Engineering half year recruitment market update


The engineering recruitment market in the first half of the year was almost as buoyant as it was at the end of 2015.

Despite some uncertainty in the market demand for top engineering talent remains high, and employers are still competing for the best talent.

“Since the beginning of the year, some candidates and clients have noted concerns regarding market conditions, and whilse there has been some softening in the market, the demand for top engineering talent remained incredibly competitive,” said Alfonso Tiscareno, head of the engineering recruiting team at Robert Walters.
Publicly listed companies and larger, well-funded startups are seen as a more attractive choice for candidates who are concerned about the job market and career security.

Facebook, Google, and Uber continue their three way battle to come up with the most aggressive compensation packages possible to attract and secure such candidates.

Smaller, earlier stage startups remain the preferred choice for much of the engineering population, with people attracted to more mission-driven businesses and dynamic working environments.

New direction for 2016

Startups that had focused exclusively on growth in the past have had to change their business model, with investors now far more interested in monetization strategies and overall profitability.

Startups that have yet to find a solid product market fit are the ones who have been suffering the most – leading to several notable restructurings and layoffs.

As a result, some hiring managers have made the mistaken assumption that there is more engineering talent in the market; however this is not the case. Companies that have restructured their business have tried to keep their engineering team, and the few engineers who have come on to the job market often have 2-3 offers within a week of looking for something new.

Key skills in demand

For the past six months engineers that have expertise with Python/Django and front end engineers with React expertise have been in demand. Angular experience continues to be sought after and GO is becoming more popular.

Big Data, DevOps and Rails engineers continue to be in demand as well, but the demand for mobile engineers has slightly decreased in comparison with previous years, with the increase of new startups emerging within the health, finance and food domains.

Outlook for second half of 2016

There exists some cuation in some areas of the market, but many hiring managers remain positive about the market. We expect to see startups continuing to change their business model, and will focus more on the bottom line rather than just growth.

"We expect to see startups continuing to change their business model, and will focus more on the bottom line rather than just growth."

The expectation is that VC investors will remain cautious during the second half of the year, but generally still feel excited and positive about the market: startups will continue changing their business model, focusing more on the bottom line rather than just growth.

Engineering talent will continue to be in high demand and the VR, IoT, health, food and analytics domains will remain buoyant. Some startups will need to revisit their recruitment strategy, especially where they don't have a defined recruitment process which may lead to them missing out on talent.

“Companies should move decisively in order to attract the best talent,” advises Alfonso Tiscareno, “as well as to ensure that the overall experience of the recruitment process is as positive as possible for all interviewing candidates.”

For more information, please contact:
Alfonso Tiscareno, Vice President (Engineering)
T: +1 415 549 2018

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