IT Market Q&A

15 May by Cognitive Group

Your Questions

Since lockdown found ourselves having the same conversations over and over again... quite understandably, everyone wants insight into what's happening in the market and what they should be doing next. So, we thought we'd put this out to the masses and carry out a Linkedin Live Q&A session with our very own Jonathan Keen - CEO, Josh Hutchison - Azure Business Lead, David Scallon - D365 UK and Anila Choudhury - D365 USA.

We've summarised the key points from the session here, but feel free to watch the full video below.

Firstly, a snapshot of how the Microsoft Talent Market has progressed over the past 12 months*.

  • Microsoft Azure has seen 57% growth with DevOps becoming the most in demand skill. Typically, companies are asking us to recommend Solution Architects and DevOps Engineers. The amount of current people in the market looks large but it’s nowhere near what’s needed for the future of Cloud.

  • Microsoft Dynamics has seen 17% growth, with CE being at the forefront. Project Managers and Business Analysts are most sought after in this arena.

  • PowerApps has naturally seen a a huge 225% growth with the main skills demand being in DevOps and Power Automate. Software Engineers and Solution Architects have been amongst the most hired.

*Data extracted from Linkedin Talent Insights, May 2019 - May 2020

How has the Microsoft market changed since the COVID-19 lock down was implemented?

  • Initially C-level executives were tentative, we saw an 80% reduction in permanent hiring, interviews were being conducted but offers had slowed. We also saw a 60% reduction in contract hires.

  • Interestingly Germany saw no drop in demand. We think that could be because they’ve handled the virus particularly well; there is more optimism, plus, notice periods tend to be longer, so employers need to have foresight and plan a lot further ahead.

  • IT spend has continued but has been reallocated to focusing on building future target operating models; minimising cloud spend; minimising business risk and, essentially, future proofing businesses. As you'd imagine, we have also seen massive growth in investment on remote working technology.

  • Many IT projects were put on hold, but as a result, IT should be the first to rebound when we regain clarity.

  • Education has seen a huge transition onto online learning, and therefore we have seen a large amount of IT spend in this sector.

Are companies hiring for now or are they planning for the future?

  • Large Retailers, Medical and Pharmaceutical companies have continued with hiring, whilst there has been a slow down in the majority of other industries, where put projects on pause.

  • However, we have seen a lot of forward planning, particularly for Q3 & Q4 so there is optimism for projects to be continued shortly.

Are we seeing any effect on rates/salaries?

  • Contractors have generally been flexible on rates to get in to work but we have not seen clients directly reduce budgets because of the circumstances.

  • Employers know that you must have a long-term view when hiring permanent employees so they have understood the salaries on offer need to be relevant a year from now, as such we’ve not seen much of a drop.

What guidance and advice could we offer now?

  • This is a unique opportunity to reflect on your career and plan your next steps. Our message would be to ensure you upskill if you have the time and gain new certifications and knowledge base don the data above. Ensure your CV and LinkedIn profile are updated to a professional standard.

  • 90% of Recruiters use LinkedIn as their main job board. It is your public CV so add in as much detail as you can whilst remembering it is also a social networking site, include some personality, be active. Include key words relevant to your desired role, use industry standard job titles.

  • Be proactive. There will be a lot of complacent people now, but this is the perfect time to be networking and introducing your experience to future hirers.
    Leverage your relationships.

  • Ensure you are pitching your value and not just your wants and needs.

Missed the session? Watch the full video here: