Technology job market: UK firms more likely to take on an IT contractor than those in the US, although some employers remain reluctant

Hayley Kirton
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More UK firms are engaging regularly with IT contractors than in the US, Japan or Germany (Source: Getty)

The UK seems to have fallen for computer geeks, with 76 per cent of UK businesses making use of IT contractors.

According to a survey of executives with hiring and firing responsibilities released today by IT resourcing specialist Experis, a greater proportion UK firms are taking on contractors than in the US (66 per cent), Japan (65 per cent) and Germany (40 per cent).

"In the UK, we are seeing that this workforce composition works particularly well, and is a well-established solution for the growing talent shortage," explained Geoff Smith, managing director at Experis Europe. "Traditional resourcing models are not sustainable for transformational tech teams today and IT leaders must innovate to re-think their teams, accommodate new ways of working, or risk project failure.

"The UK is also fortunate to have more flexibility around the contingent workforce and laws surrounding that, which could explain why we are seeing higher usage in our own country."

Read more: Tech talent being lured out of London

Experis predicts that next year will see more university leavers skip the usual first job route and head straight for contracting, and more baby boomers take up contract work in a bid to balance work and life as they head towards retirement.

However, some employers remain hesitant to contract with a contractor. Reasons given for not hiring a contractor from executives across the world included fretting a lengthy training process (45 per cent), worries over confidentiality and privacy (38 per cent) and concerns that establishing a relationship with their hired hand will prove tricky (36 per cent).

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