Which positions will be the hardest to fill in 2020?


With the UK employment rate at the highest on record, finding great talent has never been more of a challenge for South West businesses.

Predominantly for the three months ending September 2019, the highest employment rate estimate in the UK was in the South West at 81%. As well as boasting the lowest economic inactivity rate at 16.8 per cent and the joint lowest actual weekly hours worked at 31.3 hours per week. (see the full report here)

So with these statistics, it comes as no surprise that we all face challenges in attracting talent to the South West?

Research has shown that HALF of the hardest to fill roles are in the Tech sector. (see the report here). This is likely to be an indication of the boom in tech jobs, the skills shortages within businesses and the availability of great tech talent.


Rank Job Title % of vacancies that are ‘hard to fill’ Average Annual Salary
1 Optometrist 68.79 £50,000
2 Solicitor 51.4 £45,000
3 Surgeon 46.32 £41,000
4 Software Engineer 41.8 £40,000
5 Software Architect 41.78 £70,000
6 Front End Developer 40.31 £42,500
7 System Engineer 40.24 £37,500
8 Flight Attendant 40.06 £23,000
9 Software Test Engineer 39.86 £40,000
10 Full Stack Developer 39.76 £47,500


Technology is changing every aspect of our lives, and our careers are no exception. Estimates predict that 85% of the jobs in 2030 will be invented between now and then and that 65% of the jobs that our children will do in the future don’t exist today


Keen to find out what our client think we conducted the “Future Talent Today survey” asking business leaders in the South West to share their ideas and options with us to consider if their workforce is prepared for the so called “Fourth Industrial Revolution”?


  • 68% of businesses reported skills shortages among their workforce (26% reported a skills shortage in managers and Team Leaders. 42% reported a skills shortage in non- managerial specialists digital analysts, engineers, marketing, supply chain and so on)
  • 58% said their workforce is not currently equipped with sufficient technical and/or digital skills
  • Communication was identified as the top soft skill for the future, with 58% ranking it in their top 3, closely followed by leadership (37%) and personal productivity (32%). Research by ManpowerGroup corroborates this and predicts that, by 2030, demand for human skills – social and emotional soft skills – will grow across all industries by 26% in the U.S and by 22% in Europe.


Find our future talent today survey here.

Contact us.

If you need any assistance with recruitment or hiring strategies in 2020 get in contact with King Recruit today. Contact one of our talented team on 01392 790725 or email enquiries@kingrecruit.com