How’s the Tech Hiring Market: Orange Quarter Founder Joe Walsh on the Q1 Tech Hiring Market

Por Orange Quarter

17 Apr 2023

Everyone I speak to at the minute will ask me “so how is the market?” So I thought this was a great time to tell you how we are actually finding it – based on our performance as a business in Q1. This may not be the largest data set, but it does give us a feel of what is happening in Amsterdam, Berlin & Barcelona’s hiring markets.

There is no doubt that January and February felt tough out there (that’s not totally unusual). We couldn’t get away from the layoff run, so prominent in our daily LinkedIn scrolls. We then got hit with the Silicon Valley Bank collapse – which sent a further unwelcome chill through the investment community and companies thinking of hiring. In a tech recruitment business, you can feel the confidence drain out of the market and of course we have also seen this reflected in our results – we’re 73% of where we were last year. Yes, it stings a bit, but the focus on quality hiring and not having to deal with outrageous pay rise demands is also incredibly refreshing.

If you listen to LinkedIn, the talent market should be flooded with some of the best talents for employers to take advantage of. Wo need talent acquisition hey?

In our day-to-day, this really feels like it couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe this is happening over the pond in the US? But in Amsterdam, Berlin, Barca – we’re not seeing it. The candidate market is still just as tight, recruiting hasn’t got any easier and candidates are moving with a bit more caution. We have entered a hiring market that is no longer obsessed with ‘headcount growth’, vendor spend has been slashed, and money is expensive again.

The positive from an EU outlook is that March saw companies releasing vacancies – we were 40% up in comparison to Jan & Feb, there is dare I say it, a little bit of confidence creeping back, where instead of talking about a hiring “freeze” – we’re discussing key positions that add business value. VC money hasn’t vanished and we are having more and more meetings with Eng teams that feel understaffed and craving the nod from above, it seems almost inevitable that this will happen. The flexibility of hiring freelance has become an even more attractive option and headhunting leadership-level roles has remained constant.

Coming back from meeting clients last year with 30 new live jobs sounded fun, and if we’re honest, it was. But this year will be just as enjoyable focussing on your hires that offer real substance and business value.

Let’s also remember that working in tech and tech recruitment for that matter is a privilege. In good times or uncertain times, tech is where the magic is happening! We dust ourselves off, and go again in Q1