IT contractor jobs index climbs to 8-month high

Temporary IT opportunities grew in December at their fastest rate since April, partly thanks to clients and contractors wanting to tie-up contracts before Christmas, a staffing body says.

So rather than just being “slow but steady” like hiring is overall, demand for IT contractors rose to 61.0, the highest figure for eight months, says the Recruitment & Employment Confederation.

But unlike the permanent IT labour market, where a big deficit of cyber security skills is emerging, there was only one IT skill that was scarce in December on a contract basis – Java.

That signals a minor improvement for contractors hoping to eke out more cash for skills the market has less of, as no programming-based IT skills were scarce among them in November.

Since then, the overall shortage of tech skills among full-time job candidates has increased (from eight to a new total of nine), and in the case of IT security, the shortage has worsened.

“In the wake of several high profile breaches, companies are investing heavily in their cyber security teams and demand for IT specialists surged in December,” said KPMG’s Bernard Brown.

He added: “Recruiters [are] struggling to find enough candidates qualified in IT security to satisfy demand [and] faced with such stiff levels of competition, businesses need to rethink their recruitment strategy.”

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