As demand for specialist skills continues to grow, the supply can’t keep up and technology teams especially are facing competition which might not always go their way.
Contracting has for many years been a good flexible solution to the rise and fall of project demands but it has now become apparent that this is not the only factor which influences a business’s choice to recruit contractors. In the UK and globally we are experiencing a market, which is flooded with innovation and new technologies, it’s easy to see why the demand for contractors continues to rise. Couple this with the widening skills gap facing the technology industry at the moment and you begin to get a better understanding of why contractors are doing so well. A lack of skilled workers means that businesses are turning to contractors to find both the exact skills that they need and the reliability of an experienced worker. Even though contractors do come at a premium when compared to permanent staff; many argue their worth as being the best at what they do and that their in-demand skills allow businesses to solve their problems much quicker than it would take to source and hire a permanent member of staff.
The technology sector as a whole is experiencing steady growth, with research by global IT industry body CompTIA (using stats from Burning Glass Labour Insights and the ONS) showing that UK IT staff job postings have increased 10 percent year-on-year at 1.3 million IT job postings. The increase in job postings demonstrates the demand for new and niche skills as the marketplace changes to adapt to new areas of business. We have seen firsthand the continuously changing demand for skills across the sectors that we serve and the successes businesses have achieved as a result of taking on contractors. Contractor UK’s IT contractor skills that look hot for 2017 gave an insight into the predicted top skills that contractors will be recruited for this year. Here at Enigma, we have noticed that software development is still one of the most popular areas in which contractors work and market tracker IT Jobs Watch has set out The UK’s top 12 in-demand programming languages – how does your view of the market compare?
In addition to changing markets, the skills gap and increasing innovation, the contractors themselves are changing. ComputerWorldUK reports that “In 2016 just four percent of contractors were in the 18-24 year old bracket, now it is five percent, and the biggest segment is now 35-44 at 33 percent, instead of 45-54 at 35 percent in 2016.” This tells us that people who would normally not wish to risk a break in income are so confident that their skills are in demand that contracting is no longer as risky as it once seemed. This also puts significant pressure on the ability to hire and retain permanent staff. We have found that it is key when looking to recruit contractors that the change in demographics should be considered when marketing out, creating job adverts and trying to source the correct contractor for your business. Misunderstanding the demographics of your audience can hinder your progress and cause frustration for HR departments and hiring managers, especially when dealing with key projects.
So, how do you capture that essential resource to make sure your projects are delivered on time and to standard?
Simply advertising your vacancy and waiting for applications is not enough. You need to market your company proactively and positively, even for contract vacancies. Whilst polishing up your employer branding and recruitment processes are essential, be aware that your target market has an ever-increasing choice and your vacancy, benefits package and employee perks can get lost in the noise. How do you penetrate a ferociously busy market to find the right talent?
Enigma People Solutions has built and continues to build, a deep network of skilled contractors. This has allowed us to build an exemplary track record of filling technology contract vacancies for businesses throughout the UK for over 10 years now. If you have a contract vacancy to fill contact Ben Hanley on 0141 332 4422 or firstname.lastname@example.org for expert consultancy advice.