Startup Life/Hiring & Workforce/Analysis/

UK tech job listings down 20% over past 3 months

Data from jobs platform Otta shows a significant dip in startup hiring. But which sectors, roles and company sizes are most impacted?

By Kai Nicol-Schwarz

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna

The number of roles UK startups are hiring for has dropped significantly in the past three months, according to data shared with Sifted by jobs platform Otta. 

20% fewer new job listings have been posted on the site and the amount of live roles has dropped 13%, in a further sign that startups are beginning to batten down the hatches as an economic downturn looms.

Following rising global economic uncertainty that’s driven a slump in tech stocks, many founders are scrambling to extend their runway as VCs become increasingly cautious with how they spend their cash. Some of Europe’s most successful startups have already begun to lay off staff and Otta’s data shows that many others are freezing or dialling back on hiring plans.

But which sectors and companies are reducing their recruitment the most, and which roles have taken the biggest hit? Sifted dug into the numbers to find out.

Biggest and smallest startups worst impacted

The biggest drops in hiring are being seen at startups with under 21 employees and scaleups with 1,000 or more. On average, those companies have posted 33% fewer new jobs in the past six weeks. 

Some scaleups have pulled the plug on recruitment entirely, and companies like buy now, pay later fintech Klarna and speedy delivery company rivals Gorillas and Getir have removed all job listings from the platform.

It’s the latest indication that some of Europe’s biggest and most successful tech companies are preparing for the worst. 

Klarna announced at the end of May that it would be laying off 10% of its global workforce — up to 700 employees. A week before that news dropped, there were reports that the fintech giant was looking to raise as much as $1bn in a new round of investment that would bring its valuation down by about a third, to $30bn.

Getir and Gorillas plan to cut their workforce considerably, too. Getir is laying off about 14% of its workforce — around 4,500 roles — just two months after raising an eye-watering $768m at a $10bn+ valuation, and Gorillas said it will halve its headcount at HQ.

Worst impacted sectors

Alongside Klarna, Getir and Gorillas, Otta’s data shows that a number of other fintech and speedy delivery companies are also reducing recruitment.

 

There are 35% fewer jobs at payments-focused startups and 34% fewer at blockchain companies on Otta than there were three months ago. US crypto giant Coinbase is another that’s pulled all job ads from the platform, and yesterday announced it would lay off 18% of its workforce — around 1,000 employees.

More broadly the picture is a little rosier, and at companies tagged as “fintech” job listings have dropped just 8%. 

At startups tagged as “ecommerce” — which includes speedy delivery companies — the number of roles has dropped 25%. It’s worth noting that Otta tells Sifted that companies are often tagged in multiple sectors and the sectors themselves are very broad — so the vertical data is imperfect. Nonetheless, it provides a look at the type of industries seeing the most significant dialling back of hiring plans.

Candidates still hunting

What could be slightly concerning for jobseekers is that while the number of roles available is decreasing, the amount of applications made on Otta has stayed the same, meaning more competition among candidates.

This might mark a shift in the hiring market, which just months ago seemed to have tilted in the favour of the jobseeker. A number of founders and startup operators reported offering higher salaries and better perks, as competition to secure the brightest and best tech workers ramped up. 

But that could be about to change, as roles get cut to accommodate startups rethinking their priorities in the shifting economic landscape. 

Software engineering and product roles have been the worst affected in the past three months, according to Otta, with new job listings dropping 33% and 27% respectively.

In a spreadsheet released by Klarna, showing the names and roles of 550 “Klarnauts” that have taken voluntary redundancy, engineering was one of the departments most affected by the job cuts. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom for startup operators on the hunt for a new job, and across Europe many tech companies have kept their doors to new recruits firmly open. 

Sifted is tracking which startups are in the market for fresh talent, and has put together this regularly updated list of the European tech companies currently hiring.

Kai Nicol-Schwarz is a reporter at Sifted. He covers healthtech and community journalism, and tweets from @NicolSchwarzK

Tell us how your startup is responding to the economic uncertainty (anonymously)

With a downturn looming, we’re trying to build a picture of the state of play in Europe’s startup community.

We want to know about the steps your startup is taking to extend cash runway and keep the business afloat in a worst-case scenario. Is it preparing for layoffs? Freezing hiring? Cutting its budget? You can let us know — anonymously — in the survey below.

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