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The Current Recruitment and Talent Market: An Overview

A TAtech Special Report Summarizing Recent Surveys & Research

By: Stephen O’Donnell, Chief Growth Officer, TAtech

Today’s recruitment and talent market is constantly evolving and facing new challenges and opportunities in the UK and globally. This report aims to provide an overview of some of the main issues affecting the talent market, with a focus on senior professionals and specialists in engineering, research, biotech, and higher education.

The report covers the following topics:
• Salaries & Compensation
• Brexit & Visas
• Skills & Competencies
• Work from Home & The World of Work
• Artificial Intelligence & Other Technology
• Talent Supply & Attraction
• Mobility & Relocation

Salaries & Compensation

Salaries and compensation are key factors that influence the recruitment and retention of talent, especially in highly competitive and specialized fields. According to the Robert Walters Salary Survey 2021, the UK saw an increase in demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professionals in 2020, despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey predicts that salaries for STEM roles will continue to rise in 2024, as employers seek to attract and retain scarce talent. The survey also highlights the importance of offering flexible and remote working options, as well as other benefits such as health and wellness packages, learning and development opportunities, and equity and stock options.

Globally, the salary trends vary depending on the region, industry, and sector. However, some general patterns can be observed, such as the growing demand for digital and data skills, the increasing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, and the need for agile and adaptable leaders. According to the Korn Ferry Global Salary Forecast 2023, the global average salary increase was 4% in 2023, and 5.2% in the UK. However, the real wage growth, which takes into account the inflation rate, is projected to be static in 2024. The forecast also indicates that the sectors that are likely to see the highest salary increases are e-commerce, technology, and healthcare, while the sectors that are likely to see the lowest increases are leisure and hospitality, transportation, and manufacturing.

Brexit & Visas

Brexit and visas are another major issue that affects the recruitment and talent market in the UK and globally. The UK's departure from the European Union (EU) has resulted in significant changes in the immigration system and the mobility of workers. As of January 1, 2021, the UK introduced a new points-based system that applies to both EU and non-EU citizens who want to work in the UK. The system requires applicants to meet certain criteria, such as having a job offer from an approved sponsor, having a certain level of English language proficiency, and earning a minimum salary threshold. The system also includes a new Global Talent visa, which is designed to attract highly skilled and talented individuals in fields such as science, engineering, and academia.

Globally, the impact of Brexit on the talent market is still uncertain and depends on various factors, such as the trade deals between the UK and other countries, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the political and economic stability of different regions. However, some possible implications are the reduced access to the EU talent pool for UK employers, the increased attractiveness of other European countries for EU workers, and the potential opportunities for collaboration and innovation between the UK and non-EU countries.

Skills & Competencies

Skills and competencies are essential elements that determine the employability and performance of talent in the current and future market. The rapid changes in technology, economy, and society have created new challenges and opportunities for the development and acquisition of skills and competencies.

According to the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report 2023, the top skills and competencies that employers will seek in 2025 are:

• Analytical thinking
• Creative thinking
• Resilience, flexibility, and agility
• Motivation and self-awareness
• Curiosity and lifelong learning
• Technological literacy
• Dependability and attention to detail
• Empathy and active listening
• Leadership and social influence
• Quality control
• Systems thinking
• Talent management

The report also estimates that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by automation and artificial intelligence, while 97 million new roles may emerge that require different skills and competencies. Employers are showing that they are redesigning roles when hiring, with remote and flexible working as a key factor. Therefore, it is crucial for talent to continuously update and enhance their skills and competencies, and for employers to provide training and reskilling opportunities for their workforce.

Work from Home & The World of Work

Work from home and the world of work are closely related issues that have been profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has forced many employers and employees to adopt remote and flexible working arrangements, which have both advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages are individuals’ increased autonomy and productivity, reduced commuting time and costs, and improved work-life balance. Some of the disadvantages are the lack of face-to-face interaction and collaboration, the blurred boundaries between work and personal life, and the increased risk of isolation and stress.

The pandemic has also accelerated the transformation of the world of work, which is driven by technological, demographic, and social changes. This disruption to established norms of work has served to loosen the bonds of staff with their employers, making them more of a flight risk. Some of the trends that are shaping the future of work are the rise of the gig economy, the demand for lifelong learning, the importance of diversity and inclusion, and the need for sustainability and purpose. These trends pose new challenges and opportunities for employers, who have to adapt and innovate> to survive and thrive in the changing landscape.

Artificial Intelligence & Other Technology

Artificial intelligence and other technologies are key drivers of change and innovation in the recruitment and talent market. Each in its own way can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the recruitment process, by enabling automated screening, assessment, and matching of candidates, as well as providing data-driven insights and analytics. Artificial intelligence and other technologies can also improve the quality and engagement of the talent pool, by offering personalised learning and development, feedback and recognition, and career guidance and support.

However, artificial intelligence and other technologies also pose some risks and challenges for the recruitment and talent market. These include the ethical and legal implications of using algorithms and data, the potential bias and discrimination against certain groups of candidates or employees, and the need for human oversight and intervention. Therefore, it is important for employers to be aware of and address these issues, and to leverage the benefits of artificial intelligence and other technologies while minimizing the drawbacks.

Talent Supply & Attraction

Talent supply and attraction are crucial aspects of the recruitment and talent market, as they determine the availability and quality of candidates for different roles and sectors. Talent supply and attraction are influenced by various factors, such as demographic trends, the education system, labor market conditions, and an employer’s branding and reputation.

According to the LinkedIn Talent Trends 2023 report, some of the top factors that attract talent to an organization are:

• The compensation and benefits offered.
• The work-life balance and flexibility provided.
• The skills and career growth opportunities available
• The culture and values of the organization
• The vision and purpose of the organization

The report also identifies some of the top sources of talent for different sectors, such as internal referrals, online job boards, social media platforms, and professional networks. Therefore, it is essential for employers to understand and leverage these factors and sources, and to develop and implement effective strategies to attract and retain talent in a competitive and dynamic market.

Mobility & Relocation

Mobility and relocation are important dimensions of the recruitment and talent market, as they reflect the willingness and ability of talent to move across different locations, regions, and countries for work purposes. Mobility and relocation are affected by various factors, such as personal and family circumstances, cultural and linguistic differences, legal and regulatory requirements, and financial and logistical costs.

According to the Boston Consulting Group Decoding Global Talent 2023 report, some of the top destinations that talent would consider relocating to are:
• Canada
• U.S.
• Australia
• Germany
• U.K.

The report also reveals some of the main reasons that motivate talent to relocate, such as career prospects, quality of life, economic stability, and personal safety. Therefore, it is important for employers to understand and accommodate these factors and reasons, and to provide support and incentives for talent who are willing and able to relocate, as well as for talent who prefer to stay in their current location.


The recruitment and talent market is a complex and dynamic phenomenon that involves multiple issues and challenges, as well as opportunities and innovations. This report has provided an overview of some of the main issues affecting the talent market in the UK and globally, such as salaries and compensation, Brexit and visas, skills and competencies, work from home and the world of work, artificial intelligence and other technologies, talent supply and attraction, and mobility and relocation.

The report also highlights some of the trends and factors that influence these issues, and some of the implications and recommendations for talent and employers. This should serve to offer some insights and guidance for the stakeholders in the recruitment and talent market, and to stimulate further discussion and research on this topic.

About TAtech

Now in its 17th year, TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions is the trade organization for the global talent technology industry. Its Members include job boards, aggregators, programmatic ad buying platforms, job ad distribution companies, job alert and email distribution companies, conversational AI and chatbot solutions, ATS companies, CRM platforms, candidate communications tools, interviewing and assessment solutions, video-based solutions, AI-based solutions and talent acquisition consultancies.