There's good news on the horizon for IT professionals looking for contract work - 92% of Australian CIOs are planning to increase the temporary IT headcount in their company by an average of 21% over the next 12 months.
That’s the main finding from new research commissioned by recruiter Robert Half. Overall, the report highlights the possibilities for IT professionals on the Australian employment market.
CIOs within large companies are planning to increase their temporary IT headcount by an average of 25%, followed by medium-sized (23%) and small companies (17%).
The functional areas where contract IT workers are most in demand are IT security and systems administration (34%), networking (29%), database management (28%), software/application development (27%), and business analysis (26%).
Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Australia says Australia is facing a growing IT skills shortage and the Australian technology sector risks being left behind in global rankings if they cannot find skilled IT professionals to support customer-centric technology, tackle new IT initiatives and address cyber-security concerns.
“However, there’s a change taking place in the way businesses staff their IT department.”
“Industry growth and the changing workplace are driving employers to adopt a combination of permanent and temporary IT staff with the right mix of skillsets for strategic and operations requirements, making contract workers an intrinsic part of the IT department in Australian companies.”
A key driver in the move to hire temporary staff is the lack of financial resources available to recruit permanent staff (44%), which is followed by cost-efficiency (43%).
More than four in 10 (42%) say the hiring process of contract workers is faster, while 39% respectively refer to the growing skills shortage and flexibility offered by temporary staff as main drivers for increasingly hiring contract workers.
“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,” adds Morris.
“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.”
“Temporary employment can help IT employees at all experience levels with various career goals,” continues Morris.
“IT professionals will have the potential to gain experience within many different types of organisations and the chance to upskill by exposing themselves to multiple areas of new skillsets
“The flexibility and variety offered by contract work also makes for a more substantial CV, highlighting the career potential offered by temporary work in both the short and the long run.”
"It is certainly not uncommon however that working as a temporary worker can lead to a permanent job."
Morris concludes, "If organisations wish to convert a temporary worker to permanent, they have the advantage of already knowing the person’s strengths first hand, highlighting the potential of temporary work turning into permanent work.”