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The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | February 2023

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Here is your February guide to the latest trends impacting the world of work. Every month, we provide perspective on the biggest news affecting the industry and explain what to expect as new trends continue to emerge.


In January 2023, McKinsey reported on the shortage of talent in Europe’s tech industry and highlighted how increasing diversity, particularly increasing the number of women in tech, could help solve the talent shortfall.

To understand the issue, McKinsey conducted detailed analysis of the entire tech talent lifecycle, from education through to entering the workforce. Their key findings were similar to that identified by Accenture and Girls Who Code in their 2020 report “Resetting Tech Culture: 5 Strategies to Keep Women in Tech.” McKinsey’s key insights were:

  • The percentage of women in STEM classes drops significantly during the transition from primary and secondary education to university, and from university to employment. There is simply not enough flow-through from each stage. Getting more girls into STEM should not be the priority, but instead supporting and nurturing those already in STEM.
  • The graduation rate of women in STEM disciplines during higher education is decreasing.
  • Women’s employment rate in tech companies is almost equal to men, but it is much lower in actual technology roles such as developers and data engineers.
  • Women’s representation in tech roles is the lowest in the fastest-growing roles, such as DevOps and cloud.
  • If the current trend continues, the share of women in tech roles in Europe is predicted to decline to 21% by 2027.
The image is a graph extracted from McKinsey's report that shows how women are under-represented in different types of roles. There are seven boxes with smaller cells colored in which represent the percentage of women in those types of roles. Starting in the top row on the left, moving towards the right, 46% of product design and management roles (e.g., product manager, UI/UX designer) are represented by women. Next, 30% of data engineering, science and analytics roles (e.g., data scientist, machine learning engineer) are represented by women. In IT consulting (e.g., IT business consultant, solution engineer), 22% of roles are represented by women. In software engineering and architecture (e.g., full-stack engineer and tech architect), 19% of roles are represented by women. On the bottom row, 18% of core engineering roles (e.g., firmware engineer and automation engineer) are represented by women. In compute and operations (e.g., systems engineer, incident manager), 15% of roles are represented by women, and lastly in DevOps and cloud (e.g., DevOps engineer, site reliability engineer and cloud engineer), only 8% of roles are represented by women.

McKinsey’s report offers clear guidance for employers in helping tackle the gender balance issues in tech roles:

  • Address bias and discrimination: One of the most pressing issues to address is bias and discrimination in both the hiring experience and the employee experience, specifically focusing on workplace culture and policies such as implementing training programs and revising hiring and promotion processes.
  • Creating tailored flexible working options: Around 7% of European women (versus 0.5% of men) are out of the workforce due to caregiving responsibilities at home, and almost one in four women cite lack of work-life balance as a key reason for leaving tech careers. Employers need to offer more flexible work arrangements such as remote work or part-time work to help attract and retain women who may have caregiving responsibilities.
  • Focusing on programs to attract and retain women: Employers should prioritize appealing to women in tech and make sure job postings and recruitment processes are inclusive. They can also implement programs to support the retention and advancement of women within the company through sponsorship programs. In job postings, talent acquisition teams can encourage applications from females by stating candidates should apply even if they feel they only partially meet some of the requirements.
  • Communicate the above at key candidate touchpoints: Needless to say, all of the above needs to be communicated at all candidate touchpoints throughout the talent attraction process, from advertising campaigns, in content on the career site (including within job ads / job descriptions) and on social, to CRM campaigns, recruiting outreach and employee referrals.

Continue reading Women in tech: The best bet to solve Europe’s talent shortage, McKinsey & Company

The Careers after Babies report by That Works for Me highlights how many UK mothers not only work for a different employer after having children, but also either left the industry they worked for or left the labor market altogether, despite wanting to continue working. That Works For Me also emphasizes that every year, the UK loses 120,000 mothers from full-time work and 25,080 from the workforce altogether.

“Every year, the UK loses 120,000 mothers from full-time work and 25,080 from the workforce altogether.” -Careers after Babies: The uncomfortable truth

The report uncovers the alarming reduction of working mothers in the workforce, with some of the key findings including:

  • 85% of women leave the full-time workforce within three years of having their first child, and 19% leave work completely, because businesses aren’t offering the flexibility needed.
  • 98% of mothers want to work. Given the choice, 86% of women would choose to work three days a week or more, rubbishing the sentiment that women don’t want to come back to work after having children.
  • The number of female managers drops by 32% after having children, and the number of admin roles increases by 44%, showing women are being forced into lesser-skilled roles.
  • 44% of women are earning less than they were before they had children and it’s taking more than 10 years for their careers to recover.

The report offers sound advice for employers in retaining existing employees who are mothers or mothers-to-be, as well as attracting mothers who want to return to work, some of which include:

  1. Creating flexible working policies that allow for individuals’ differing circumstances that aren’t solely reliant on the discretion of the line manager and remove all sense of presenteeism. This will likely need to involve training for all employees to help shift any underlying cultural issues.
  2. Protecting mothers’ roles, allowing them to return to their original role after maternity leave.
  3. Reducing workload in line with any reduced hours.
  4. Supporting job sharing, especially in senior roles where there is the greatest loss of women from the workforce.
  5. Supporting with childcare costs and schemes.
  6. Providing meaningful well-being and mental health support.

Employers who invest in making these adjustments will not only benefit from attracting from a wider talent pool in a tight labor market, but more importantly will benefit from increased business performance as a direct result of having a more diverse workforce.

For the full insights, including all the advice for employers, download the “Careers after Babies: The uncomfortable truth” report by That Works For me.


In January 2023, Coursera released “Job Skills of 2023” report, which highlights the fastest-growing skills on their platform, with a specific focus on digital and human skills. The report emphasizes the importance of skills development to strengthen the labor market amidst global economic challenges, and the popularity of micro-credentials. Non-degree credentials, such as professional certificates, are becoming more popular as they help students stand out to employers. Institutions and businesses must focus on skills training to attract and retain talent, and the demand for both human and digital skills outstrips supply, requiring a balance of soft and technical skills to achieve strategic priorities.

The report highlights that digital skills are the fastest-growing skills, particularly those related to user experience and those that blend technical expertise and project management. Additionally, data visualization and analysis skills are growing and can complement traditional human skills like people management and storytelling. Management skills to guide teams through change are also among the fastest growing. Finally, communicating with peers, customers and prospects is key for hybrid work.

The report concludes that both digital and human skills are in-demand by employers and increasingly interdependent and complementary to each other. Fastest-growing digital skills often leverage or enhance traditional human skills, such as management and communication. Human skills like communication and storytelling are becoming more important for roles across organizations as demand for management and leadership skills rises and organizations prioritize autonomy and flexibility. Life-long learning is essential for individuals, businesses and governments to prepare for a fluctuating job market and fast-changing economic conditions. Prioritizing learning programs that focus on in-demand skills that blend human and digital proficiencies can strengthen organizations, the job market and the careers of the people powering them.

For talent acquisition teams, communicating your learning benefits as part of your total offer to potential candidates (at the level of each job) is going to be critical in attracting the talent needed for today and in the (not so distant) future, given how quickly change happens. As equally as important will be thinking about what skills, education and qualifications are being asked for as to not limit potential talent pools.

Read more by downloading Coursera’s full Job Skills of 2023 Report.

About Nathan Perrott

As VP, Strategy & Innovation at Radancy, Nathan is responsible for observing emerging trends in technology and the future of work to drive product and strategy innovation, bringing the value of Radancy Labs' work to our clients and colleagues, and also leads the European team of solutions engineers who drive value from the Radancy Talent Acquisition Cloud.

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