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I’ve been recruiting in the software industry in NI for over 6 years and typically one of the most common questions I’m asked by both clients and candidates I work with is “what’s the market like out there today?” often the most simplistic answer is… BUSY!

That being said, the IT market in Northern Ireland has always been busy, however, we’ve seen increased competition for talent and skill-sets – specifically in the last few years. A number of factors have contributed to this, with one of the primary catalysts being the investment from new technology companies (FDIs) setting up locally from further afield. Very quickly, NI has established itself as a great place to invest in and set-up; we have first-class universities, great infrastructure, cost-effective salaries and brilliant support networks – to become known globally as a hot-bed for cybersecurity, fintech, insurtech and medtech talent.

With all this competition means choice – and typically we’re asked by candidates we’re working with on the market “why would we join this new 

For the purpose of this blog, I’ve summarised some points below of candidates we’ve recently placed in FDIs for their reasons and reflections on joining the new entrants:

  • Accelerated career growth – being the early hire puts you in the driving seat – you may be stepping up to take on a Site Lead position to being the first engineer in line for a promotion as the firm grows their function locally.
  • Autonomy – getting in early will allow you to make an impact; you’ll get input into how things should/could be done as opposed to how it’s always been done!
  • Chance to create a culture – a new office gives an opportunity to create a culture and identity for Belfast – ultimately a blank canvas in many cases!
  • Start-up environment de-risked. My next blog will cover the reasons why people are drawn to start-ups (and the advantages of working for one). Typically, an FDI will offer engineers to work in a ‘start-up’ environment yet retain the backing and financial stability of a company which is well established in another location (and potentially one with customers, existing products and revenues).
  • Training and opportunities to learn new things – often this could be new tech or newer, more modern ways of working and processes. We recently had feedback from a number of engineers who without the new FDI opportunity wouldn’t have got their break/transition into the Cyber Security field (and the training that went with it). 

My disclaimer: That’s not to say indigenous firms can’t offer the majority of these propositions. In fact, there’s countless we work with which I feel offer this and more. Getting your proposition right is the first step in the right direction! If you are a company keen to understand the drivers/reasons why IT talent will be drawn to your organisation, then please get in touch. 


If you want to discuss this issue with Chris Busby further or are interested in hearing about the number of opportunities we currently have within the IT & Digital industry, you can contact him on 028 90235 456 or call 028 90235 456 

See all our current vacancies here: