Almost half of managers in the tech sector would rehire staff they fired, says a study.

Research from Randstad UK which spoke to 500 managers and found there is excessive pressure on employers brought on by labour shortages, which would force them to reconsider their previous actions.

Senior director of operations at Randstad UK, Adrian Smith, said: “This shows just how severe the labour shortage is at present – and how desperate employers are getting in the face of such a dearth of skills.

“By hiring someone you have fired, rather than someone who has just left the organisation, not only are there the obvious problems associated with trying to operate alongside  someone who didn’t work-out the first time round, there’s the added risk of annoying ambitious people who have stayed with you – nudging them to leave in protest.”

He added that the Covid-19 pandemic had caused a number of issues, which includes people reassessing what is important to them which has caused them to leave en masse. 

However, staff being off due to isolating has also added to employer worries: “Employers are also under pressure because of staff absences.  While the self-isolation period for Covid cases has finally been cut to five days, this isn’t looking like a huge boost”


Nobody cares about the ‘one year rule’ anymore

Mr Smith said it was clear talent ‘was out there’ but was now harder to find. 

Randstad asked professionals if they would feel confident moving jobs and 75 percent said they would be either confident or very confident.

Adrian Smith said things had changed since the pandemic, becoming a very employee-driven world, since people can now walk in and out of jobs quite easily without having to demonstrate their commitment by staying for a decent period of time.

He said: “One of the unwritten rules of taking a new job is keeping it for at least a year – even if you hate it. The thinking goes even if the environment is tough, you need to show professional commitment and stickability before moving on.”

“People used to be worried about what future employers would think as an employee who stays at least a year is a better investment than one who doesn’t.”

“Well, I can tell you tech professionals aren’t worried about that in the slightest now. If a job isn’t to their satisfaction, they know they can walk straight into another one.”


Things are looking up

However, recruitment agencies are expecting the recruitment sector to return to pre-pandemic levels by the summer.

Firefish Software spoke to 100 recruitment agencies and found agency leaders in London are the most optimistic. 90 percent of recruiters in the City said they were confident they could help build a permanent workforce. Agency leaders in Wales are the most cautious, according to the survey, with 33 percent taking a neutral position.

Wendy McDougall, Founder and CEO of Firefish Software, said: “This survey is a great indicator of how the businesses they deal with are feeling about growth. 

“The shift toward permanent recruitment aligns with the easing of restrictions. Businesses once again have the confidence to offer permanent contracts. But the challenge of finding good candidates remains. Many agencies and the businesses they work with will have to diversify their candidate attraction methods to ensure they achieve results.

“I expect 2022 will see recruiters focus their efforts on nurturing and re-engaging candidates already in their database rather than relying on trying to source new ones. Another strategy will be driving applicants through websites and social media. Agencies understand the importance of a strong brand presence across all platforms.”


The survey was completed by 121 recruitment agency owners based in the UK during December 2021 –  they recruit for a wide range of industries including technology, finance and engineering.