Full-time employment in the ICT industry amounted to over 62 million people worldwide in 2023, and the demand for IT Specialists is still growing. Although we notice some slight changes in the list of professionals searched by our Customers, there are several positions which have been, and will be for a long time, the leaders. 

What Specialist have we hired this year in the highest numbers? Which professions might require some adjustments from the Candidates? What companies’ demands will increase in 2024? Who better to answer those questions than NATEK Recruitment Manager – Mateusz Chmielowski. Find out how the IT recruitment trends looked in NATEK in 2023 and what we predict to happen in the New Year.

NATEK TOP positions in 2023 

There was a great demand for programmers, developers, and testers during and after the pandemic, when many companies were aiming to computerize and digitalize their businesses. To stay afloat and be profitable, especially for companies that were working mainly offline before 2020, it was necessary to introduce innovative technologies and modern solutions and go online. Many of them needed support in either developing personalized platforms from scratch or upgrading the existing environments.

Furthermore, a multitude of people were working 100% from home, which created a need for appropriately prepared equipment, hardware, and tools, to enable employees to do their jobs remotely. Now, that the market has become saturated with all those solutions, Customers are eager to look for IT Specialists whose primary domain is in IT support. 

“Even though new projects are opening all the time, their amount dropped this year compared to the previous one. And although developers and testers are still a crucial part of the IT job market, Experts on positions grounded in Tech Support (with 50% of NATEK hires in 2023 in Bulgaria, and 30% in our other locations), Analysts (both Business and System) and SAP, are the ones that joined NATEK Team most frequently in 2023.” 

Changes on the IT market 

For the past 10 years the market has been growing steadily and I would argue – without any major turbulences. We have noticed a natural fluctuation of interest in given IT positions, both from the Customers and Candidates stand points. Even though the demands are always changing, the most popular positions remain on the pedestal.”

One example of a position that had its moment for quite a while was UI and UX designers. The interface of each new platform, app, website or tool needed to be crafted in a way that will be not only attractive, but most importantly functional, intuitive, and user-friendly. Getting the necessary skills set to enter the market was not as demanding as in the case of programmers or analysts, therefore many people decided to take this career path. There are still many specialists in this field looking out for new projects, but a lot of times their tasks are being taken care of by the front-end developers or full-stack developers, who serve also other purposes in the projects, making them oftentimes more profitable for the companies. But that certainly does not mean that in a couple of years, the UX designers will not resurface and be more essential to IT projects than ever.

“A major dictator of hiring trends are the budgets of the companies looking for new Teams of Experts. In the past they might have chosen quantity over quality, making the demand seem much bigger, and the salaries of such specialists skyrocketed. Now we can see that the Customers start to value an actual experience of the people their hire, both their soft and hard skills, willingness to develop in the organization and get on board of new projects. The market seems to stabilize and take into consideration both sides – of the Employee and Employer.

Tester position - safe career path? 

Testers, both manual and automatic, are one of the most frequently researched (by Candidates) positions at NATEK. The level of recognition for this job might not be as impressive as for programmers or full-stack developers, yet the job is far from irrelevant. Every project before going live requires a set of tests, to assure the quality of the final product, and Testers are the common “go to” Specialist in that department. Yet in the recent year, the number of Testers willing to take on this position compared to available offers became quite uneven.

Is becoming a Tester still a career path worth considering for the newcomers to the IT job market? The answer is not a simple yes or no. Time and again, even the most experienced Testers are forced to have more flexibility when it comes to choosing the job offers. They are for example applying below their qualifications, taking on junior or mid-positions, while their CV could grant them a Senior role. A common practice these days is also going back from automatic testing to manual testing. Most Testers in the past aimed for automation because it meant less repetitive and mundane tasks, and more time for focusing on the actual issues and improvements on the project. But now with more available places in manual testing, and fewer offers in automation, some specialists have no choice but to go for what is achievable.

“In many cases the Customer will hire a programmer who will run tests on their own, and provide other services, rather than a Tester dedicated to just one part of the whole project. But the needs of the market are continuously changing, and I think it is safe to say, there will always be a place for Testers in the IT Projects. But it does not hurt to develop some new skills, outside of one’s expertise, to broaden the career horizons. ;)

Predictions for 2024 

I am sure that Developers will remain one of our most heavily needed positions, especially when it comes to the Senior Java Developers and Full-stack Developers, as they are one of the most searched for experts in the IT world. Another position must be an SAP Specialist, when we take into consideration the upcoming deadline for migration to the S/4HANA system. Companies will surely look for trustworthy support, to guarantee their data gets transferred in a secure and efficient way. We cannot of course dismiss the fast expansion of AI, which will bring new demand not only for people with experience in automation, but also specialists in Cybersecurity, who will deal with new, creative ways of data theft, phishing and (so far) unclear legal regulations.

Outsource IT Specialists with NATEK 

We understand that the market is in a constant state of changing and the roles that our Customers seek, for now, might be a thing of the past within months. That is why our Team of highly skilled Researchers and Recruiters stay up to date with the ongoing and upcoming trends, that might be crucial for our business Partners. We cannot predict the future with 100% certainty, but we can confidently say we are ready for whatever it has in store. 

Want to join us and develop your career in IT with the best Specialists on the market? Go to https://natek.eu/jobs and #workITwithus!