One of the UK IT channel’s top recruiters has called a start to a fresh industry talent war following months of cutbacks and hiring freezes.
Talking to IT Channel Oxygen, Robertson Sumner CEO Marc Sumner predicted that Q4 will see the biggest hiring spree of the year.
“With every company I speak to now, there’s no talk of redundancies or hiring freezes. Everyone is back looking. The talent war has started again,” he said.
Tech vendors – including channel stalwarts such as Microsoft, HP and Dell – moved to lay off hundreds of thousands of staff in Q4 2022 and Q1 2023 in response to the worsening economic climate. According to Layoffs.fyi (see this article here), around 85,000 tech workers lost their jobs in January alone.
“For me, quite frankly Q1 was horrendous,” Sumner admitted.
The glut of laid-off vendor staff did little to ease the channel talent shortage even in Q1 and Q2, Sumner said, because many of those affected were not the sales, marketing or technical staff most sought out by partners.
“There were a lot of operations people, customer success people, alliances people. The publicity was ‘oh, there’s loads of people on the market’, but we all know that it’s sales, marketing and technical people that fuel the growth,” he said.
‘2024 could be a big year’
Despite news of layoffs and hiring freezes at some of the big distributors, the channel is already moving back onto the front foot in Q3, Sumner claimed.
“I look at people like Infinigate and they are actively hiring. Westcon are having record months and quarters. They’re not cutting anyone back. I think the demand is still there,” he said.
“And the service providers [MSPs] are doing really, really well. Even the vendors are starting to crank up again. I don’t think we’ll see many big [redundancy] announcements from the IT channel now at all.
“By Q4, the big c-suite roles will be coming, and I think 2024 could be a big year.”