Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The UK has positioned as one of the top five countries for IT contractor use whilst the US and China make plans to do the same says an international study.

76% of UK businesses are making apparent use of IT contract workers, which, according to a new study from leading IT resourcing specialists Experis, is more than the international average.

In the survey of executives with hiring responsibility for IT employees across ten countries, research confirms that UK companies are sitting amongst those at the leading edge of the wider trend. This taps into a very appealing talent pool. The UK currently has a larger percentage of contractors than some of the world’s most progressive markets, including the US at 66%, Japan at 65% and Germany at 40%.

However, a lot of the countries that are currently delayed do have intentions to up their usage. Respondents in the US and Australia have divulged their plans to hire more IT contractors in core business functions in the not so distant future. However it is the BRIC markets that are expecting some of the largest amount of usage which includes India at 50%, Brazil at 39% and China at 37%. Sitting at the lower end of the scale and not moving is Germany with their contractor usage and a mere 8% of German organisations are prone to increase this in the future.

“As the gap between employer demand and available talent continues to widen, we are seeing more UK organisations using contractors as a go-to workforce panning solution, rather than a temporary means to cover shortfalls in permanent positions. Alongside this, they are recognising that the use of contractors can bring greater cost savings in the long term ad flexible work flow options, which will be vital in 2016 and beyond”, says the Managing Director of Experis Europe, Geoff Smith.

Although that has been a great response to contractors, worries about loyalty and security still exist and continue across the world. Some of the reasons that all markets are not employing contractors include;

  • The view that it will take too long to train them – 45%
  • Confidentiality or privacy concerns – 38%
  • A belief that it would be hard to establish a relationship with them – 36%

Continuing, Geoff said, “The traditional make-up of the ‘IT department’ is going through a period of unprecedented change. This is being driven in part by the perception among business leaders that IT has the potential to be a strategic agent of change rather the operational cost centre it was once seen as. An increased in the use of contractors plays a major part in this transformation as businesses demand higher levels of productivity and improved outcomes.

“In the UK, we are seeing that this workforce composition works particularly well, and is a well-established solution for growing talent shortage. Traditional resourcing models are not sustainable for transformational tech teams today and IT leaders must innovate to re-think their teams, accommodate new ways of working, or risk project failure. The UK is also fortunate to have more flexibility around the continent workforce and laws surrounding that, which could explain why we are seeing higher usage in our own country.”

To concur with the findings in this research, Experis has provided its top three predictions about contractor hiring for the next year.

  1. Rise of the first-jobber bypassing traditional routes into employment – As ambitious and talented millennials face tough job prospects, we may see an increase in the number of university and college leavers fast-tracing their careers straight into contracting roles. This enables them to take immediate advantage of the flexibility and competitive salaries this type of employment has to offer.
  2. Highly-skilled baby boomer to take advantage of the buoyant market for longer – it’s possible that we’ll see an increase in the number of baby boomers becoming contractors, working past retirement age. Not only does this make use of their specialist and much in-demand legacy skills, they can choose to stay engaged in the workforce on a semi-permanent, flexible basis.
  3. Shift in employer mind-set – as technology evolves and attitude to work changes, employers too need to adapt the ways in which they attract and retain top talent. Nowadays, companies cannot rely solely on their brand name to attract contractors, as they face increasing competition from start-ups. Employers will need the way they manage communicate and engage with their contingent workforce.

The number of contract roles offered in the UK has increased by 10% since the start of 2015 find the Experis Tech Cities Job Watch report.


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