The Rise of the Super Contractor in IT
The Super Contractor is a relatively new term and is the result of IT specialists being able to charge a premium for in-demand skills and services that are in limited supply.
The reason that contractors can charge a premium rate is because of the lack of competition they face for the skills that they specialise in and are able to charge a much higher fee for their services.
Demand for IT professionals with specialist skills is much higher than the supply that is coming through; meaning companies are struggling to find the right people to fulfil their business objectives. Industry experts are blaming the IT skills gap, which has had a significant impact on company operations and has created a hurdle for recruiters when sourcing new and experienced staff.
This is often referred to as finding a purple squirrel, a term that describes the ideal candidate who has the right qualifications, education and salary expectations. However, finding the perfect candidate like that is about as rare as finding a purple squirrel in the wild. But if you did find a purple squirrel, its rarity and in-demand status is likely to come with a premium price too.
Premium Rates for Super Contractors
According to Technojobs data, there has been an increase in IT professionals leaving their permanent roles to become contractors in order to command the premium rates that recruiters are willing to pay for in-demand skills.
One premium area is cyber-security, which can potentially earn contractors a daily rate of four figures. Cyber security is a very important factor for businesses as 2015 saw a huge increase in cyber-attacks and data breaches, causing companies and organisations to prioritise their online security and protect their data to avoid any potential PR disasters and significant financial loss.
The IT Skills Gap
A factor that could affect the skills gap is the government’s new immigration laws, which could prevent businesses from sponsoring candidates from abroad. This is expected to reduce the pool of candidates even further and widen the IT skills gap.
The proposed law, which will be effective from April 2016, will prevent non-EU Economic Area workers from working in the UK for more than five years unless they’re earning an annual salary of £35,000 or over.
The IT industry is looking to invest in the future by offering extensive training and graduate programmes to help tighten up the skills gap that is seeing highly skilled contracts command high rates. Introducing coding in the school curriculum and initiatives like The Hour of Code could help prevent further shortages of IT professionals and developers by investing in the future generation.
Though it has been reported that demand for security and software specialists is expected to increase at five times the market rate in 2016, which could further increase the gap between super contractors and the rest of the contractor population. Therefore, we're likely to see a prominent rise of super contractors.
How do I become a Super Contractor?
Anyone with the experience and expertise that specialises in any in-demand area such as cyber-security, software development and SAS could potentially see themselves earning a premium daily rate of four figures.
You can view our article on how to become a contractor by clicking here.