Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the UK tech sector has seen itself pulled in many different directions. It has had to adapt to new ways of working, hiring and growing. Some companies have floundered, while others have used the ‘new normal’ as a pathway to success.
In this article, we’ll look in more depth at the UK sector and how it is changing as a result of the pandemic. We’ll also look at how, if you’re looking to hire new talent at this time, you can make use of new tech.
The impact of Covid on tech
Tech startups in the UK have seen a revolution since March.
The most obvious one is that we’re all homeworkers now. The Government asked everyone to work from home, and for many UK techies, they’re still there. This has had an enormous impact on team dynamics and the way teams communicate. Some companies have realised that remote work is effective, and are leaving their offices or co-working spaces to go remote full-time. In a survey by Sifted from April 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, 5% of startups surveyed had already cancelled their workspace rent to go fully remote. Today, that figure will be even higher.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused a great deal of uncertainty in the industry. In uncertain times, businesses will often retreat from the ‘all-in’ positions they previously held. In the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, 43% of UK tech startups surveyed stopped online advertising, while a further 49% implemented a hiring freeze.
The aim of all of this is to protect their long-term viability. In the Sifted survey, 68% of respondents expected revenues to drop by at least 25% this year. This will have a significant effect on runway, especially with VCs also retreating from the investment market. It is a worrying time. The UK tech sector is a vital part of the economy. If the country is to bounce back from the crisis quickly, it will look to the tech sector to take the lead. However, life as a startup is always precarious. Startups have to make decisions now that could have a life or death effect on their future.
Of course, every crisis also provides opportunities. Some UK tech companies were fortunate that the products they were already producing saw a surge in demand during the aftermath of Covid. Others made alterations to their business to take advantage of the new situation.
We all know about Zoom, the video-conferencing software that has suddenly become our prime means of communication. In June 2020, Zoom reported a 169% year-on-year rise in quarterly earnings. However, it’s not just video conferencing that is booming.
Forward-thinking companies like Tharsus have created solutions that help businesses navigate the new normal. Bump is a wearable personal motion system that tracks how workers move around their workplace. The data Bump generates can help companies to create safer spaces, where staff can keep their distance from each other, preventing the spread of the virus. The wearable gives the worker an immediate alert if they’re too close to another staff member. In offices, factories and warehouses, where companies need a fully-functioning, healthy workforce, this kind of information is invaluable.
Biofresh Group is a Newcastle-based tech company that saw a significant drop in demand for its products that keep food fresher for longer. So, it created something new. Biofresh built a device that emits ozone gas that turns into oxygen on release, totally decontaminating the air around it and nearby surfaces. Care homes, hospitals and schools clamoured for this innovative new product, and this struggling food-tech company suddenly became a health-tech success story.
How Covid changed recruitment
Covid has shaken up the recruitment industry beyond recognition too. Very few things are the same today as they were back in March 2020.
- Everything is done remotely – applications, interviews, onboarding and everything else now happens online, as well as the actual job. It’s possible to get a job and start work without ever meeting a hiring manager in person.
- The typically fast-moving job market has slowed down. Companies are not hiring as much, while techies are reluctant to make moves in such an uncertain climate.
- Companies that are hiring are struggling to find people with the skills they need. This skills gap means that techies with talent hold the cards in the job market.
Tech is the key to solving these problems. Hiring managers and candidates alike have had to embrace application management software, video chat, e-learning software for onboarding and much more. At Haystack, we’re focused on closing the skills gap – helping forward-thinking tech companies find the talent it needs to grow.
The Haystack solution
If you’re looking for top techies, Haystack can find them.
Haystack offers businesses a proactive solution that:
- Expands talent reach
- Builds future talent pools
- Saves time and resources
Haystack offers an affordable, proactive, long-term solution – something that external recruitment agencies can’t provide right now. The companies we work with receive exposure that boosts their reach and brings a talent pool of engaged techies.
Haystack lets you show potential candidates the great things you're doing and more like your tech stack, engineering practices, culture, perks and more. Our matching criteria will show both parties how well suited they are, meaning you will only see talent who will flourish in the role. On the other hand, if you’re a brilliant techie trying to navigate the job market, you can use Haystack to filter out the noise and find the opportunities you really want - no more getting bombarded by recruiters. If you have the skills companies need, Haystack can help you find your perfect fit.
To find out more, download Haystack today and have a look.