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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). As you can see, between January 2021 and October 2022 demand for IT Contractors has more than tripled.  

Line graph showing the growing demand for IT Contractors between January 2021 and October 2022


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.  

Bar chart showing longest period for an IT Contract is 6-12 months

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 62% of cases the recruitment of an IT Contractor takes just 4 weeks from opening the role to start date. By comparison the average time to hire for a FTE (permanent employee) is 36 days just to reach an offer stage.  (If you interested in discovering more about the different stages of the recruitment process your can check out our ultimate guide here). The ability to fill a gap in your workforce quickly is another reason why IT Contractors play an important role in the Irish economy.  

In conclusion, the rise of the Project Economy, particularly in Ireland's tech sector, has led to a significant increase in the demand for IT contractors. The flexibility and specialised skills they offer make them invaluable for short-term, high-impact projects. With the ability to swiftly adapt to unexpected workforce changes and the reduced administrative burden they present, IT contractors are not just a trend but a strategic resource for companies looking to stay agile and competitive in today's fast-paced technological landscape.

Ready to elevate your project? Connect with us and discover how IT contractors can lead your business to success. Act today and be at the forefront of the Project Economy!

Contact us today! 





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