Tag: IT recruitment

With the arrival of the pandemic, the need arose for fast digital transformations and an agile working approach to the ‘stay at home’ orders issued at the beginning of the first lockdown in March of 2020. The increased need for technology solutions for businesses to continue operating during the most uncertain economic climate seen in a lifetime, could be directly related to the increase in vacancies for IT professionals that have continued to accelerate in 2021. Hiring levels in June represent the fourth record breaking month of the year and according to research conducted by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), hiring levels in the first half of 2021 currently make up 91 percent of the total of tech hires for the whole of 2020.

Hybrid working drives demand for IT professionals as the economy comes back to life

Gone are the days of full time, office-based working. Many businesses are now implementing hybrid working policies that allow for employees to split their work hours between home and the office. According to business intelligence specialists Vacancysoft, this new way of work has seen firms in England and Wales post 11,553 vacancies in June alone, marking the first time this year that hiring levels have breached 10,000. This sudden burst of advertised positions can be attributed to the removal of the work-from-home rule on 19 July, Freedom Day in the UK, and companies were pressed to have their hybrid working models in place and operational.

Data from Vacancysoft also revealed that the technology arena was responsible for the most professional IT vacancies which made up 43.2 percent of total vacancies in June of this year.  Banking followed in second place, with 12.4 percent.

Amazon retains spot as top hirer   

Across the companies hiring for IT talent in the first half of 2021, Amazon topped the table with 854 vacancies. The data also reveals that there was notable hiring activity at Sky, which published 771 senior IT roles in the first six months of the year, and JPMorgan Chase & Co who recruited for 742 tech experts over the same period.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo comments: “The fact that IT vacancies continue to perform so well is incredibly encouraging and reflective of not only the huge reliance on remote working, but also employers’ reliance on these experts to facilitate and implement hybrid working models as Freedom Day approached in June.  As the country continues to open up and recover from the pandemic we don’t expect any let up in demand for IT talent as hybrid working practices look set to be a firm part of our future.”

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Businesses looking to engage tech contractors may need to rethink their pay rates and conditions, according to new research by Hays Technology.

A survey carried out by the specialist IT recruitment agency in May polled more than 600 contractors and hirers and was used to put together its UK Contractor Day Rate Guide 2021.

The research revealed that demand for technology expertise is increasing, but that skills shortages are hindering many firms’ efforts to hire talent. It reported a 21% increase in demand for IT contractors and a 17% increase in placements from H1 to H2.

Of the organisations polled, 42% said they did not have the required talent to achieve their current business objectives and more than 8 in 10 reported they had found it difficult to recruit contractors over the last year.

This supply and demand mismatch has led to day rate increases for many contractors, with some  project and change managers achieving increases of more than 10%. Overall, data gathered by Hays offices across the UK showed that technology day rates had increased by 0.8% over the last 12 months. Software developers had seen an average day rate rise of 2.4%.

James Hallahan, Director of Hays Technology in UK & Ireland, said: “Skills shortages abound in the technology sector and there are plentiful opportunities for tech contractors to be deployed within organisations that can’t find enough permanent employees with the right skills. Contractors with the most sought-after technical and soft skills, and those with a proven track record for successfully managing projects and leading change are going to expect assignments that deliver on flexibility and terms.”

Beyond pay

However, the Hays research also found that contractors wanted more than just pay increases: the majority now also wanted to be able to work remotely.

Many were already working from home for some of the time and more than half said their work-life balance had improved since March 2020, with almost three-quarters reporting that being able to work remotely was important to them.

Almost half (46%) now want greater flexibility with regard to hours and two in 10 said they wanted to change the expectation for them to work outside of their contracted hours to enhance their work-life balance.

The thorny issue of the IR35 reforms that were introduced in April remains a sticking point between contractors and hirers, found Hays.

“Most contractors want to stay outside of PAYE, presenting a potential shortage for organisations seeking to secure their skills. So, while the increase in activity means there is great demand for tech contractors, organisations are having a difficult time engaging with them. They may need to take an assignment-by-assignment view in order to attract the right skills and work with a recruitment specialist to help them secure the best talent,” said Hallahan.

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