One of the most surprising aspects of the latest REC/KPMG Jobs survey* is that the reported rise in temporary roles has been the strongest for over 23 years. Taken at face value this would seem to be great news for Contractors, suggesting that there is a strongly rising demand for their services.
But the report also clearly tracks a significant fall off in candidate availability, which could well indicate that the uncertainties in the economy created by Brexit, Covid19 and the changes to the IR35 regime have all combined to provide a “triple whammy” to the Contractor market and have driven many out of the market completely.
As Claire Warnes, Partner and Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK, commented:
“For the fourth month running we’re seeing a decline in the availability of candidates to fill all these new roles and the most severe deterioration for 24 years.”
Clearly candidate availability will fall as successful recruitment activity, driven by returning confidence of hiring companies, absorbs more candidates, but Contract Spy believes that this is just one factor reducing candidate availability in the complex IT Contractor market. The relevant impacts of Covid19, Brexit, and IR35 are difficult to assess, but are all clearly undeniable.
What also cannot be denied, is that, whatever the reasons behind the fall in candidate availability, candidate shortages mean that now could be a very good time to join or re-join the Contract market and pick up a new contract.