More than 400 ‘hidden’ digital vacancies as sector struggles to promote roles

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There are more than 400 hidden vacancies in Leeds’ digital sector, which could contribute as much as £15m to the local economy.

Complexity in the digital sector and the lack of a central technology giant means vacancies at many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can go overlooked.

Analysis from technology recruitment platform Herd found there were 426 vacancies around the city in October. Some had remained vacant for as long as six months.

While the roles were highly-skilled and carried significant economic value, the disparate nature of the sector can lead to difficulty promoting positions and securing talent, Herd founder Amy De-Balsi said.

“Cities are complex and understanding the digital economy has always a challenge,” she said.

“People are constantly arguing about what constitutes a digital company, whether a digital sector exists because most businesses use technology and before those arguments are even settled, the digital world has moved on. Leeds is no exception.”

While Leeds has continued to build a reputation in digital industries, there are no UK or multinational tech giants headquartered in the region, Ms De-Balsi said. This is one theory behind the lack of recruitment focus.

She said: “There are lots of smaller companies usually employing between 10 and 150 people or satellite offices of brands more associated with the south. Also, the companies are scattered across the city with hot spots in Horsforth, Roundhay and Otley.”

Herd is “bringing the digital business leaders together to collectively solve the problem”, she added.

The website promotes vacancies across digital companies, launching with 50 vacancies from 23 companies, including Epiphany, The Test People, Web Anywhere and Immedia Solutions.

“There is huge support for Leeds to be put on the map,” Ms De-Balsi added.