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Tech Market and Jobs Insights: Q2 2023



We’re back for our insights of Q2, April – June 2023.

Welcome to Bright Purple's latest Tech job market report! We will take a look at the job markets across the UK during Q2, as well as looking ahead to the second half of 2023.
We are officially past the half way mark for 2023. In April we wrote about the first quarter of the year, and three months later we have an even better grasp of how the tech trends, industry turbulence and other predictions for the year have played out in practice. We are excited to take what we have learned into the next six months- read on below to see some of our highlights from past few months, as well as some forecasting for Q3.

Industry Highlights: 

Bright Purple Highlights: 


Industry Highlights 

Cost of living and Economic inactivity

Totaljobs launched their newsletter, Recruitment Radar, in June. In their first edition they highlighted both positivise and negative recruitment trends and figures. While economic inactivity has fallen, there has been an increase in unemployment largely due to people not working due to long-term illness, as well as people looking for employment for over 12 months.
With more and more people joining the workforce to manage the cost of living crisis, the needs and priorities of both employers and job seekers are changing: 
"These factors [cost of living] have unsurprisingly led employees and jobseekers to continue placing an increased emphasis on salary and benefits. In such a dynamic landscape, employers should work to understand the evolving demands of talent in order to attract and retain the workers they need."

Skills-shortage and Graduate roles

In our Q1 insights blog we touched on the issue of skills-shortage. In early May, xDesign released the results of a study which showed that “…73% of young people across the UK find it hard to get into tech due to a lack of experience or contacts supporting them”. A slightly disheartening read, it also raises the question of where and how young people will gain necessary skills, experience and confidence. CodeClan and ScotlandIS’s Digital Friends Mentor Programme are two important players here. [Update- since writing this we have learned that CodeClan has sadly entered into liquidation-  read Mark Logan's statement on the situation, including information around support for the affected students, on LinkedIn.). 

Hiring trends and Vacancies

When it comes to the UK recruitment landscape and labour market, the Total Jobs Hiring Index found that while that there was a slight increase in the number of businesses recruiting in Q2 compared to Q1, the number overall vacancies have dropped.
Businesses that recruited in Q2 were most likely to hire for 1.) Operations 2.) Tech/IT, 3.) Sales 4.) Customer Service roles. These statistics will be interesting to follow throughout the year, and to compare against the most in demand roles and skills listed in LinkedIn’s “Jobs on the rise 2023” report (published in January this year) and the Scottish Technology Industry Survey 2023published by ScotlandIS. 
While the number of vacancies have fallen, they do remain above 1 million, which is 25% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Importantly, surveyed businesses also stated that they are confident that they will recruit the employees they need in the next quarter (Q3).

  “57 of businesses are confident they will recruit the people they need in Q3 2023” Grey text on light blue background. The image also includes a CV and a magnifying glass.

Image source: Totaljobs Hiring Index


Vacancysoft and Robert Walters found that overall vacancies have dropped significantly in the first half of 2023 compared to  the second half of 2022, with the technology industry being the hardest hit; Development roles dopped 68%, and .Net Developers fared the best and showed signs of avoiding the overall negative tech vacancy trend completely.

We have previously reported on the surge and demand for Software Engineer roles, which subsequently has showed a fairly natural decline in the current climate.


Bright Purple Highlights


Europe focus - Latitude59 and more

Latitude59, who describes their event (held in Tallinn, Estonia) as “The best boutique startup show you’ve ever attended” – is a firm highlight in our annual events calendar. This year, 3000 tickets were sold, with a cracking line-up of speakers, side events and competition pitch finals.
This year was Nick’s fourth time attending Latitude59, and he brought along Chris and Henry and Kane.
This event has set a high bar and essentially a new standard for conferences and events that we go to. The team has been enjoying a lot of industry events and meet-ups post-pandemic, but with the high standard set by the organisers at Latitude59 we will happily admit that we have become a bit pickier when it comes to what we choose to attend – quality over quantity.
The team that went over to Tallinn took so much away from their trip- feeling very inspired and making a lot of new connections who they have kept in touch with since May. If you want to find out more about Latitude59, do not hesitate to reach out to one of the people who went along! As a starting point we want to highlight Chris’s summary from the trip.
Collage of trip to Tallinn and Vilnius
As part of our sustainability roadmap, we want to make sure we make the most of all trips we make away from our base in Edinburgh. This time, Nick, who is the Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Scotland was invited to speak at Coinvest Capital's renewed strategy launch in Vilnius, Lithuania, just days before Latitude59 kicked off in Estonia. He spoke on the topic of networking and hiring talent across the world, something he knows a lot about after a long career of owning and leading a recruitment business. Watch Nick's talk here.
Photo NAO the humanoid and programmable robot
Photo by Rytis Šeškaitis - see all photos from the Coinvest Capital event.

Investors in People - Silver Accreditation

We were due to renew our Investors in People (IIP) status in 2020 - after working hard to obtain Silver a few years earlier - and along came a global pandemic. After a subsequent delay to our assessment, we are thrilled to announce that we have successfully retained our Silver Accredited IIP Award!
Our business model looks really different to what it used to, especially in terms of the working structure, where we have moved to a hybrid working model. This has brought both challenges and opportunities to our company culture, and we look forward to continuing working on this by improving our governance and implementing more employee-led changes. Read more about the assessment and our plans here.

Company ownership

We are delighted to announce that Nick, our co-founder and CEO, has completed the share buy-back from our previous shareholders, and now owns 100% of the business. This is a really exciting time for the whole business - across the entire team. We want to say a huge thank you to the chairmen and past team members who have been a huge part of our journey over the past 28 years. Read Nick's thoughts on the buy-out and future plans.

Q3 forecast

  • 39% of current placements for Q3 are contract roles, a significant jump from earlier this year. We have definitely seen an increase in clients looking for contractors to help with various project of different scales; from larger statements of work to short term IT support roles.
  • Another trend we have noted is a marked increase in clients hiring graduates and juniors. 

That's a wrap on our 2023 Q2 insights - please get in touch if you have any queries about our findings. 

Hiring tech talent? Get in touch

Looking for your next role in Tech? Browse our vacancies!



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