Technical skills shortage in the UK and Visa Sponsorship

Visa Sponsorship is a credible solution to the current shortage of technical skills in the UK.

As Covid-19 restrictions relax and business confidence in Technology-led businesses rises, we are seeing an almost unprecedented increase in demand for skilled workers in the Technology industry sector.

This especially applies to the following skills:

  • Software Development – Java, .NET
  • Banking and Financial Services Technical Support 
  • QA Automation 
  • Technical Analysis
  • Product Development

Additionally, we have seen a rise in Technology businesses (especially from the US) setting up headquarters in London, armed with large amounts of funding and requiring multiple hires in the above skillsets.

As a result, highly skilled candidates are being offered significantly higher salaries than they would have been at the beginning of 2021. In some cases, we are seeing offers being made up to £30,000 higher on the base salary than we would have considered the market rate in January 2021.

We are also seeing a dramatic increase in counteroffers being made to strong candidates, with companies far more willing to match or exceed an external offer than they were previously, underscoring how difficult it is now becoming to recruit the right person for the job. 

Solution: How to continue to secure the best talent:

What we are witnessing in the UK is a huge increase in demand for candidates with a relatively short supply. This shortage, however, applies to candidates with unrestricted rights to work in the UK.

There are many candidates, currently based in the UK, who are on Tier 2 General Visas and require client sponsorships to continue their employment in the UK. These are highly skilled candidates who are willing to accept realistic salaries to secure sponsorships.  The majority are already based in the UK and therefore are not restricted by any travel quarantine rules. Our advice to our current clients is to consider offering sponsorships to candidates in hard to fill roles.

We have also seen that as of January 2021 rules have been relaxed for sponsorship for those on ICT (Inter-Company Transfer) visas, which now allows them to transfer automatically on to Tier 2 General Visas. This means that the pool of available candidates requiring sponsorship has increased further.

The process to sponsor a candidate:

The first step is to acquire a sponsor licence – please see the link below – this link provides information on acquiring a sponsor licence as well as what constitutes a settled versus non-settled worked and other relevant regulations.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987798/2021-05-19_Sponsor-guidance-Part-2-sponsor-a-worker-05-21_v1.0.pdf

Conclusion:

The market is changing very rapidly and becoming highly skill-led, with huge salary increases being offered in certain areas of the Tech marketplace. We believe sponsorship should be a core element of your recruitment strategy to secure the best talent and avoid being priced out by high market salaries and counteroffer, especially if looking to build teams/hire multiple people.

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