Pulse check: The IT & digital market is red hot

by Jason Ball

Jan 27,2021
Job Seekers, Other, Talent, Information Technology, Trends,

If the past year has had you considering the possibility of striking out on your own as a consultant, now would be a great time. While it’s true that high-tech talent is always in demandin recent weeks we’ve seen hiring activity hit a fever pitch as companies shake off the uncertainty of 2020 and start the new year with a full head of steam. Horizontal Talent flew through December without the typical hiring lull we see with our clients around the holidays — and the digital and IT talent shortage has only grown since then. Let’s take a look at today’s hiring trends by the numbers. 

Horizontal Talent’s hiring boom 

Last March and April, hiring operations ground to a halt as businesses weathered the storm of government lockdowns and pandemic-powered panic. But since then, companies have gained confidence and doubled down on their digital experiences and IT systems. Compared to the same time last year, Horizontal Talent has seen a dramatic uptick in demand for talent in January 2021: 

Hourly compensation without giving up long-term stability   

Typically, consultants gave up the stability tied to full-time (FTE) roles to reap the benefit of an hourly rate. While they could earn more for the time they put into a project, they also had to manage the burden of short contracts and the hassle of switching jobs.  

But at Horizontal Talent, we aim to give our consultants as much structure and stability as we can. The truth is, an FTE job is no more stable than a contract or consulting job. Contract engagements used to be considered a stop gap between FTE jobs — but they’ve become more and more attractive aassignment lengths have extended 

With an average contract length of 7.4 months, 65% of our current consultants have been on assignment for six months or longer — including 28% who have been on a job for 13-24 months. 

Read moreHow to keep your workforce flexible in a time of mixed messages 

Strong cross-functional demand 

The need for software developers is always high, which makes the record-breaking demand for functional talent a better bellwether for today’s red hot digital and IT market. Across the functional space — Project Managers, Quality Assurance, Business Analysts, etc. — our team is filling jobs nearly a week faster than last year. This accelerated timeline means hiring managers need to move quickly or they’ll miss out on their top candidates. 

Thinking about giving consulting a try? 

Have you ever thought about dipping your toe into the consulting pool? In today’s market, you can get compensated for the time you put in on an hourly basis — and enjoy the stability of a long-term engagement. Any questions for us? We’d love to tell you more about our consulting opportunities in the digital and IT space. 

Read more5 reasons to join the gig economy 

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