London tech recruitment slumps 57% during pandemic

By Robert Scammell

Recruitment for permanent technology roles has fallen by 57% in London during the coronavirus pandemic, according to recruitment firm talent.io.

Across Europe as a whole, 38% of companies are freezing most or all of their tech recruitment. Talent.io gathered data from 5,000 tech startups, unicorns and corporate businesses using its recruitment platform and also collated data from Glassdoor, LinkedIn and Indeed.

This figure is in line with an April poll of Verdict readers, which found that 35% of companies had put recruitment on hold during the pandemic.

Firms have also been scaling back during the economic downturn, with tech companies Lyft, Bird, Eventbrite, Groupon, Magic Leap and Yelp among some of the firms that have made job cuts.

Before the global health crisis, London was enjoying success as a tech hub that attracted billions in funding and has helped nurture more tech unicorns – startups valued at more than $1bn – than any other European city.

“Our insights into the state of the recruitment market reveals the harsh reality of the current pandemic,” comments talent.io co-founder Jonathan Azoulay.

“What’s concerning is that London, which is one of the most important tech hubs in the world, is one of the hardest-hit regions in Europe.”

Tech recruitment “unlikely to recover in the next 12-18 months”

Data gathered by Layoffs.fysi shows that sales and marketing roles were most at risk to coronavirus layoffs. Engineer roles were also vulnerable.

Hays, one of the biggest recruiters in the UK, said last month that the pandemic had caused a “very material deceleration” in its business.

“It’s the harsh truth as shown in these stats that the hiring demand within technology has seen a drastic drop and it’s very unlikely to recover to the same levels in the next 12-18 months,” said Brad Coombes, co-founder of Collabz, an in-house talent company.

“However, in the last week or so I believe companies have started to turn a corner. Having innovated and adapted their business processes, with things such as remote onboarding and in some cases new products we will start to see that demand steadily increase again.”


Read more: Investment in UK startups hit £663m in first month of lockdown, led by tech sector