As contract work becomes more prevalent in 2023, particularly for IT positions, employers and HR leaders may need to focus on contract worker retention, according to a March 22 report from Motion Recruitment.
“With 76% of technology employers struggling to fill roles and layoffs creating questions around what stability really is, the market is leaning into an expanding contingent workforce,” Matt Milano, president of Motion Recruitment, said in a statement.
Overall, recent trends around contingent work will continue to grow, the report found. The percentage of IT contract roles has tripled during the past two years — making up 1 out of every 5 tech jobs. In fact, nearly 90% of enterprise employers said they would maintain or increase their budgets this year, shifting funds from a focus on employees to contractors.
Despite layoffs, demand for top talent remains high, according to the report. About 73% of recruiters said they’ve seen an increase in negotiation for higher pay rates among their candidates for contract work. Although about half of IT candidates said they’d take more flexibility over high pay, the best candidates may respond to offers that include both, Motion Recruitment said.
Candidates also want to feel appreciated, integrated into teams, and involved with meaningful work, the report found. About 35% of software workers said their managers care about their career. Retention initiatives could include an excellent onboarding experience, team or company perks, and opportunities to contribute to career goals or the greater good. According to other recent research, company culture, flexible scheduling, and DEI commitments can also help contingent workers buy in.
At the same time, companies should be prepared for fake job applicants and security concerns. Last year, the FBI issued a warning about increased complaints regarding fraudulent candidates for remote-work positions, which could lead to potential leaks of sensitive customer, client and employee information.
In addition, interviewers should be aware that candidate interview fraud has increased by 92%, according to Motion Recruitment. Remote hiring, deep fake technology, and data security scams have led to a rise in fake job applicants.
Related to this, companies should prepare for the ongoing evolution of emerging technologies and hire the right talent that can help, the report found. For instance, enterprise companies that experience a security breach are five times more likely to increase the IT budget, yet there is only one qualified cybersecurity worker for every 2.4 open roles. Employers can get ahead of the hiring trend and focus on specific skill sets now that will be needed in the future, Motion Recruitment said.
“Competition is fierce,” Milano said. “Talent reabsorption into the market means that as an IT hiring leader, whether at an enterprise-level company or a startup, you need the right data and business IQ to make your best offer or risk missing out on the tech talent you need for success.”