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The Importance of IT Contractors

Date: Monday 20 November 2023
Employers 3 min read
The Importance of IT Contractors

The Project Economy, Gig Economy, Contract Market; call it what you will…what isn’t debatable is the growth of freelance work globally over the past decade. Ireland, as an international technology hub, is no different.  

The graph below from a recent LinkedIn report shows the number of job advertisements for IT Contractors (blue line) versus non-IT Contractors (orange line). Between January 2021 and October 2022 demand for IT Contractors more than tripled.  

 

So, what’s driving this growth? 

In short; a rapidly evolving technical landscape and the need to cost-effectively manage these changes. 

Why hire IT contractors over FTE (Full-Time Employees) you say? 

There are several reasons and we will explore each below in some detail. 

 

Why buy when you can rent? 

You don’t need to spend 3 months haggling over salaries and benefits with a team of IT experts to implement the latest company project. You can get access to specialised skills for a defined period of time without breaking your IT budget by utilising IT Contractors.  

Your company may need to upgrade to the latest version of Windows, migrate your servers to the Cloud or issue your post-Covid remote workforce with encrypted mobile phones and laptops to replace the desktops they used back in 2019.  

Such projects can take 6 – 12 months to complete and require IT Engineers with specialist skills. While you will likely need to retain some to support these systems long-term you will not need to hire the entire team on a permanent basis. This would be costly and there would be very little work for a Cloud Migration Architect or Technical Project Manager post-implementation.  

A recent report by ContractingPlus and Trinity College Dublin on Ireland’s Project Economy found that most contracts are for 6 to 12 months as per the graph below.  

This shows that we have an established pool of IT professionals who are adept at such engagements. Experienced IT contractors can usually “hit the ground running” and require very little induction.  

 

Meet short-term needs quickly and cost-effectively  

Contractors are often useful to meet an unexpected short-term need if an employee unexpectedly leaves the company or if there’s a sudden influx of work.  

Hiring a Contractor is less cumbersome from a HR / Admin perspective as there are no obligations around pension, statutory leave or other benefits. In fact, most of the admin including contract preparation and onboarding is done by a third party (usually a Recruitment Company). 

In the above-mentioned report on Ireland’s Project Economy by ContractingPlus and TCD it is stated that in the majority of cases (62%) the recruitment of an IT Contractor takes just 4 weeks from opening the role to start date. By comparison the average TTH (time to hire) for an FTE (permanent employee) is 36 days just to reach Offer stage. (You can read more on this in my previous blog on the Recruitment Lifecycle

The ability to fill a gap in your workforce quickly is another reason why IT Contractors play an important role in the Irish economy.  

Register a Vacancy Today!

 

 References

 

 

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