UK and European Employers Enter The Great Remuneration, Boost Pay and Benefits to Address Skilled Worker Shortage

Technology workers are in high demand across the region; time to fill for IT roles has jumped 44% and pay rates over 12%

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PRO Unlimited, the Integrated Workforce Management (IWM) platform provider, today released the results of its January 2022 Europe Labor Market Report. The analysis, which is based on billions of data points related to professional and technology roles, reveals that employers in the UK and Europe are facing a severe crunch for skilled talent amidst a strengthening labor market. Firms are actively increasing pay rates and benefits offerings to attract workers.

“Our analysis shows that job vacancies across the UK and Europe are outpacing available workers. This is creating a fierce battle for talent,” said Dustin Burgess, SVP of NorthStar HCM at PRO Unlimited. “Employers looking to stay competitive are best served with a data-based talent acquisition strategy. Deep visibility into talent availability, competitive pay rates, worker preferences and more will help firms fill positions faster with the right talent and stay agile.”

PRO Unlimited’s analysis explored a variety of year-over-year employment metrics across the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Germany. Key findings include:

Demand for technology workers is extremely high across Europe. There is a shortage of talent in Belgium for roles such as IT developers, business analysts, functional analysts, data engineers and scientists, system engineers and enterprise architects. Firms in the Netherlands are finding it difficult to source candidates with skills in all programming languages and roles such as software developers and testers, technical leads, architects and network professionals. Security architects and SAP R2 developers are in particularly high demand in the UK, while sourcing in the IT security sector is challenging in Germany, with heavy demand for cybersecurity personnel.

Employers are ramping up compensation to win talent. The most in-demand roles are seeing the biggest pay increases. Pay rates for IT talent across all five countries jumped 12% and pay for data engineers increased 20%. Rates for ELT developers in the Netherlands rose 26% and data engineers 31%. Compensation for technology workers in Ireland has increased 11% on average over the past two years.

A candidates’ market is making jobs take longer to fill. The increase in time to fill open positions for IT skill sets is particularly dramatic, up nearly a full week from 14.9 days in 2020 to 21.5 days in 2021. Employers are also struggling to fill open positions for recruiters, especially those that specialize in acquiring IT talent, as well as business development and sales roles and hospitality staff.

Value-add benefits vary by country. Companies in Belgium are offering private health insurance to help attract and retain talent, while firms in the Netherlands are enticing workers with educational stipends and reduced work hours. Companies in Ireland are offering four-day work weeks. Additional paid annual leave and smaller-ticket items are priority for workers in the UK and Germany. UK talent desires sports and fitness equipment while free food, team events and parking spaces are popular in Germany. Flexible and remote working options were common across the board.

In addition, the report found that Ireland’s pharmaceutical sector is driving a big need for manufacturing workers with skills in validation, engineering and quality assurance. In Belgium, hours worked by temporary staff increased 9.3% in October 2021 compared to the prior year. Job vacancies hit 1M in the UK for the first time ever in August 2021, likely due in part to the fact Brexit has stemmed the flow of talented candidates from countries in the EU.

PRO Unlimited’s report leverages actionable intelligence and insights culled from its aggregation, cleansing and anonymization of data across a variety of internal and external data sources. This includes hundreds of client programs globally. PRO Unlimited manages data on hundreds of thousands of workers annually across 51,000-plus unique roles globally, providing insights on rates, skills premiums, efficiencies, candidate supply and demand, hiring competition, and more.

Download the full report to learn more about the state of Europe’s labor market.

About PRO Unlimited

Serving hundreds of the world’s most recognizable brands, PRO Unlimited offers modern workforce management and a partner ecosystem supported by data, software, intelligence and services to meet your flexible workforce needs. PRO’s Integrated Workforce Management Platform can adapt quickly to regional or industry economic shifts, and provides the speed, scale, flexibility, transparency and expertise to serve as the holistic platform for the modern workforce. With global headquarters in San Francisco, California, and international headquarters in London, PRO has helped global brands and organizations achieve operational and financial success for more than 30 years.


Christian Barbato

Vice President of Corporate Marketing

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