James Davies

James Davies

Talent Northern Regional Director

Market Overview

With a huge 80% of roles now becoming fully remote across the North, it’s safe to say the world of work as we know it has dramatically changed. Salaries are now more similar across the Northern regions than they used to be, closing the gap and creating greater unison within this part of the country.

We’re seeing a lot more project-based contracts, as well as a drive towards doing multiple contracts at once. Contract software roles have increased hugely due to a decrease in permanent availability - with contract opportunities often being considered more desirable. Candidates aren’t staying in permanent roles as long as they used to, and the gap between contract and permanent salaries is a lot smaller. We’re seeing many contractors staying almost as long as permanent employees, without being that much more expensive.

However, diversity and inclusion have also been central to an organization’s success. With a return to a ‘new normal’, companies and clients alike are wanting to promote their values and provide unique voices in the world of work. Furthermore, those with higher gender diversity on executive teams were 21 per cent more likely to outperform. In 2022, Diversity and Inclusion is no longer a ‘nice-have’ – it must be central to the company’s values and business practices.

The market has dramatically changed, and I don’t think things will ever go back to the way they were pre-Covid. However, Manchester in particular remains a hugely innovative hub for start-ups. Having been named the fastest-growing tech hub back in 2019, this definitely still rings true in terms of role progression, tech diversity, and digital scope.

James Davies

Talent Northern Regional Director

Candidate needs

  • The opportunity to work remotely, as well as greater flexibility for a better work-life balance
  • More contract roles than we’ve seen before
  • Cultural fit with opportunities for progression
  • Central location, if office-based work is mandatory

Business needs

  • More candidates suitable for project-based contracts
  • Candidates who are happy to work remotely 24/7, as a huge number of roles we’re seeing are now fully remote
  • Permanent employees that are committed and unlikely to move on too soon

The year ahead

As we move further into 2022, I’m expecting to see little change in the surge of contractor positions. Increased competition and demand for flexibility has made a lot of permanent roles difficult to fill - especially considering the talent pool is now wide open. Remote working allows for candidates to be hired from pretty much anywhere, boosting the number of opportunities they’ll have on the table. To keep up with the competition, companies will need to boost their employer brand and offer the right kind of benefits.

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Talent Insights

Tech Talent

153k technology professionals with an average tenure of 1.8 years

(source: LinkedIn Talent Insights)

Gender Identity

% Female
% Male
*This information has been retrieved from sources with gender binary data. We acknowledge those who do not fit within this framework and understand there are more gender identities beyond the binary.
(source: LinkedIn Talent Insights)

Top Employers

  • Capita
  • Sage
  • Serco
  • IBM
  • Accenture
(source: LinkedIn Talent Insights)

Top Skills

  • DevOps
  • Project Management
  • Software Engineering
  • Java Development
  • .Net Development

Living in



From Manchester to Liverpool to ever-picturesque York, the North of England is home to some of this country’s real gems. And, with Manchester being hailed as the UK’s fastest-growing tech hub, it’s safe to say living in this city has become very sought after. Not just by tech professionals either; more people than ever are moving to experience living in the city known as “London up North”.

Manchester aside, our northern region has a lot to offer. From stunning scenery to a much more affordable cost of living when compared to London and the South, this region is renowned for diversity and impressive transport links. So long as you don’t mind the weather feeling a little colder, the often-underestimated North has a lot to offer - with plenty of tech opportunities within its cities.

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