Nov 15, 2011

Conflicting reports paint uncertain picture for freelance IT contractor market

A recent survey revealed that while the prospects for IT contractors are good, the freelance market is yet to recover from the drop it registered in the second quarter of 2011. The survey was conducted by Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

In the fragile economy, employers are generally nervous about hiring full-time IT workers and are looking for freelancers as substitutes. REC, in its report, said that non- permanent employees have the upper-hand, and cited the increase in temporary billings as evidence. Employers are less enthusiastic about full-time workers, and have put a freeze on permanent hires, said REC.

But this perceived demand for freelancers in the IT market did not translate in the real-world scenario, noted REC, as demand fell to 52.1 per cent this October. While this is up from October 2010 (49.6 per cent), it is the seventh successive month in which a fewer number of IT freelancers have got jobs.

REC’s report also suggests that the IT sector is eyeing more full-time employees in comparison to the seven other sectors it surveyed. So, it is really a mixed bag as far as IT freelancers are concerned, at least for the moment. The positivity surrounding opportunities for permanent IT staff was hailed by KPMG, which collaborated with REC in preparing the report. KPMG said that this positive news was welcome in the light of the unstable European economy.

The numbers for October also revealed that the demand for full-time IT workers was met adequately. The only area of IT specialization where vacant positions were hard to fill was Java Development, noted REC. The same was reported in the case of freelance Java experts and business analysts.



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