Salaries for Tech Talent: Your questions answered by Forward Head of Talent, Rachel Grewal

Rachel Grewal

Head of Talent

September 13, 2022

Hiring and retaining talent is at the top of the agenda for most scale-ups right now. This is particularly challenging for technical roles as there are so many different factors to take into consideration, such as geography, tech stack, and level of experience.

With that in mind, we’ve highlighted the key points from two of the most prominent tech talent reports published this year (by StackOverflow and Hired) to help answer some of the biggest questions when planning for tech hires:

Do the salary expectations of software engineers differ across tech stacks? 

Yes, it does.

According to StackOverflow, Closure and Erling are coming in as demanding the highest salaries at $100,000+, closely followed by Ruby at $93,000+ on average across all geographies. From a web framework perspective, Pheonix and Ruby on Rails are coming in as the highest paid.

According to Hired, Blockchain engineers have seen the highest year-over-year increase in salary, up 7.8% from £81,991 to £88,402 per year. This significant jump now makes blockchain engineers the highest-paid position across development roles.

UKTN wrote this handy article with some average technical salaries back in May and while early-stage startups come with a huge range of additional benefits to larger scale-ups or corporates, it’s worth reviewing your salary offers to see how you compare whilst also keeping in mind options and equity also contribute to a significant part of any package.

Does where I hire impact how much I pay?

Yes.

Looking at the top 10 countries in Europe for software engineers, the average salary of a software engineer is £70,131 compared to the UK's average salary of £75,276. The countries in the top ten commanding the highest salaries are Ireland and Germany.

Further afield, US compensation is higher than the rest of the world, whilst salaries in India are coming in at about half of US salaries.

When hiring remotely, factoring in productivity culture and engagement into your remote set-up is an important consideration.

How do Software Engineer salaries compare to last year and what does this mean for my current team?

Compared with 2021, in 2022, StackOverflow notes an upward shift between $10-15k e.g. JavaScript developers going from $54,000 to $65,500 worldwide.

So what does this mean for your current employees? In light of the cost of living crisis, salary or financial remuneration becomes an even more important component of retaining your existing team. For jobs with increasing demand, salary reviews often need to be a bi-annual activity. Ensuring your current team is paid market rate is the priority - then once internal salary uplifts have been made, you can start to advertise external roles at the same fair salary. Inflation can be included, in two main ways; either as part of salary reviews (somewhere between 5-10%) or in one-off payments.

Will I hire tech talent more easily if I offer fully remote work?

Probably.

There’s increasing demand from candidates in general to have the option to work fully remotely. Taking this approach also allows you to open up your search across borders, which doesn’t need to be complicated and gives you more options, particularly for those hard-to-fill roles.

Demand for remote positions has grown more quickly than demand for office-based positions within the UK with those open to remote roles increasing from 76.5% to 81.0%. So what does this mean for hybrid working for tech teams? That’s a whole other article!

In summary, there’s no magic formula for getting this right, as this Omnipresent article explains there are three main routes you could go down. However, data is key as well as understanding any geographical and tech stack nuances.

There are many sources you can lean on when it comes to salary benchmarking from Figures to the Hays Annual Salary report, and getting a view across resources is helpful. But it’s also important to listen to what you’re hearing from your own network. For instance, what salary packages have recent leavers been offered in new roles and what are your competitors offering? How does that compare to your offering? These findings can also be factored into any salary budget decisions. As Hackajob’s Tech Job Bubble Report highlights, despite the macroeconomic climate and imminent recession, we can expect salary offerings to stay competitive as the need for tech talent continues to grow into 2023. 

What do you think and what questions now come to mind? Please let me know what you'd like me to write about next by completing the poll below.

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Rachel Grewal

Head of Talent

September 13, 2022

As a highly experienced Talent and People leader, Rachel's background is in scaling businesses strategically in multiple geographies and coaching teams of recruiters to be their best. During her career, Rachel has worked for scale-ups with a focus on tech talent, taking a startup tech consultancy from 60 to 600 people in just over 4 years, and she has worked to bring about strategic change in larger organisations such as the Financial Times.

Her influence extends to proactively impacting culture and talent development, retention and DE&I practices, influencing senior leadership teams and challenging the way an organisation is developing.