As volatile job markets go, this has to be one of the least predictable any of us have ever experienced.
After years of steady growth in terms of demand and salaries, the IT jobs market felt the full force of 2020 hit it as Spring segued into Summer. IT job postings were down 59.4% year on year according to job board CVLibrary, though there are clear signs of recovery as job postings grow every month.
As the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was due to draw to a close last month, many firms were deciding whether to allow furloughed employees to return to work or let them go. At the time of writing, the most recent available figures from the Office for National Statistics were from June to August, showing that 1.5million people are currently unemployed. The true figure is estimated to be far higher, given that employers hands were forced with the end of the job retention scheme, and many industries are facing further hardship as we enter into another month-long lockdown – it is likely that many more people have been left worrying about their financial futures as a result.
In addition to the corona casualties, an entire cohort of graduates collected their degrees over the summer and now find themselves job-hunting in an employment landscape that barely resembles the buoyant land of opportunity they were licking their lips over entering at the beginning of this year.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the IT Jobs Market
As always in times of trauma and uncertainty, there will be evidence of boom and bust in different markets. Some profit whilst others perish. Demand for full-stack developers has grown astronomically, rising 10 places to enter LinkedIn’s top ten list of most in-demand roles. Software developers fell one place, but are still towards the top-end of the list.
Interim market is experiencing a boom
During volatile market conditions, the job market often sees an increased usage of temporary and interim resources. This was certainly the case when the Global Financial Crisis hit, and although 2020 has been anything but predictable and it’s too early to understand the long-term effects of the global pandemic and recession, we have observed a similar pattern emerging: The gig economy was built to not only survive a downturn, but to thrive as a result of it.
Technologists are always in demand, as the world constantly craves more technological advancement and opportunities. According to the Online Labour Index, interim software development and tech roles bucked the overall trend for a decline in demand, with more demand than before the current crisis.
A heavy swing of the pendulum towards remote working has meant that businesses have had no choice but to respond rapidly to a pressing need for connectivity and ensuring business continuity outside of the built environment. The rapid push towards video conferencing and other remote operations and the related security requirements has created additional demand for freelance IT specialists who are able to help with this.
Businesses were very quick to cut non-essential freelance contracts in the face of recession but recognised that it was important to maintain freelance outsourcing that was essential for continued business operations, such as technical support and database management.
Conditions are perfect for growth of the interim market
The interim IT jobs market is experiencing higher demand than ever before, and we expect this trend to continue into 2021 and beyond. At the same time, labour supply is increasing as redundancies and business failures result in an increase in available IT professionals, who are turning to freelance opportunities to bridge the gap whilst hiring confidence picks up in the permanent sector.
With the Government agreeing a year-long delay to the IR35 rules coming into force, and given the current political climate we can expect this may be extended further, conditions that encourage growth of the contract market are strengthened further.
At Intec Select we are still focusing on supplying clients with highly skilled staff, both on a permanent and temporary basis throughout the UK and internationally. We currently have a range of roles across many disciplines, both on a permanent and contract basis.
If you find yourself between desks, or with a need for quality talent to help your business navigate an ever-changing landscape, and you’d like to speak to us about how we can help support you, please get in touch.