The continuing shortage of skilled and experienced IT professionals is a cause for concern among CIOs and businesses, says Tony Wai, Managing Director of Crackerjacks Contracting, specialists in contract recruitment.
An increase in development linking to the strengthening economy means development projects that were put on hold due to the recession are back up and running. There’s just one catch – CIO’s are finding that they don’t have the resource or skills to tackle the projects.
CIOs are expressing concern over the lack of skilled developers to cope with the post-recession developments. “With the skills shortage far from over, businesses are looking towards contract employees to fill the gap”, says Wai.
Specialised skill sets mean that contractors, particularly those who are up to date with current technology and software trends, are ideal candidates. “Contractors are a beneficial option to employ for a 3 – 6 month period. Businesses get the skills they need to complete the task, and the contractors get exceptional pay and workplace flexibility, not to mention the experience toward building their reputation as a contractor”, says Wai.
The average wage for graduates and junior contractor developers seeking work ranges from $43 – $55 per hour, intermediate contractors (3 – 5years of experience) between $60 – $75 per hour and senior contractors (over 6 years of experience) from $85 plus per hour.
ERP back-end applications and increasing use of the web as the primary delivery channel are two areas that CIOs are currently developing. The increasing trend of outsourcing to contractors represents the realisation that it’s not always possible to use permanent employees for these projects.
“Good contract software developers and technical project managers with more than five years of experience in the latest technology stacks like Microsoft Dynamics, .NET MVC and HTML5 are in high demand. There is a wide variation in skill sets in the market and the challenge is to quickly find contractors with the right mix of both technical and soft skills that fit the organisational needs”, says Dr Edwin Ng, Chief Information Officer for prestigious healthcare company, Atlantis.
“Employers are finding that it is economically more viable to bring in a contractor to complete the project than to train existing employees”, says Wai.