RESEARCH commissioned by Gigged.AI, the AI-driven talent platform, has revealed that around half (51%) of UK tech leaders are considering Generative AI to combat skills shortages, while almost the same amount of respondents (44%) have ethical concerns about replacing employees.
The survey, which was carried out by Sapio Research and interviewed over 250 senior executives across the UK during the second half of 2023, found that 91% are experiencing a tech skills shortage, with 57% saying the situation has worsened compared to 2022.
34% of organisations sampled cited the inability to find qualified candidates as the primary cause, with 32% of respondents attributing the shortage to budget constraints. To address this, only 16% are implementing ‘quiet hiring’.
With 58% of interviewees experiencing a hiring freeze in 2023, 24% of tech leaders said they were planning to use Generative AI to upskill their existing workforce.
On the subject of digital transformation, while 72% of organisations are progressing digital transformation this year, 45% expect delays due to tech skills shortages.
37% of respondents said that software development and cybersecurity skills are being most affected within their organisations by the tech skills shortage, followed by digital marketing (36%), and data engineering (27%).
Gigged.AI CEO and Co-founder Rich Wilson commented: “The findings of our survey show how prominent Generative AI has become for tech leaders in a relatively short space of time. And in the face of the growing tech skills shortage, businesses not only need, they are already planning innovative strategies to tackle the industry-wide challenge. At the same time, ethical concerns are a factor, so that’s a conundrum for companies in 2024.”
Phil Boyle, Chief Technology Officer at Cala Homes, commented: “Generative AI could be the most important technological breakthrough of our lifetime, revolutionising how we work and interact with customers. But its potential will only be realised if we put trust and safety at the centre of this technology. This starts with security and managing data. The demand for these digital skills is vastly outstripping supply however, so at Cala we are investing in grassroots, early-careers, and training to boost knowledge and close the skills gap.”
Gigged.AI CEO Rich Wilson added: “Tech leaders are under pressure across the board, but there are developing blueprints to support them, including around Generative AI and quiet hiring, when that’s done in the right way, and that’s something we’re actively engaged with across our client base.”
The survey of UK tech leaders is part of Gigged.AI’s ‘How to Navigate the UK Tech Skills Shortage in 2024‘ report.