As the COVID-19 pandemic uprooted businesses across the country, one industry was largely spared from the widespread pay cuts, hiring freezes, and decreased demand felt by the majority of the labour market: the tech sector.
A recent survey by the HR Tech Group found that although COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to Canada’s economy, many tech companies are planning to increase their total salary budgets in the coming year.
Conducted in partnership with Mercer Canada, the survey polled 150 companies with employees in B.C. and Alberta in May and June when millions of Canadians were jobless.
The survey found that actual salary increase budgets were reported at 3.3%, only slightly under the 3.6% projected a year ago far before COVID-19 caused a global economic crisis.
Other key findings include:
- Growth despite the pandemic: Despite the pandemic BC and Alberta tech companies are projecting double digit headcount growth for both 2020 and 2021.
- Most difficult to recruit: According to the 150 companies that participated in the 2020 survey the most difficult skills to recruit are Software Development (56%) and Dev Ops Engineers (36%)
- Existing employees have increased bargaining power: Tech professionals who have stayed with their employers are rewarded. Web developers were able to command year-over-year salary increases of over 10%.
- Higher pay for new talent: Top tech talent is so scarce that it is creating a gap between pay negotiated by new hires and incumbent employees. Cloud Ops and Dev Ops engineers are seeing a 10% difference in base salaries between new hires and existing employees.
“Despite a global pandemic, BC and Alberta tech companies are projecting double digit headcount growth for both 2020 and 2021, and tech compensation markets are showing no signs of slowing down,” says Stephanie Hollingshead, CEO of HR Tech Group.
“Organizations that want to stay competitive need to understand what competitive compensation looks like.”