SEEK: Tech talent still in demand despite decline in job ads

Even if the job market posted an 8% YoY decline in tech job ads in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023), IT jobseekers in Asia remain confident in their job prospects. 

According to the latest data from SEEK, the parent company of online job platform JobStreet and JobsDB, the job market experienced an 8% YoY decline in tech job ads in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023).

“It’s no surprise that we see a decline in the year-on-year demand for tech talent as we’re now coming down from the peak of 2022’s job boom,” Peter Bithos, CEO, Asia, SEEK, said in a statement. “However, it’s important to recognize that the volume of tech job ads on our platforms is still 42% higher than pre-COVID levels, indicating that the demand for tech talent remains strong despite the easing of tech hiring activities.”

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Tech talent’s confidence level was measured based on the strength of their perceived negotiation power and high frequency of being approached with job opportunities, says a study, titled “What Tech Jobseekers Wish Employers Knew: Unlocking the Future of Recruitment.”

The report, published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network, a global alliance of recruitment websites which SEEK’s JobStreet and JobsDB are a part of, revealed that 71% of tech talent in the region feel that they have a positive negotiation power. Almost half of them (46%) are approached with job opportunities on a weekly or monthly basis, making them a highly sought-after talent category.

The data from SEEK’s platforms show that the average number of applications per tech job ad in Asia has increased by over 40% YoY, which could indicate that tech talent affected by layoffs are actively applying for jobs, or they are optimistic about their chances of finding a better job elsewhere.

“Many traditional tech companies are now scaling back after over-hiring during the pandemic, and the cooling hiring rate may persist as businesses are faced with higher interest rates and a possible recession,” Pathos said. “Nonetheless, the need for strong tech talent won’t be going away anytime soon.”

Understanding what tech talent wants is key for companies who are looking to either attract new talent or retain existing employees. According to the “What Tech Jobseekers Wish Employers Knew: Unlocking the Future of Recruitment” report findings, tech talent’s top three motivations for changing jobs are looking for a more interesting position or higher seniority at a new job (55%), lack of opportunities for upward career progress at their current place (31%), and unsatisfied salary and benefits at their current job (26%). 

In demand

“Tech talent are still in high demand, and the recent layoffs have created an opening for non-tech companies to attract top talent from a growing pool of jobseekers with tech experience, as well as an opportunity to attract them in jobs that offer more stability,” said Bithos.  

Tech talent also prefers a stable job with a good work-life balance, which 68% of them see as their ideal career path, giving them time for family, friends, and hobbies. Moreover, only 18% of tech talent are willing to go back full-time to the office, while 64% prefer hybrid models.