Like Google, Applee Facebook expanding, London’s digital companies struggle to find work

Like Google, Applee Facebook expanding, London's digital companies struggle to find work

LONDON – Technology firms in London are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit tech workers as Silicon Valley tech giants scale up their operations in the U.K. capital. U.S. tech behemoths including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Palantir and Twitter now employ tens of thousands of tech workers in swanky offices across London, and some have major expansions underway.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Twitter, among others, currently employ tens of thousands of digital workers in luxurious London headquarters, and some are expanding significantly. Oscar White, CEO and creator of venture capital-backed travel start-up Beyonk, told CNBC that the expansions were making recruiting more difficult, citing high wage demands and a lack of tech resources. According to its employment website, Facebook now has 266 available roles in London, while Google has 172 and Apple has 103. In the city, Amazon is looking for 162 software developers, 143 solution architects, and 72 technical managers.

Highlights

  • Facebook currently has 266 open positions in London, according to its career website, while Google has 172 and Apple has 103. Amazon is on the hunt for 162 software developers, 143 solutions architects and 72 technical managers in the city. “Software developers are in higher demand than ever before, which is likely to worsen as more tech company campuses spring up around the city,” White said. “For start-ups on tight budgets, who heavily rely on technology resource as the key enabler for growth, this presents a real challenge.”

  • Oscar White, CEO and founder of venture capital-backed travel start-up Beyonk, told CNBC that the expansions were making recruitment more challenging, adding that they have prompted inflated salary expectations and a scarcity of tech resource. Alphabet, Google’s parent, is in the process of building a vast complex in King’s Cross with enough room for up to 7,000 Google employees and around 1,000 DeepMind staff. A few miles away, Apple is planning to move 1,400 staff into a new Apple Campus at Battersea Power Station. While the builds have been held up by coronavirus lockdowns, they’re still going ahead. Elsewhere, Facebook and Amazon have recently opened big multi-story offices in London.

Twitter and Palantir declined to comment. None of the other aforementioned U.S. tech giants immediately responded to a CNBC request for comment. Many start-ups in London will struggle to attract software developers if they offer salaries below £80,000 ($110,000), according to White, who said experienced developers can now command salaries of up to £120,000 a year. Tom Richardson, CEO of money management app Lumio, told CNBC that it’s “so hard” to find the right people. “We are a start-up and with only a seed round and we cannot attract devs or great product managers,” he said. “Starting salaries are mad.” To get around the issue, Richardson is considering relocating his business or hiring more remote workers, but he said both have their risks.