software developer looking for a tech job on his laptop

What’s happening in European tech recruitment

The reasons for developers moving roles or regions has changed considerably in the past years. Regions hardest hit by recession provided some easy pickings for recruiters up to 2015. There was considerable pent up demand to move. As economic recovery, especially in tech, sweeps across Europe developers are far less inclined to move for the money.

Talented developers are moving today for the experience to work with new technologies, on interesting projects, and in great environments. Employers that understand this are able to tap into large pools of mobile talent. Companies that cannot adapt to this new reality will continue to talk about the skills crisis and how it’s impossible to hire good IT staff.

The average tenure of employment for a mid-career software developer is somewhere between two and four years.

The differential in net spending power after rent and taxes in narrowing across Europe, for developers at least. For Northern and Western European employers this poses a rising challenge in terms of attracting mobile talent from poorer European regions. One likely outcome is an increase in remote working opportunities. Good developers living in lower cost regions are much more likely to work and stay with good employers in higher cost regions.

The average tenure of employment for a mid-career software developer is somewhere between two and four years. Many developers who migrated because of the economic crisis are likely to return home when they change jobs next. They’ll return with better technical skills and generally much better English. This will stimulate the tech and startup sectors in cities like Madrid and Lisbon. It will also lead to remote development teams working with former employers or colleagues in Northern and Western Europe, and the US.

Restrictions around the H1B visa will rule out migration to the US for most of them. That’s Europe’s advantage.

Most European countries have a relatively straight forward process for employers to obtain work permits for non-EU candidates with IT skills. Rightfully, more employers are starting to embrace this opportunity to hire from a global talent pool and are hiring more non-EU software developers. We’re already seeing a significant increase in candidates moving to Europe from countries such as Brazil and South Africa. The lure of political stability and better career opportunities is likely to keep attracting great developers. Restrictions around the H1B visa will rule out migration to the US for most of them. That’s Europe’s advantage.

In Ireland, for example, most software developers from outside the EU will qualify for a Critical Skills Permit. The process takes about 6 weeks and costs €1,000. It’s a small price to pay for a great developer in the current market. One of the biggest challenge is getting accommodation when they land. Most companies are upping their game in terms of relocation assistance to deal with this.

In the immediate future it looks like the demand for IT professionals is likely to continue increasing putting further pressure on an already stretched supply. An increase in supply, in the short term, can only come from migrant talent or remote workers.

If you’d like to discuss this further please feel free to contact me at john (at) zartis.com.

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