Australian chief information officers say they plan to increase the number of temporary staff in their teams over the next 12 months, according to research.
Almost all (92 per cent) of tech bosses responding to a survey by recruiter Robert Half are planning to increase their contractor headcount by an average of 21 per cent over the next year.
They cited lack of financial resources to hire permanent staff (44 per cent of respondents), cost efficiency (43 per cent), faster hiring process (42 per cent), and the skills shortage (39 per cent). Further, more than four in 10 (42 per cent) say the hiring process of contract workers is faster.
IT security remains the most in-demand skill, followed by networking, database management, software and application development, and business analysis, the research said.
Robert Half said the research reflected the change taking place in the way businesses staff their IT departments as well as the rise in the ‘gig economy’ which has made contract workers an intrinsic part of the workforce.
Coupled with external factors like to the arrival of Amazon to Australia and evolving cyber security threats, IT specialists have never been more in demand, and businesses are learning how to efficiently cope with skills gaps, the recruiter said.
Guaranteeing business continuity, managing IT projects and hiring external expertise for as long as companies need are all reasons why companies are using contract workers across all seniority levels, said Andrew Morris, director at Robert Half.
“As companies understand the role temporary workers can play in filling the skills gap, upskilling existing staff and optimising cost efficiencies in relation to staffing, IT employers are increasingly rebalancing their workforce in steady and challenging times,” he said.
“Many are discovering that a year-round mix of core in-house employees and temporary workers is an efficient and flexible way to meet business demands and remain competitive. “
He said that while some IT professionals consciously choose to be contract workers, others might be used to being employed on a permanent basis and are perhaps wary of temporary work due to uncertainties around job security.
“It is certainly not uncommon, however, that working as a temporary worker can lead to a permanent job,” he said.
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