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Tech Job Insights: Bright Purple look back at Q3 2021


Bright Purple technology recruitment Q3 Insights October 2021

Last quarter we released our first insights blog, looking back at Q2 (April-June) of 2021 and analysing hiring trends and demands within our own client base and the wider tech industry. Now we're back for our Insights of Q3, July-September 2021.
The summer months have continued in a positive trend for both Bright Purple and for the wider UK Tech Industry, with tech job vacancies continuing to soar past pre-pandemic levels. Click on the points below to skip to a section, or scroll through to read our full report.

Industry Takeaways


Bright Purple highlights


Industry Highlights

Q3 Tech industry insights

Tech jobs make up 13% of all UK jobs

Tech Nation's Annual Job and Skills Report, which uses data from Adzuna, has shown that 13% of all UK vacancies are in tech, up from 12.3% in the previous year. 1 in 8 jobs are now in the digital sector.
Using Adzuna data shared by the ONS, Bright Purple calculated a weekly average of 120.6k tech jobs in the last quarter; a 7.7% increase from Q2 2021 and a 45.5% increase from the comparable Q3 of 2019. 
Quarter 3 Weekly tech vacancies by year
Average weekly tech vacancies have grown 45.5% from 2019 levels in Q3.

Scotland booming with Edinburgh and Glasgow hotspots

In a new Tech Nation Report released last quarter, Edinburgh and Glasgow remain hotspots for tech jobs: 30% of all vacancies in Edinburgh are for tech jobs - the highest of any UK city - closely followed by Reading at 29% and Glasgow at 28%. 
With regards to growth, Preston has become a rising star with the highest growth in new tech roles since 2018 at a 53% increase in tech roles. Edinburgh, Cardiff and Liverpool have also seen significant growth exceeding 30%, surpassing London's growth of 25%.

Software Developers in demand - but so are non-technical roles

Demand for software developers continues to lead the way, with 9% of all live tech roles listed, and 1.2% total UK job vacancies.
Demand for data science skills also continues to grow as machine learning, analytics and AI become ever important to insights driven business. Popularity in data science has also been demonstrated by Python becoming the first language in 20 years to beat C and Java to the top of the TIOBE Index.
Non-technical roles have also proven important in the delivery of tech industry services. Project Managers, Consultants and Business Analysts have all remained a Top 10 in demand role.

Tech salaries continue to outperform other industries

While the average advertised UK salary has decreased since January to £36,442, the average tech salary has increased to £55,061.
With a high demand for talent, businesses are offering increasingly enticing pay packets to draw in the best talent in a candidate-short market, with salaries up to 50% higher than other industries such as engineering, teaching and logistics.
Software developers and data science roles came in 2nd and 3rd respectively with regards to average salary growth in the last 3 years, at 27% and 31%. Only Front End Developers surpassed this increase, with 34% salary growth between 2018-2020.
It is high salaries such as these that are also driving candidates in non-tech roles to our industry.

Bright Purple Highlights

Q3 BP in numbers

Product Based businesses continue to grow

As an agency that works predominantly with SMEs, it's not surprising that a large amount of our vacancies and placements are for product-based companies; but the numbers of open roles continues to grow rapidly, and the hiring process is moving faster than usual as workloads build.
68% of our open roles were in Product Based businesses in Q3 - an 11% increase on the previous quarter. 75% of our placements in this quarter were for Product based businesses.
Agency based businesses are also moving quickly on their hiring, as larger businesses continue to outsource to implement new infrastructure, cloud solutions and marketing.

Confidence in Permanent roles

The ratio between permanent and contract vacancies remains steady at a 70/30 split.
While last quarter seemed to be more tentative for hiring permanent roles, we have experienced a change in Q3 with the hiring process moving swiftly again for these positions.
The percentage of permanent placements as part of our total placements has grown from 60% in Q2 to 68% in Q3, indicating that companies are re-gaining confidence as we (slowly) come out of the pandemic.
Contract recruitment continues to move rapidly, keeping our PES team busy with new starts and extended contracts!

In-Demand Skillsets

Almost 50% of our live roles in Quarter 3 required skills in cloud, infrastructure (devops), agile or project management.
This is very much in line with the wider industry; non-technical skillsets such as agile and project management being high in demand, along with a rise in cloud and infrastructure that has came with the pandemic.
As always, software developers continued to be in high-demand, as well as C#.Net skillsets.

More than a quarter of roles are remote

Home working is going nowhere.
26.4% of our vacancies in Q3 were fully-remote, with almost every other job offering some form of hybrid working.
In a candidate-short market, continued flexibility is a must for many companies in order to engage and retain the best talent. The challenge comes with how we can maintain a bond between teams and employees when working apart.

Diversity Statistics

Tech continues to be a male dominated market, and that clearly won't change overnight. Here are some diversity stats around our recruitment process for Q3:
  • 23.9% of applications through our website were candidates who identify as female (3% preferred not to say)
  • 21% of all candidates that interviewed in Q3 identify as female
  • 15% of all placements we made in Q3 identify as female
We recently release two articles around diversity in tech:
One around whether flexible work practices make the industry more accessible for underrepresented groups, and one addressing the gender pay gap in tech and the roles that recruiters can have in reducing this.

Q4 Forecast

While the winter months tend to be quieter in recruitment, we've made a very strong start to this quarter:
  • 40% of our current placements this quarter are in contract roles
  • 25% of all our current placements in this quarter are candidates who identify as female
  • We're seeing a significant demand for developer roles across C#, java, react and python, as well as an increased demand in supporting non-technical roles
We're also looking forward to being part of a climate change hackathon this November 5th-7th as part of COP26!
Products for the Planet
In collaboration with hackathon experts Product Forge, we are co-hosting and sponsoring Products for the Planet, a hackathon to educate and empower public action for climate change. We are delighted to be setting our very own challenge in partnership with Pawprint.
You can find out more and register for tickets at 
That's a wrap on our Q3 insights.
If you'd like to dig deeper or speak to the team about your recruitment needs, give us a call!
0131 473 7030


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