Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Tech professionals display 'measured reaction' to Brexit says report

UK tech professionals are taking stock and providing a ‘measured response’ to Brexit, according to a report released today.

Dice®, the online career site for the technology community, surveyed over 1,200 UK tech professionals and recruiters. One month after the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the overall sentiment is that the leave vote is yet to lead to any seismic changes to the UK tech job market. Only 22% of candidates have altered their career plans since the Brexit vote.

Whilst 55% of tech pros thought Brexit would have a negative impact on the UK tech job market, only 44% said they were now more likely to look for a new role in another European nation. Similarly, of those already looking for a role based in mainland Europe, only 27% said that the vote to leave the EU had accelerated their plans.

For those looking to take their tech skills out of the UK since Brexit, many believe a move across the Irish Sea will best serve their future career prospects. Dublin (54%) came top of a list of European cities that tech pros would transfer their skills to, followed by Berlin (49%) and Amsterdam (47%).  

Tech pros believe that those with technical skills will be most in-demand following Brexit (33%). 27% also believe the experience of working in the UK will have an advantage if they enter the wider European job market.

Similar to tech pros, 57% of employers believe Brexit will have a negative impact on the UK job market. Contrary to that mindset, only 30% of employers surveyed said Brexit had led to an immediate change in their recruitment plans. Similarly, less than 10% of employers say they have seriously considered relocating their premises from the UK to another EU member state.

In terms of what is concerning employers, 61% worry Brexit could lead to a shortage of tech talent within the UK, with 59% concerned Brexit may make it more difficult to identify stand-out tech talent in the UK.

Many employers admit they would be willing to take major steps to keep the best and brightest within the UK tech industry. For example, 66% of employers admit they would commit to offering employees a better work/life balance to stop them moving to Europe. In addition, 60% would offer their best staff the option of remote/flexible working, with 53% willing to consider offering a significant increase in salary.

A separate Dice survey also explored attitudes in other European markets. The measured reaction in the UK was replicated abroad. Whilst Dutch tech pros were most likely to view Brexit as a positive development for their own local market (36%), most tech pros and employers are going to wait and see how things develop before drawing conclusions. Indeed, less than 6% of candidates based outside the UK had changed their career plans as a direct result of Brexit.

Jamie Bowler, Marketing Director of Dice Europe comments, ‘The country’s vote to leave the European Union has created more questions than answers, so we wanted to provide some insights into the current mindset of the UK tech job market.

It is clear that both tech pros and employers have real concerns about the future of ‘Brexit Britain’ but equally realise the danger of making rash decisions just a month out from the referendum. Some candidates will be looking into potential careers in Europe, but I think all parties agree we want to safeguard London and the UK’s position as a major hub of investment and innovation within tech. We are confident that whatever the coming weeks and months hold, the UK will continue to be perceived as a market where the best of the global tech community can come to work, live and build businesses.’

*Correct as of June 2016.