IT contractor pay at retailers up 25%

The first sign of a candidate-led jobs market has emerged; in the retail sector, where freelance e-commerce and IT workers have pulled off rate rises of up to 25% for agreeing to renew or defect.

Figures from ReThink Recruitment show that a contract Programme Manager in retail or e-commerce can currently charge out at £850 a day, compared to about £685 a day in other key sectors.

Business Analysts and Project Managers facing the sector report “similar premiums,” sometimes from ‘buy-backs’ – where an end-user is forced to make a counter offer to keep the worker.

These “bidding wars” over such candidates follow the sector’s demand for IT skills rising 158% year-on-year, ReThink added, on the back of major brands investing more in their home delivery and online services.

Evidencing the claim, the AIM-listed recruiter pointed to ongoing investment in such platforms from Waitrose, John Lewis and, said to be considering a similar expansion, Morrisons. 

“We are seeing unprecedented demand for e-commerce specialists as major retailers compete to introduce advanced functionality to their e-commerce platforms,” said the agency.

“The market for e-commerce skills is now very much candidate-led. Retailers are now locked into bidding wars for candidates, which is creating a pay spiral.”

Director Ian Blair agreed, saying retailers are so “keen to implement systems which provide a single view of their customer and buying trends” that buy-backs to IT staff of up to 25% “are now common.”

May 20, 2011