Clients scale back IT contractor hiring plans

IT contractors will be hoping seasonal factors are at play after a hiring intentions outlook for temporary computer staff sunk by 40 index points over the last four weeks.

Asked about their mid-term hiring plans before the festivities, in December, outfits requiring temporary staff for IT roles came in at +55, indicating a higher intake than the previous reading.

But sharing those same four-to-twelve month hiring plans with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation last week, in late January, the outfits were much more downbeat.

According to REC’s Jobs Outlook, the index for contract IT recruits stands at only +15. Short-term hiring intentions (within the quarter) of IT temps have also eased since December, from +65 to +50.    

But it’s not just technology. In fact, across the temporary labour market, “several sectors saw a change in the most recent indicators of future demand,” the staffing body said.

It added: “There is a general air of stasis in the responses of employers to the economic situation, suggesting that at best many have decided to ‘wait and see’.

“Just over a third said that they have made no changes to their workforce in the last year. Just a few months ago, none gave that response. Fewer have made workers redundant, or frozen headcount, or cut pay.”

Elsewhere in the Outlook, REC said that approximately two-thirds of end-users have not altered their use of agency workers since the Agency Workers Regulations came into force on October 1st 2011.

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