Main Menu

Hiring hits five-year high

Skills shortages see tech sector top pay rise table

Codebase Stirling

Codebase has incubators for Scotland’s booming tech sector (pic: Terry Murden)


Workers in Scotland’s booming technology sector are commanding the biggest salary increases in the country, according to a new survey.

Five of the top salary rises in the last twelve months were in the tech industry, partly driven by a shortage of skilled labour.

Research by recruitment firm Hays shows salaries for data architects rising by an average 16.7% with SAP architects close behind with a 15.4% increase. This compares to average UK wage growth of 3.1%.

Other sectors which saw high salary increases include demand planners, up 15.8%,  internal communications managers and credit risk analysts, both 14.3% higher, according to Hays’ UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2019 guide.

Akash Marwaha, managing director for Hays Scotland, said: “Overall, we’ve found that employers are pressing ahead with business plans.

“In fact, recruitment plans are at their highest for five years since our survey began, for both temporary and permanent recruitment. However, the lack of suitable candidates for the majority of industries, and technology in particular, is still a serious challenge. 

“And as the market continues to improve, internal communication with employees is an increasingly vital component for staff satisfaction and productivity, especially for the public sector and larger businesses. This increase in new roles is clearly putting pressure on candidate availability with specialised internal communications experience, consequently pushing up salaries.”

The second highest increase at 15.8% was for demand planners. Part of the supply chain and procurement process, demand planners create reliable forecasts based on peaks and troughs of demand to enhance profitability. Scotland’s traditionally strong FMCG market is a core industry for these types of positions.

Akash Marwaha - Hays

Akash Marwah: ‘recruitment plans are at their highest for five years’


Overall, Scotland showed the highest increase of employers (78%) across all UK regions (72%) expecting to increase salaries over the next 12 months, compared to 69% for Scotland in 2018, which is positive news for employees.

The research also shows a considerable increase in the number of employers who are anticipating a shortage of suitable candidates, from 57% last year to 70% this year, although the percentage planning to hire permanent staff is lower in Scotland than the rest of the UK. According to Hays, this might indicate a lack of long-term confidence.

“Activity levels are high in Scotland with two-thirds of employers saying they plan to increase activity levels,” said Mr Marwaha.  “However, the trend in Scotland is to hire fewer permanent roles. If employers in Scotland feel they won’t find the staff they need, they may be focusing more on temporary roles until the landscape improves.”

Mr Marwaha believes that this competition in a skills-short market means that employers need to work harder at standing out in the market and understanding the complex factors that influence employee movement.

“Aside from salary, work-life balance is still the most important factor for professionals looking for a new role, although employee ratings for work-life balance have remained static.

He also suggests that employers need to take a more creative approach to tackling hiring challenges.

“It’s really important that employers start thinking about hiring – based not just on experience – but on potential. Recruiting people who have some required skills and then investing in internal training programmes to develop them into what’s required for a specific role should be seen as a serious option.

“This not only addresses skills gaps, but reduces the negative impact on employee morale caused by staff shortages, and provides career development opportunities that many employees are seeking.”

In Scotland, only 4% of respondents said they planned to decrease activity next year, with 30% staying the same. 

Top ten salary increases in Scotland 

Data Architect – 16.7%

Demand Planner – 15.8%

SAP Architect – 15.4%

Internal Comms Manager – 14.3%

Credit Risk Analyst – 14.3%

Database Developer – 12.5%

Head of Marketing – 10%

Head of Digital – 10%

Data Manager – 10%

Information Security Engineer – 10%


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.