'Use contractors to fill IT talent gaps'

It's not just contentious bonus payments that have steadily crept up over the last year for the most senior IT staff in the financial services sector.

A snapshot from ReThink Recruitment's database shows qualified financial IT staff are now on salaries between £100,000 and £120,000, a rise of 15% from 2009.

Some contractors in the sector are also earning more, albeit when compared with the start of this year, with daily rates increasing from around £600 to £750 at present.

Pointing to its data, the agency said a number of its financial services clients, particularly hedge funds, wanted entirely new software to replace off-the-shelf IT systems.

Alongside the introduction of new regulations, and the desire to steal a competitive edge, these 'greenfield' builds have exerted upwards pressure on the sector's IT pay.

But according to Jenrick IT, another recruiter with a strong London presence, more than half of end-users have not reviewed their pay and perks to entice fresh IT talent.

As well as advising them to look at such offerings, the agency has spent the past few weeks reminding clients how contractors can help 'plug their talent gap' in the IT department, "to ensure projects are not delayed."

The advice, from Jenrick's founder Philip Fanthom, was issued in response to a "sharp increase" in client enquiries into and requests for CRM, MS Dynamic and Oracle 1li.

Another "particular area of growth where candidates appear very ‘thin on the ground’ is the mobile device application development," the recruiter added.

"Candidates and contractors with Android experience are charging a premium for the expertise and are easily achieving [excellent] salaries and rates."

Developers, more generally, do appear to be some of the best-placed contractors in the current market, particularly if they wish to 'go private,' or find a new end-user.

Jeff Brooks, partner at IT recruiters Prime Sourcing explained: "If I can develop in Java, I can develop in Java anywhere, regardless of the sector or client.

"Such skills are very portable, in contrast to much more niche offerings tied to a few organisations or a single marketplace."

Oct 11, 2010