IT contractor boom as firms struggle to fill vacancies

Demand for IT contractors has increased dramatically over the past year as organisations step up their investment in IT development.

The number of contractor vacancies advertised has jumped from 16,518 to 29,898, an increase of 81 per cent between the first and third quarters of the year. The numbers are revealed in the latest quarterly survey from researchers SSL and Personnel Today’s sister publication Computer Weekly.

The demand is being driven by a 79 per cent rise in vacancies since the second quarter of the year in the finance sector, which is investing heavily in systems to meet regulatory demands and to replace IT systems which were last updated for Y2K.

Demand for contractors from software houses and suppliers has risen by 43 per cent since the second quarter, reflecting the continuing trend for businesses to outsource their IT systems.

Owen Williams, head of IT at property company Knight Frank, said that in recent months it had become harder to find permanent staff to fill vacancies. As a result, his company has been trying to plug gaps by hiring more contractors.

“We are under pressure to look at hiring more contractors because we have a high work demand and we are having difficulty recruiting permanent staff,” he told Computer Weekly.

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