Amid the skills shortage, tech professionals entering the workforce are recognising the value they can bring to organisations, making starting salaries more important to them than ever.

Research from recruiter Randstad Technologies found that since the recession, salary has increased as a priority for new workers. 22 percent of tech workers beginning their careers in 2014 and 2015 said pay is the biggest factor for attracting them to an employer.

Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad Technologies, said:

“The technology sector is rocketing into the stratosphere. More start-ups are popping up throughout the country, and companies of all sizes are realising the importance of cyber security roles and big data analytics and hiring specialists in these fields. But this in turn has changed the tone of the jobs market – tech workers are now much more in demand and can command higher salaries than ever before.

“The new generation entering the workforce recognise that the growing size of the sector, combined with the lack of tech talent, is a perfect storm for job hunters. They place getting a higher starting salary as one of their top priorities, and are willing to push harder on pay.”

The average size of the tech workforce has expanded rapidly, with 71,000 more employees working in Tech specialist roles in 2014 compared to in 2013. In total, there were 1,278,000 Tech workers in the UK in 2014, with 49 percent of those (627,000) employed in the Technology sector itself and the remaining 51% (651,000) employed in Technology roles across other industries.

Proportion of Tech employees who say compensation is the most important factor they consider when choosing to work for a specific company:

Year Tech workers UK average
2012 18% 11%
2013 19% 18%
2014 22% 21%
2015 22% 20%

The survey of 10,278 British workers also found that younger workers are better at negotiating on salary.

One in three (31%) 18 to 24 year olds that had recently changed jobs cited that compensation being too low was one of the factors behind their decision to look for a new workplace, compared to 29 percent of overall respondents.

Jacobs added:

“Employers have stepped up their game to attract talent by offering attractive salary packages, but they are being slower to recognise and reward the broader skill-sets that their established workers have built up through years of hard slog following the recession.”