Fewer IT contractor skills scarce in February

Uplifts to growth in demand for their services which less upbeat IT contractors have enjoyed since December 2017 continued last month, albeit at a now consistently slow pace.

In fact, agency staffing body the REC today scores IT contractor demand for February at 59.8 -- just up from 59.6 in January, which in turn was just up from 59.3 in December.

While firmly positive (any index score above 50 shows monthly growth), the three similar readings indicate that the greater intake of IT freelancers is being signed off with caution.

But this greater intake has led to there now being slightly fewer IT skills which clients desperately need on a freelance basis; 12, compared with 14 in January, the REC found.

These 12 ‘hot’ IT contractor skills include Automation Testing, DevOps, Digital, GDPR, Java, Security-Cleared Network Engineering, Software Development and UI/UX.

Automation Testing, DevOps, Digital, GDPR, Java and Software Development also emerged as sought-after skills for permanent IT positions, alongside about a dozen additional IT skills.

They are Azure; CAD, Security, C#, Gaming, IT, .Net, Oracle Fusion, PHP, Salesforce, Software Engineering and Web Development. Full-time ScrumMasters are scarce too.

“Employers in all sectors are struggling to recruit for the roles they desperately need to fill,” said Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

“Employers need to make their jobs attractive to candidates to attract talent and skills to their organisation. Increasing starting pay is a good step, but it isn’t enough. Businesses need to focus on creating a great culture and…opportunity for development”.

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