man on holiday with laptop

With senior staff on holiday and potential candidates out of the country it may appear at first glance that August is the worst time of year to try to hire new staff. But research from specialist IT recruiter, Randstad Technologies suggests the opposite.

An analysis of the ratio of job seekers to vacancies shows that, on average, there are 3.1 candidates for every new job in August – compared to an average of 2.3 candidates over the course of the year.

Randstad Technologies also found that whereas August was the best month for employers to stand out and fill vacancies, January is the best month for IT and digital professionals to try to land their dream job – the research showed that, on average, there are only 1.2 new job seekers going after every new vacancy in January.

Mike Beresford, MD of Randstad Technologies said: “If you want the best odds on scooping up high-flyers, August is the month to hire. These figures show the competition for the best talent is less intense. With the ratio of candidates to potential vacancies so advantageous to the hiring organisation, the summer is an ideal time to recruit.  You might not be able to count on the sun during a typical British August but if you are in the IT and technology industries, you can count on having to fight that little bit less hard for every candidate you want to hire.

Randstad Technologies analysed the times of the year that 5,950 IT, digital and telecoms professionals started looking for new roles, and when almost 2,810 suitable job vacancies became available.

From an employer’s point of view, the best season to recruit is summer (June, July, and August) where there are 2.4 new job seekers, on average, for every new vacancy. Winter (December, January, and February) is by far the worst time of year with just 1.3 new job seekers for every new role.

Number of New Job
Seekers for Every New Job
Spring Summer Autumn Winter
IT and Technology sector 2.3 2.4 2.3 1.3


Seasonal Variations in the ratio of new job seekers to new job vacancies

The research also highlighted the huge demand for IT and Technology professionals. Over the past three years, there have been just 2.3 new candidates for every fresh role advertised in these highly-skilled sectors – compared to an average of 2.7 new candidates for every fresh role across the UK.

Mike Beresford said: “The UK lost a lot of skilled Technology and IT talent over the dark days of 2009 and the worst of the economic downturn as overseas markets offered more work and better pay. But the industry has rediscovered itself since the sharp decline in recruitment in 2008 and 2009. Increased demand has driven hiring across the UK although there are still significant skills gaps in the workforce. That’s been reflected in salary growth. We’ve seen salaries for IT Systems experts grow by over 65% outside London over the course of the last three years. There’s a real shortage of skilled people – a shortage that the pitiful number of appropriately trained graduates and post-graduates cannot be expected to fill. But timing can help. If you want the tap up the top talent, the summer’s the time to do it.”

The research analysed a diverse range of sectors – from accountancy, social work, and construction to nursing, banking and HR – to find when most people wanted to move jobs and when new vacancies became available.

Number of New Job Seekers
for Every New Job
Spring Summer Autumn Winter
Accountancy 3.9 3.8 4.4 4.6
Business Support 4.2 4.2 4.2 3.7
Construction / Civil Engineering 3.5 3.7 3.2 0.4
HR 3.5 2.9 3.8 3.4
Investment Banking 3.9 3.8 4.4 4.6
IT and Technology 2.3 2.4 2.3 1.3
Nursing 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.4
Property 3.5 3.7 3.2 0.4
Social Work 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.4
United Kingdom 3.5 3.6 3.6 1.4


Seasonal Variations in the ratio of new job seekers to new job vacancies by industry

It highlighted significant differences between sectors. While employers looking to fill nursing, and engineering job vacancies are – like employers in the IT sector – best off trying to hire new staff in the summer, by far the best time for investment banks to hire staff is in winter (December, January, and February) when the jobs market floods with people looking to move job following the bonus season.