Market Update, IT, Digital & Change

The IT, Digital & Change space remains one of the most fluid markets, with new developments occurring on an almost weekly basis. As we can illustrate here, within different markets, organisations and candidates, there is contrasting standpoints.  

Permanent Market

As an example if you look at the permanent IT market, it is currently very heavily candidate driven, specifically across software web development (Java, web development), cyber security and cloud technology. This has resulted in some firms actively recruiting from mainland Europe because of a dearth in candidates within Scotland and the UK. Bulgaria, Poland and Romania are popular destination markets for recruiters to tap.  

Contract Market

Within the contract market however, things are different. This market has been driven by transformation and regulatory change projects across financial services. Contract rates have remained static in 2016 and demand has slowed with a general trend towards replacing large contract communities with permanent employees. I expect to see this continue through Q2 this year as the competition for banking transformation increases for challenger and retail banks.  


On the candidate side things continue to change and evolve also. What I’m experiencing here is that candidates’ reasons for looking for new positions and drivers for change are becoming more considered. Five years ago, candidates were telling me that moving position was financially motivated. This has now changed to candidates looking to move because they are seeking new types of work, flexibility and specific projects to work on. This, combined with a continuing change in the way that candidates are looking and keeping in touch with the market (such as through LinkedIn and mobile apps) has meant that there are now far more passive than active candidates. The need for detailed candidate mapping and industry knowledge in recruiting across IT & Digital is now greater than ever.  

As competition for talent increases some clients are changing their recruitment process in order to shorten time to hire and secure the best talent. In some high demand skill areas candidates will secure multiple offers within two weeks of going to market and it is therefore essential to focus on the candidate experience to ensure that the process is effectively selling the opportunity to candidates.  

Andrew Finlayson is Director of IT, Digital & Change