After an extremely tough year, the digital employment market has been bouncing back at speed in the last couple of months. At Futureheads we saw a 46% increase in vacancies in the first part of the year, and we’re expecting that trend will continue throughout 2021. It’s been great to see some highs after a year with so many lows, but we wanted to know how people working in the UK tech sector are feeling after the events of the last 14 months.

That’s why we created People, Jobs and Money | A Futureheads Report. We asked over 1,000 people how they are feeling about their careers, how they’ve been affected by the pandemic, and what they want from their next role, so that we can share what we’ve learnt for the benefit of our candidates and clients.

For a full breakdown of the results, including salary data by sector and years of experience, you can download the report here. In the meantime, here are three surprising findings from our data crunching:

Tech people want some purpose (but they’re not getting it at the moment)

73% of technology jobseekers rated company purpose, alongside diversity and environment policies, as very important in a new role. However despite listing it as a priority, just 16% believed their current work has purpose. A good reason to move on to a new challenge perhaps, or a call for employers to get better at communicating their purpose and values with their team?

Jon Wall, client director at Futureheads: “Candidates are reconsidering their priorities, purpose, and types of problems they want to tackle longer term. We have a lot of candidates who are passively looking at the moment and being extremely selective.”

They’re also keen to get back to the office

People want flexibility at work, especially after the last year. However it seems they also value face-to-face time with their colleagues. When asked about the ideal working environment, four out of five of those surveyed (81%) said they would prefer to return to the office at least half the time. This is compared to just 6% who wanted to stay fully working from home.

Toby Thwaites, Associate Director at Futureheads: “I’m not surprised only 6% want to work fully from home. People want flexibility and balance, rather than extremes’.

It’s a candidate’s market

After a quiet time during the worst of the pandemic, the search is most definitely now on. 44% of all respondents are either currently looking, or planning to look for a role in the next six months. Just 28% of people feel their salary is competitive, suggesting a boom in job-hopping could be on the cards. As the economy reopens, an increase in vacancies as people move about should be reassuring to the 47% of respondents who had either been made redundant recently, or felt it was looming.

Andrew Demetriou, manager – product and projects at Futureheads: “I expect a boom in market movement in the coming months. With lots of organisations hiring plans set, companies are waiting for candidate confidence to rise and the candidate market to get into full flow. Movement only creates more opportunity!”

Employers, take note!


Employers will need to work hard to attract the best candidates, and those companies that are driven by a sense of purpose, and are serious about issues like sustainability and diversity, will attract the best people. It’ll be fascinating to take another snapshot at the end of 2021, to see how the big return to the office is going and how people are feeling after six months of (hopefully) more freedom. Are our findings consistent with your experiences? Why not download the report [link] and let us know what you think.

We’ll leave the final words with our co-founder Be Kaler Pilgrim:

“Here at Futureheads we’ve worked harder and smarter than ever before, in order to build a more sustainable and responsible business. This report is one step in taking a good hard look under the bonnet of our business – finding out what makes our industry tick will help us understand the part we’re playing within it, and how we can make a genuine, positive impact.”



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