Research by Hired, the online marketplace for tech talent, has found that 65% of UK tech companies foresee a negative impact on revenue due to their inability to hire the talent they need.

Hired’s 2015 Tech Recruitment “Best Practice” Survey found that hiring is the biggest pain point for UK based tech companies, with the time-to-hire and lack of access to top talent directly impacting project development, revenue and productivity, and team morale.

Despite the buzz around the lack of funding being an inhibitor to growth, Hired found that the hiring process is the main pain point for many UK tech companies. Whilst 11% of companies felt fundraising is a pain point, 55% agreed that hiring great candidates is actually the biggest issue.

Hiring  candidates who move your business forward is both time consuming and expensive but also a critical part of building a great business 86% of CEOs, CTOs and senior managers in UK Tech companies’ agreed that long hiring times directly and negatively impacts their business.

Asked specifically which elements of their businesses this impacted on negatively, the top three answers included project development (73%), revenue and productivity (64%) and team morale (36%).

According to interviewees, the biggest obstacles to hiring for tech companies are talent visibility (over 33%), competition for talent (over 28%) and lack of internal resources (over 20%), with 42% of respondents saying they take between one and two months to hire candidates, and a surprising 20% taking between two to three months.

Interestingly, when asked if they track ‘the time it takes to hire’ as a success metric, 67% of participants said that they didn’t do so, despite almost 40% saying that tracking retention rates of existing employees was a key metric for their company.

Sophie Adelman, Hired UK general manager, said: “With the number of tech companies flourishing, companies will increasingly struggle to engage and find top talent in the UKs competitive landscape.

“From our experience of working with over 300 of the UK’s fastest growing tech businesses and almost 3000 companies globally, we know that accessing top talent is crucial to company success, but importantly, companies need to understand employee’s expectations in terms of salary and company culture, as well as streamlining their recruitment process and training their interviews as these facilitate the hiring process, making it much faster and more efficient, enabling business to hire the best talent.”

Hired wanted to understand how companies are currently sourcing candidates for their technical teams (developers, data scientists, UX/UI designers, product designers, etc.) and over 71% of respondents said they source candidates through referrals and 56% through job boards and company careers page, in addition to using curated marketplace platforms such as Hired.com.

Adelman added: “The fact that the majority of companies are still sourcing candidates through referrals and job boards suggests that they might not be able to access, or have visibility on, the best talent for their teams. In order to thrive and compete within the global market, companies need to take a more strategic approach to hiring.

“Instead of waiting for referrals and looking at job boards they can benefit from proactively accessing a focused and curated pool of technical talent that has been vetted for both quality and intent – this will significantly impact the efficiency of the hiring process and contribute to their overall competitiveness.”

The average time to recruit on the Hired platform is 19 days, far lower than the 1 – 3 month timeframe mentioned by 60% of the survey respondents.

Reinforcing the above, 65% of companies are not training their interviewers and only 68% of the businesses managed to meet their hiring goals for the last quarter, suggesting “a different approach to hiring needs to be implemented”, added Adelman.

According to the latest stats by London Tech Advocates and a Tech City report, last year there were 1.5 million tech workers in the UK, 45,000 unfilled tech jobs and one million tech jobs were advertised, numbers that are expected to grow in 2015 and beyond.  In fact, a Tech City Report predicted that digital employment is set to grow by 5.4% by 2020 in the UK.

Additionally, a survey by Barclays found that UK tech companies are feeling optimistic about this year, predicting growth of 11% over the year – more than four times faster than the UK’s GDP forecast for 2015 (2.6%) – which should translate into more jobs and an increased need for new hires, especially in technical roles.