to projects, not having servers running 24/7 and utilising on demand compute power can go some of the way to offsetting the impact that people think our industry is having.  

We’re also looking to build out some new trading instruments that should really offer our customers something special in the next 6 months. 


Looking to scale your tech teams with the industry’s top talent at the helm?  

Arrows Group are the Technology Talent Experts for the Hyper-Growth Era. From household names to pioneering start-ups, all around the world, we ensure all our clients have access to the best tech talent and workforce management services on the market to enable their growth and expansion. Learn more about how we can help you here. 


Over the past year or so, the forecasted financial downturn has made headlines everywhere and businesses have been tasked with the appropriate prep work to weather any unexpected difficulties. As expected, the world of talent has since started to contract – seen in the high attrition rates, redundancies announced across several sectors and hiring freezes altogether.  Whilst the economic uncertainty hasn’t had the best effects, these periods are historically well-documented and can be properly prepared for. In this article, we’ve totalled ten of the most important trends shaping talent acquisition landscape in 2023 to help share the ways in which business leaders can prepare ahead.  


1. Workforce planning for an economic downturn 

Strategic workforce planning is top of mind and for good reason. Estimates surrounding the impact of 2023’s financial downturn triggered many businesses to respond quickly, prompting hiring freezes, cost cutting, and redundancies. However, based on data from the aftermath of the Great Recession in 2007–2009, it is suggested that companies who take this approach will have only a limited possibility of full recovery once the economy returns to normal. 

The best teams are producing multi-scenario plans to cover off the event spectrum with their finger firmly on the pulse, monitoring market conditions closely. In order to retain the best possible chances of longevity and steer away long-term damage, businesses are urged to embed a robust strategy capable of a quick recovery into hiring once the recession ceases.   


2. The great return to the office  

As with most influential trends in workplace discourse, the Great Return has been predicted a comeback for some time now, with businesses going through transitional changes since the pandemic. In the last year or so, businesses have been shaping and adjusting their workplace policies to suit a hybrid of needs – above all else, flexibility. Many have been tasked with the challenge of producing a ‘destination workplace,’ a place where employees choose to be, rather than need to be. In the next 12 months, we can expect to see a full range of in-person and hybrid models to be on the agenda for businesses with the intention that this will improve collaboration, innovation and creativity.  

Already ahead of the curve, corporate giants such as Apple, Google, and Unilever have already announced their plans for getting staff at least partially back onsite. Others, like investment bank Goldman Sachs, are pushing for a return to full-time in-person work for all employees.  

Still in hot debate, a survey showed that 37% of HR leaders anticipate a shift in working patterns that will require employees to work from the office more often. But at the same time, 48% believe a full return to office would hurt their ability to attract and retain talent. Whether businesses choose to mandate a full RTO or not, retention will be a key indicator of effective decision-making in the year ahead. 


3. Increased internal mobility, upskilling and rise of the boomerang employee 

As businesses shift towards internal mobility, it is becoming increasingly common for “boomerang employees” to return to their former employers. These individuals, who may have previously left in pursuit of new opportunities, now present a valuable pool of candidates for recruiters and hiring managers to consider. Not only do they possess a familiarity with the organisation, but they can also seamlessly transition back into their roles with minimal training required. It is crucial for organizations to recognize the potential of boomerang employees and actively consider them as candidates for open positions.  

In 2023, businesses that want to eradicate high attrition rates, should think about developing an internal mobility strategy, which both creates an accessible source of talent and supports better retention.  


4. Data-driven recruitment strategies – DE&I 

As we move into 2023, achieving inclusive hiring practices is top of mind. In order to effectively evaluate and improve processes in this space, more and more talent acquisition teams are turning to data-driven approaches.  

Where in recent years, DE&I became a key part of talent discourse, this year we’ll see more business turn focus on using data practice to drive efforts to support equity in the workplace. By utilizing demographic data in conjunction with metrics such as pass-through rates and interview feedback, recruiters can identify and address equity gaps in their recruitment funnel. As the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace continues to grow, it is crucial for organizations to adopt this data-driven approach to achieve more inclusive hiring outcomes. 


5. Increased automation and AI of recruitment tasks  

Naturally, in times of economic uncertainty, businesses need to be sure that the tools they invest in will truly save them money in the long run. So, while spending on recruitment automation may increase in 2023, businesses would be wise to spend time calculating the ROI that each tool or software solution can give them before investing.  

Currently, only one in four businesses use automation or AI to support their HR efforts, including recruiting and hiring according to a report by SHRM. This could very well change as more businesses look to cut costs and boost efficiency in the face of recession. 


6. Focus on wellbeing and work-life balance 

As we move into 2023, the subject of employee mental health is becoming increasingly critical for business leaders to address. A study conducted in 2022 found that an alarming 89% of employees reported experiencing burnout at some point in the past year, emphasizing the need for employers to take proactive measures to support their employees’ mental well-being. This can include implementing policies that promote a healthy work-life balance, providing access to mental health resources such as counselling and stress management programs, and creating a culture that encourages open communication and support around mental health. 

Furthermore, as mental health has a direct impact on productivity, employee engagement and retention, employers should consider incorporating mental health support as a key element of their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) strategy. This will not only improve the well-being of employees but also enhance organizational performance and competitiveness in the long run. 


7. Recruitment recognised as a strategic role  

Predicative insights from a 2019 LinkedIn report suggested that the role of the recruiter would transition from sales-focused to business-oriented over the next few years. Fast-forward to 2023 and more of the administrative parts of the recruitment process are automated and the role of the recruiter has undergone a significant shift. With the rise of automation and outsourcing of repetitive, administrative tasks, recruiters are now being called upon to play a more strategic role in talent acquisition. This includes utilizing market knowledge and perspective, problem-solving, and aligning recruitment efforts with overall business goals.  

Moreover, in the face of high attrition rates and fierce competition for top candidates, recruitment is increasingly being seen as a strategic function within organisations, with recruiters expected to play a key role in transforming talent acquisition processes.  


8. Ongoing talent shortage will dominate business decision-making 

The ongoing talent shortage will continue to dominate business decision-making in hiring in the UK. According to a recent survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), nearly two-thirds of UK employers have reported difficulties in filling job vacancies in 2022.  

The situation is particularly acute in certain sectors such as IT and Engineering, where the skills gap is particularly wide. The shortages have led to increased competition for talent and higher salaries. A report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that average weekly earnings for permanent employees in the UK increased by 4.5% in 2022, the fastest rate of growth in over a decade.  

As a result, businesses are having to be more strategic in their hiring, focusing on recruiting and developing the skills they need to stay competitive. This is likely to lead to increased investment in training and development programs, as well as a greater emphasis on employee retention and engagement. Additionally, businesses will likely also have to be more creative in their recruitment efforts, using social media, employee referrals, and other tools to reach potential candidates. 


9. Web 3.0 technologies will transform all aspects of people’s lives  

Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, more and more companies are turning to new technology to streamline and improve their hiring process. 

According to a recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), over half of organizations have reported using AI in their recruitment process, such as chatbots, to assist with screening and scheduling interviews. Additionally, a significant number of organizations are also using virtual reality for interviewing and assessing candidates, and language models such as ChatGPT to make the job adverts and related collateral sleeker and inviting. 

Businesses are to focus more on recruiting and developing employees with the skills required to work with these new technologies to better support these new tech adoptions. This could mean recruiting employees with expertise in areas such as data science, blockchain, and AI. As new forms of collaboration and communication become possible, businesses will also need to adapt their recruitment and retention strategies to take advantage of these new opportunities. In order to stay competitive, companies will have to embrace new technologies and the skills they require to thrive in this new era in tech innovation. 


10. Pay transparency will become the new normal  

Pay transparency will continue to be a key component of change in the world of work. According to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) conducted in 2022, more than 60% of UK employers have introduced pay transparency, and more businesses are expected to follow this trend in 2023.  

Another study by the CIPD found that businesses with more transparent pay practices had considerably lower turnover rates among their employees, highlighting the business case further for pay transparency. As part of the wider discourse on equity and disparity in the workplace, CIPD also found that businesses with greater pay transparency have a more engaged workforce, with employees being more likely to recommend their employer to friends and family.  

Arrows Group have recently signed up to the Earn Your Worth initiative where we no longer ask our candidates to divulge their salary history, in a bid to cut pay gaps and improve equity across the creative industries. We believe asking for salary history perpetuates gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability inequality; and allows for unconscious bias to take control. There is clear evidence which indicates that when making this simple, low-cost change to the hiring process, it can positively impact pay inequality. This will be especially important as businesses increasingly compete for top talent in a tight labour market and will be seen to attract, retain and engage employees. 


If you’d like to talk about your talent acquisition strategies, regardless of whether you’re looking to hire now, or in the near future, then reach out to us on talk@arrowsgroup.com.  


In the first of a 3-part series on the challenges currently facing CTOs and software companies, Charlie Sell, MD for Solutions & Consultancy, discusses how the increasing pressure to drive productivity and ROI without further investment raises the prospect of technical debt and all that comes with it.

As CTO face calls from founders, shareholders or investors to deliver the same quality of product, at greater speed with less investment and resource, something has to give.

If engineers are expected to work harder, work faster, be more productive or cut corners, it comes at a cost, including the risk of damage developer morale. How do CTOs strike the right balance to ensure the company doesn’t strike out?

What’s different now?

Pressure to release products or updates is nothing new. The core driver in recent years has been speed to market, and most companies have been given funding to invest in engineering capability. In fact most of the hiring that’s happened within our clients has been within the engineering teams.

However in the current climate, resource has been temporarily put on hold. Some are taking a cautious approach, saying “Stop hiring right now, we don’t know what’s going to happen in the market”. Others are saying “We were going to commit £5 million to next year’s R&D budget, but now it’s only going to be £1m”.

The challenge now is that founders and investors still want what they’ve always wanted; Speed, quality and profit, but from lower levels of investment. For many CTOs, that brings technical debt – the often intentional cutting of corners or acceptance that your product will launch unfinished – into their strategic decision making.

The dangers of technical debt

Many CTOs are now having to make their Board aware of the benefits and costs of technical debt, and pose questions like “Are we willing to accept that the product will be 80% complete?”

For some companies, technical debt is part of the long-term model or, with hardware related companies for example, the impact may take months or years to play out. But for many, particularly ecommerce, the consequences hit faster and harder than they expect.

For those companies, it may be possible to cut corners in other business functions – to be understaffed in human resources or even in sales teams – without , but where technology serves a fast-paced consumer market, cutting corners on tech is a delicate balancing act.

With online reviews an increasingly important factor in consumer choices, the impact of a product falling short of consumer expectations can become evident immediately.

Yet even when you are aware of the risks, releasing software that’s part-finished may still be the right strategic decision if it enables you to get to market before the competition. Many of our SaaS clients have people tied in to monthly or yearly subscriptions, so it may be preferable to keep them tied in. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to technical debt, only that it must be a strategic choice.

Something that must be a part of that strategy is communication – both upwards and downwards – about the rationale behind accepting a degree of technical debt. If the need and tolerance for technical debt isn’t explained to engineering teams, morale can quickly drop.

Engineers often work out of pride for their product and stay with a company because they believe in what they’re developing. When pressure to deliver begins to disrupt their work-life balance or there’s a change in the culture, engineers can get burnt out, stop believing in the value of the product or leave. Individually, each of those are damaging, but combined, they can be terminal for a company.


A recipe for success

Economic uncertainty has become another factor in the technical debt equation, but it won’t last forever and the challenge of technical debt will still be there, albeit with a different lens. That means that every business needs an understanding of that equation and an effective response.

One solution companies try is outsourcing, and while it can work in specific circumstances (I’ll be discussing the pros and cons in part 2 of this series) and it helps to reduce cost, it’s almost impossible to get the same quality. Offshore developer teams can be just as skilled as your in-house team, but time differences and cultural differences are difficult barriers to overcome.

The only approach to the challenge of technical debt that really works is good communication. For the company to take a balanced view of the benefits and risks, it’s crucial that everyone gets an appreciation of why you may be willing to accept technical debt, and quite how much you can take on.

In the best companies, the engineering teams are part of the conversation. The CTO will discuss the realities they face and agree the compromises they are willing to accept. Then, with their buy-in secured, it can be discussed at the business level. To have these conversations, CTOs must wear both hats, and have an understanding of the financial implications as well as the technical detail.

Technical debt is a hot topic and it’s certainly not going away. In this period of economic turbulence, the most effective leaders will be those who embrace the difficult conversations and articulate the challenges to both the business and engineering sides of the company.

Our annual survey is back, and we’re looking to make it our most comprehensive yet! The 2023 Tech Industries Census (formerly our Salary Survey), will explore careers, salaries and workplace trends, enabling us to help shape the future of the workplace.

We’d love to get your input on a wide range of topics, helping to enable data-led action towards a more equitable future for all including:

➡️ What is your worth?

➡️ Are you being paid fairly?

➡️ Have pay gaps improved?

➡️ What is important to your career aspirations?

➡️ Is international relocation something you’re now open to exploring?

➡️ Has representation increased?

The census only takes a few minutes to complete, and respondents will automatically be entered into a prize draw to WIN £500 cash, in addition to receiving an exclusive copy of the findings!

Take part in the census here

Kate Bergman, Director at Arrow’s Group Global, has seen the tech recruitment world rise, fall and rise again, and is upbeat about the year ahead for the Tech Industries.

“The last twenty years have seen unparalleled technological transformation across every sector, and while the current economic outlook is by all accounts bleak, we’re still seeing opportunities everywhere, for those nimble enough to take advantage of them.”

Despite the anxiety of downturns, and the dramatic cuts at Silicon Valley at the back end of last year, the future of work is undoubtedly digital, and will need to be delivered by skilled technologists. With over 600,000 unfilled digital and tech roles in the UK alone, there is reason for the sector to remain optimistic.

So, what can we learn from the current situation in the sector?

Businesses are having to be more agile, adapting their business models and seeking new revenue streams. Those who are nimble and willing to innovate will continue to build brands and sell products. The good news is that investment in the tech sector is still there. UK artificial intelligence (AI) startups were forecast to attract £7.5bn in investment in 2022, in a sign that the sector remained strong amid turbulent macroeconomic conditions. Entrepreneur network Tech Nation found that the AI sector took 14% of all UK VC investment. Fintech remains the UK’s dominant sector for funding.

Digital advertising has fuelled the web for the best part of two decades, however, you only have to look at emerging platforms such as TikTok to see that this is unlikely to continue. This year, TikTok ad revenues are projected to edge past $5 billion, representing 139.9% growth YoY, making up 2% of the total US digital ad market spend. By 2025, the platform is projected to surpass 1 billion users worldwide presenting great opportunities to reach a global audience, easily and effectively.

We’ve also seen a raft of subscription models that have been transforming the business landscape.  By 2023, it’s estimated that 53% of software companies will embrace the subscription model. Faced with the opportunity to grow revenues up to 5x-8x faster by adopting a subscription model approach, many businesses are moving away from one-off payments to create ‘forever transactions’ with loyal repeat customers.

It’s important to build sustainable business models that allow scale where appropriate. The cuts across of Silicon Valley are not all down to poor planning, but Patrick Collison at Stripe, sent an email explaining why they had to restructure, cutting 1,000 jobs, taking responsibility for over-investing. Even if you feel your business is resilient enough or has performed well in the past, it’s important to assess every aspect of your operations to ensure they are working as you’d like, and if not, create a plan B for if the market worsens.

Recessions often induce a wave of re-structuring or redistribution of talent, as businesses optimise their budgets when times get tough, and although unsettling, this shouldn’t be viewed as wholly negative for the sector. While big tech companies may no longer need as many young innovators, the SMEs of the UK are in dire need of their expertise.

For opportunistic businesses, and those looking to scale, they now have the opportunity to hire highly experienced workers who have been made redundant, or who are not getting the support they need in their current role – but they have to act quickly. Paradoxically, layoffs can also be good news for the employees. Tech professionals who are part of these layoffs will likely end up on one of two paths: back with another large tech firm in a similar role, or with a smaller company where they can put their world-class skills to the test, and therefore have greater impact.

I believe that we’re only at the beginning of this transformation journey. Many industries are still going through digital transformation and will continue to invest large sums into their tech and digital infrastructure, and with over half a million unfilled vacancies, talented engineers and consultants will always be in demand. Whilst I don’t underestimate the challenges that the sector faces, there are still huge opportunities for talent and businesses alike.

By Kate Bergman, Director.

Recently, wherever the discussion about artificial intelligence starts in any gathering, one thing that I always get to hear is “AI replacing humans.” I wonder why people only see AI as a computer doing all the human tasks and may be assuming all the humans on Mars!

After some analysis, I could conclude that this “AI replacing Humans” perception is only the result of less or no knowledge of the masses about the current and prospects of any technology, let alone AI.

It is understandable that AI works faster and cheaper, with better performance than many software engineers, programmers, and developers. Many Software houses of all levels embrace the latest AI technologies in software development to stay relevant with time. Yet, the possibility of Artificial Intelligent machines liberating the human minds from everyday tasks is somewhat unacceptable.

Therefore, I believe it is too ironic to think of the creations computers taking the place of creators- developers and engineers. This could be a great story from a science fiction thriller, but this is still far from reality, at least for the next few decades, until breakthroughs related to this paradigm shift are observed in the technological world.

To prove the above point relevant, let us dig a little deeper. In recent findings, it is predicted that almost half of the works will be completely automated in the U.S by the end of the running decade. This means more AI will be incorporated into jobs, businesses, and institutions. But who will bring all those technological advancements into the market? Can we expect some aliens or angels to do this for us?

So, this means that AI will be there for our greater good, but through human hands. Let’s talk about software engineers or programmers. AI will improvise the coding processes in such a way that human professionals with improved skills will be required more than ever in the coming years.

Technology professionals, researchers, and giant tech-companies owners also believe that AI is speeding up the processes with more remarkable quality than ever. However, its complete execution still needs critical, creative, and analytical thinking. Only the working strategies of programmers, developers, and engineering will be updated with future developments without being completely replaced.

I have been associated with technology professionally for the past many decades. The first thing I heard when the computers were introduced commercially was, “we will soon be replaced.” However, every new development strengthened our skillset and made us so productive that the tech providers did most hiring.

Conclusively, AI and all other newest technologies are inevitable; instead of making baseless scenarios in our minds, let us enhance our skills to play our parts in the changing world. Let us embrace the forthcoming AI specialists instead of portraying AI as a threat to the job markets.

Written by Charlie Sell, Group Marketing Director.