Five of the top ten pay rises in Scotland were for technology roles, according to recruitment specialists.

Highest was data architects who saw an average increase of 16.7 per cent with demand planners - focused on forecasting processes, production and revenue - increasing 15.8%.

Systems applications and products architects increased by 15.4%, Hays' study found.

Other sectors which saw high salary increases include communications managers, at 14.3%, and credit risk analysts, at 14.3%.

Overall, Scotland showed the highest increase of employers at 78% across the UK of 72% expecting to increase salaries over the next 12 months, compared to 69% for Scotland in 2018.

Akash Marwaha, managing director for Hays, Scotland, said that recruitment plans are at their highest for five years.

"However, the lack of suitable candidates for the majority of industries, and technology in particular, is still a serious challenge," he said

The research also shows a considerable increase in the number of employers who are anticipating a shortage of suitable candidates, from 57% last year to 70% this year.

Mr Marwaha said: "Activity levels are high in Scotland with two-thirds of employers saying they plan to increase activity levels.

"However, the trend in Scotland is to hire fewer permanent roles.

"If employers in Scotland feel they won't find the staff they need, they may be focusing more on temporary roles until the landscape improves."

Aside from salary, work-life balance is still the most important factor for professionals looking for a new role, although employee ratings for work-life balance have remained static.

Mr Marwaha also suggested that employers need to take a more creative approach to tackling hiring challenges.

He said: "Recruiting people who have some required skills and then investing in internal training programmes to develop them into what's required for a specific role should be seen as a serious option.

"This not only addresses skills gaps, but reduces the negative impact on employee morale caused by staff shortages, and provides career development opportunities that many employees are seeking."

In Scotland, 4% of respondents said they planned to decrease activity next year, with 30% staying the same.