Seven in 10 firms plan to increase use of contractors to plug skills gap

Business people in front of computers

Almost seven in ten CIOs (68%) plan to increase the number of contract workers to plug the IT skills gap over the next 12 months, according to a new survey.

The study, carried out by recruitment consultancy Robert Half, found that 43% of CIOs said that they are losing more IT staff to other opportunities compared to just three years ago.

The survey of 100 UK CIOs and IT executives found that an increase in job opportunities on the market (48%), stagnant career prospects (43%) and a desire for more diverse career experiences (39%) all contribute to increased levels of voluntary employee turnover. High workloads and stress (27%) and a poor work-life balance (18%) also feature as top reasons for employees to look for jobs elsewhere.

The study found that businesses are facing a skills shortage of experienced IT professionals, with three in 10 (30%), struggling to find candidates with the requisite skills to do the job. Interestingly, 68% of CIOs said they plan to increase the number of contract professionals over the next 12 months, as they look to quickly fill gaps. This approach is most prevalent in IT security, networking and software/application development.

"As the technology landscape continues to evolve at a rapid rate, savvy technology professionals are looking for opportunities where they can continue to be challenged and add to their expertise," said Neil Owen, Director at Robert Half Technology UK.

"To compete effectively in the current job market, not only do businesses need to offer attractive salary packages but they need to sell candidates on the opportunity it provides their career. Outlining the career development opportunities, offering an exciting business model, staying at the forefront of innovation and using the latest technologies are all valuable factors for both attracting and retaining key employees."

Image source: Bigstock

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.