UK IT professionals fail to meet hiring expectations

New research find nearly three-quarters (74%) of UK CIOs and IT directors are frequently faced with IT candidates who are not able to meet the skill level required for the role they are applying for.

London, 7 February 2017 – The skill sets of IT professionals in the UK don't live up to the expectations of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT directors, new research1 from Robert Half Technology has revealed. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of UK CIOs and IT directors are frequently faced with IT candidates who are not able to meet the skill level required for the role they are applying for.

When asked how they benchmark candidates’ skills, UK CIOs and IT directors stated they are most likely to rely on qualifications/certifications (61%) and years of experience (60%). Surprisingly, only 38% of UK CIOs and IT directors use any form of standardised skills testing before making a job offer.

100 UK CIOs and IT directors were asked: “When hiring a new staff member on your IT team, how do you benchmark the skill-level or competency of candidates?”

Measurement of skill-level

Percentage of CIOs & IT directors



Years of experience


Examples of previous work


Standardised skills testing


Previous job testing




Source: Robert Half.

*Multiple responses permitted

Neil Owen, Director, Robert Half Technology commented: “The rate of technological change combined with the digital evolution of business today is exacerbating the current IT skills shortage in the UK. The pace of hiring to support business growth, digital transformation and IT security challenges, while using the latest software and systems to meet best-practice standards is seeing IT professionals continually needing to upskill. 
“To cope, many businesses are needing to reassess their hiring requirements, considering the ‘need to have’ and ‘nice to have’ skill sets alongside cultural fit. Finding high-potential candidates who can be trained and mentored to company specifications will be a key strategy for surviving – and thriving – in the technology war for talent.”

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Notes to editors

1 The annual global study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 100 responses from CIOs and IT and technology executives from companies across the UK. The results segmented by company size, sector and geographic location.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and