European startup ecosystem and tech sector appear to be in greater shape than ever. Over the past 15 years, the European software industry has grown by 194%, outpacing the rest of the European economy 5x as of 2018.

But what about the market for tech jobs in Europe? Has the demand for top talent also grown along with the industry?

We took a deep dive in the MeetFrank job market data and found some interesting facts. Here are some of the findings from our analysis:

  • European tech sector grew by 1143% in 2014-2018
  • Tech sector employment is growing fastest in France, Ireland and Portugal
  • 46% of job offers are seeking software engineers
  • Designers and tech management have to face the fiercest competition when applying for work
  • Companies are more eager to offer relocation than the job seekers are interested in it

Want more? Read the full article to get a complete overview of the European job market for startups and the technology sector in general.

The state of the European tech ecosystem in 2020

In 2019, European tech startups won a record $30.86bn in venture capital funding, a 40% up from 2018 and 1143% up from the €2,48bn it received back in 2014.

The funding in 2019 even outshone those of the Asian and US markets, which actually saw a slight decline in investment. The fastest-growing sector is fintech, pulling in over $8bn worth of investments.
european tech sector in numbers

The number of unicorns in Europe has risen from 22 back in 2015 to a staggering 99 in 2019, being still far behind USA and China though, as each has slightly over 200

During the first three quarters in 2019, the UK leads in terms of total VC investments – €7.9 bln – followed by Germany with 4.4 bln and France with 3.9 bln, while Germany was ahead by relative growth.

Paris, London and Stockholm are the top locations with startup investments, while London, Berlin and Paris have the largest tech communities (graph below).

More investment and growth means a need for more talent, so it should not come as a surprise that the tech sector workforce is growing faster than regular enterprise in Europe, which currently stalls at 1.1%. 

The tech employment growth is not equally distributed, with France ahead with an impressive 7.3%, followed by Portugal and Ireland, both with over 6% growth. Another tech hub Germany stands at 4% with the UK and Sweden not making the top 10most likely a sign of saturation in the sector.

But now, let’s dive deeper into MeetFrank stats and have a good look at what is actually going on in the EU labour market at the grassroots level!


What kind of jobs are companies offering and how many people apply for them?
top job offers in european job market

Currently, the field with the biggest demand for workers is by far software engineering, providing 46% of all job offers, followed by sales & business development at 12%. It is also the field with the biggest share of applications although considerably smaller, standing at 35%, as sales & business development has 17%.

Software engineering is one of the four fields, next to finance, IT & sysadmin and data & analytics, in which the ratio of offers to applications is negative, signalling a lower level of competition. 

Fields such as sales & business development, marketing & media, tech (project) management have a strongly positive ratio, meaning higher competition among workers.


Which are the most competitive fields?

average applicants per job offer

In terms of competition, the design is currently the fiercest field with 41 applications per job opening, followed by tech (project) management with 39 and marketing & PR with 35 applications.

However, users applying for finance and IT & Sysadmin jobs have been able to enjoy considerably lower competition, with only 11 and 13 people competing for the jobs. Software engineering, the field that is most well-paid and sought-after among employers, also enjoys a relatively low level of competition with 15 applicants per job.


Salary offers for 6 most popular roles

salary levels in European job market in 2020

In terms of the average sizes of the salaries offered across the EU, top-end management jobs are the highest. However, since these make up a small part of the whole, we looked at the salary offers for the most popular jobs.

Once again, software engineering emerged in the top with an average offer of 3996 euros, making it currently the most perfect field to be looking for a job: a high average payment with a fairly low competition rate and a lot of offers to choose from.

The average salary levels for IT & sysadmin and tech (project) management are also high with an average around 3200 euros, underlining the fact that specialized tech experts are currently valued the highest in the EU labour market.

Top skills required in tech-related roles

top job skills required

With software engineering being the most in-demand profession at the moment it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise that the top sought-after skills are regarding that field. 

Full-stack, backend and frontend development and most common development languages HTML & CSS, SQL and Javascript are what’s expected of engineers these days. 

Business development, project management, sales management and English are expected from sales & business development managers, while English is also the highest sought-after skill for customer support. IT & Sysadmin candidates are currently most valued for their system administration and DevOps skills.


% of jobs supporting relocation vs job seekers interested in relocating

job offers supporting relocation in Europe

Open labour market and labour mobility are one of the backbones of the EU economic zone and nearly half of the offers at MeetFrank are living up to that spirit – in fields such as finance and customer support and data & analytics, over half of the job offers have the relocation possibility. However, the picture differs radically on the workers’ end as only around a fifth of software engineers – the field with the highest score – are willing to leave their current country of residence, with the number gradually dropping from there.


How to attract TOP talent in 2020?

As the tech sector in Europe is currently booming, finding top talent can prove more difficult than it used to. It will definitely cost employers more as salary is the biggest motivator for over three quarters of job seekers and the average payment in some popular fields such as system engineering is booming.

However, there are some of the following things you may want to double-check that you are doing right, to become a more attractive employer:

  • Salary – check if the pay you are offering is competitive in the respective field as 75% of the MeetFrank job seekers say that salary is their biggest motivation for changing their workplace.
  • Make sure you put effort into mapping out growth opportunities and describing the new challenges your company offers in the company profile as over 60% of job seekers ranked these motivations high for changing their job. 
  • Be a flexible employer by offering flexible work hours and remote work opportunities as these were also listed among the top motivations.

Europe’s tech sector has been enjoying an unprecedented speed of growth the last couple of years and the increase of venture capital investments from the US and Asia seem to ensure that this will continue for at least some time now. This will naturally sprout bigger competition when hiring talent and also create greater work mobility, so employers need to be ready to offer greater payments and come up with great motivational offers and perks to make themselves more attractive in the labour market.

The job seekers will enjoy the rise in wages and more opportunities but also an increasing rate of competition. They will need to see if their competencies are what the market currently needs and figure out a way to stand out from the crowd.