More IT employees take freelance IT jobs

by Editor 4/11/2008 4:21:00 PM
IT consulting jobs,consultant jobs,tech jobs,IT jobs

A growing number of permanent IT employees are opting for freelance IT jobs these days, in light of the uncertain situation on the market. They are well aware of the fact that companies see flexible hires as a more convenient alternative to taking on permanent IT staff.

Jobs agency Robert Walters has warned that permanent IT employees will face a downturn this year, which indicates that contracting may come with better job security. Consequently, IT professionals who have not yet had any experience freelancing are now much more likely to go after contract jobs when they talk to IT agents.

Paul Elworthy, banking and financial IT recruitment director at Hudson, sees this as a reaction to the state of affairs on the financial market. In order to keep their options open, IT workers no longer only go for permanent jobs as the fear of layoffs has affected the perception of the job security in information technology industry, but they also look for contract roles.

This is particularly the case with full-time technical professionals who have worked in the development sphere long enough to have mid to senior-level jobs – the group generally most likely to start to work independently.

“We’re seeing financial institutions taking stock of their IT headcount, in light of the turmoil. They are being more cautious in terms of hiring, not too dissimilar to five or six years ago,” says Elworthy. 

IT contract manager James Parker explains: “The rise in the number of new IT contractors is all linked to the (economic) uncertainty over the next 12 months.”

“IT staff are perceiving the contract market is going to be more buoyant than the permanent market, which I would agree with.”

The number of permanent IT employees who are making the move to contract IT jobs is growing. As a result, there has been some talk of contractors having to significantly cut their rates because of the sheer number of the new contractors.

Paul Elworthy says: “Overall, we are starting to see the economic turmoil squeeze contractor rates, for new hires, while clients are also looking at how they can justify reducing the cost of (existing) contractors)… Generally, we find established contractors stick to their rates.”

Recruiters and agents say that contractors are in a much safer position in the current recession than their counterparts who have permanent jobs.

“Whenever we see this perceived downturn in the market, it’s always good news for our contract business and not such good news for our permanent business. We find our IT contractor business comes out of these downturns in a much stronger position than when we go into them,” says James Parker. 


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