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The Digital Talent Overview 2022 report by Barcelona Digital Talent takes stock of the IT market in Europe and concludes that the continent has gained over 3 million ICT employees in the last decade. In addition, new work models, such as staff on demand or telework, are consolidating in a sector with increasing demand.

The European IT market has seen the emergence of 3 million new ICT employees in the last decade, representing a 50% increase. In total, there are now 9 million digital specialists.

Once again, Sweden (8%) and Finland (7.4%) are the states with the highest proportion of ICT employees. Below the European average of 4.5% are mainly southern countries, such as Italy or Greece, and eastern countries, such as Bulgaria.

Germany, with over 2 million, and France, with 1.2 million, are the countries providing the largest number of ICT workers to the European market. They are followed by Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Poland.

In fact, the demand for digital talent already exceeds pre-pandemic figures in much of Europe. Web and App Developers, UX/UI designers, and implementation consultants for enterprise software (CRM and ERP) concentrate most of the talent supply and demand.

The report also shows how the possibilities of finding a digital job are increasingly high. For example, in Barcelona, there is an average of 15 workers for every ICT job offer, while the ratio in other sectors is 1:60.

Cybersecurity specialists (1:3), Cloud (1:7), and Agile/Scrum (1:9) profiles have the least competition.

Staff on Demand, a Rising Trend

The need for companies to manage this talent correctly in an agile and flexible way that adapts to the changing demands of the market is increasingly evident. This has led to a new work model that is growing over the years: staff on demand.

These are digital professionals who work for a company without being regular employees of it, but rather part of projects that take place at specific moments. Unlike outsourcing, this model is usually more focused on the company’s core operations, those that generate the most value.

For example, many IT consulting firms provide parts of their teams or specific workers to cover their clients’ demands when they need employees for specific projects.

As shown in the BCN Digital Talent report, staff on demand hires have fluctuated in recent years, but their rate is always above the pre-pandemic period, and each year, they exceed the previous year’s maximum job openings.

The Telework Consolidates

If there is a work modality that has exploded in many sectors, especially digital, as a result of the pandemic, it is telework.

In Spain, the percentage of TIC job offers with the possibility of teleworking has multiplied by 4 in the last two years, from 4% in January 2020 to 14% at the end of 2021. At the European level, Warsaw (21%) is the city that offers the most telework, followed by Berlin (19%), Prague (17%), London (15%), and Barcelona (14.5%).

In many companies, the office has transcended the limits of the company, and remote work has emerged as a new opportunity to remain productive and offer greater work-life balance.

To tackle telework projects, the work of IT departments is essential to ensure good management and access to technology outside the usual workplace.

In addition, changes in working methods must be taken into account, the success of which will largely depend on fostering communication between teams, exercising flexible leadership, and organizing daily video calls that synchronize tasks and allow for follow-up.

Gender Gap Decreases

Por otra parte, el estudio hace hincapié en el concepto de la brecha de género, una forma de representar la disparidad entre hombres y mujeres en distintos campos. En este caso, nos referimos a la diferencia de cantidad entre profesionales masculinos y femeninos en el sector TIC.

El informe asegura que, desde 2012, el número de mujeres en el sector TIC ha aumentado 2,1 puntos porcentuales, aunque las mujeres representan solo el 19,1% de la ocupación de empleos digitales en Europa.

En el caso de SII Group Spain, la tasa de mujeres TIC supera en un 9% la media de europea de mujeres empleadas en el sector.

El acercamiento de modelos a seguir para inspirar a las niñas en edades tempranas o una mayor coordinación entre las iniciativas de fomento de las profesiones STEAM (Ciencia, Tecnología, Ingeniería y Matemáticas) impulsadas por las administraciones públicas y las empresas privadas son algunas iniciativas que pueden ayudar a seguir reduciendo esta de brecha de género, apunta el informe.

The future lies in flexibility

In an increasingly digitised world, the demand in Europe for IT professionals is projected to grow and, with it, the options of finding a digital job. In this environment, companies will need to attract existing talent by making working arrangements and schedules more flexible.

Telework appears as a key element in this sense, since it allows greater flexibility and work-family reconciliation. In addition, it will facilitate the fact of covering alternatives in companies that are far from the main capitals and cities of the European continent.

For its part, project work (staff on demand), a trend with greater roots in Anglo-Saxon states, is consolidated as an interesting tool to cover the need for digital profiles, while companies will gain agility to supply the technical skills lacking in their workforce.

Finally, the gender gap is still a pending issue within the sector, although the reduction of this in recent years is a fact to consider. There is still room for improvement.