The first half of this year saw a lot of uncertainty within the market, with trouble in the economy resulting in a lot of non-spending, as businesses erred on the side of caution…
Hiring freezes, a lack of desire to take risks, and a lot less investment in permanent staff have meant that businesses haven’t brought on the new hires that they actually need in order to achieve the goals they set out at the start of the year. What this is likely to mean, is that businesses will be scrambling to find staff in September to accelerate their goals. However, with plenty of deadlines for projects being set at the end of the year, and the lead time to hire a permanent employee within the digital market increasing more and more, this is becoming an increasingly unviable option.
Within our industry in particular, the lead time for finding and placing a permanent member of staff has increased significantly; Business Insider recently reported that ‘it takes companies an average of 44 days to hire for an open role after posting the job.’ However, positions that are classified as hard to fill ‘may go unfilled for two or three months.’ The effect this will have on businesses cannot be understated.
Certainly demand for contractors is increasing and, while rates offered and accepted haven’t changed significantly over the past 6 months, there are fewer contractors available at a mid-range rate, meaning there are fewer available overall. Contractors have always played a crucial role in digital transformation, but this has never been truer than it is now: there will definitely be an increase in demand for AI project-based work, as popularity for this area surges. I think it’s likely that we will see a surge in demand for contractors during the second half of this year; a lot of things seem to be being put on hold currently, but undoubtedly there will be a lot of companies that are going to need to move quickly and get things done fast. I would urge businesses to consider whether the true cost of putting off projects that could be addressed now is actually greater than utilising a contractor to achieve your goals as we move ever closer towards the end of the year.