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    Crystal News

    Core contractor disciplines dominate LinkedIn’s Top 25 most sought-after skills list in 2014

    December 19th, 2014

    Umbrella Company employees who specialise in STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and data analysis can look forward to plenty of new opportunities in 2015 if the most in-demand skills for 2014 trend into the New Year, newly released data from LinkedIn suggests. The business-orientated social networking giant has just published the most sought-after skills in the UK for 2014 after analysing skills and experience data from its 330 million-strong worldwide member base. The results reveal that the top 25 most in-demand skills are dominated by STEM subjects, with professionals demonstrating expertise in data analysis, retrieval and storage being especially sought after. Organisations across a diverse range of industries […]

    UK employers remain wary about flexible work arrangements for their permanent staff

    December 18th, 2014

    While employers appear to have confidence in the flexibility and reliability offered by skilled Umbrella Company employees and others in the UK’s professional contracting community, they appear to be considerably more circumspect about flexible work arrangements amongst their own employees. So suggests a new survey of 2,000 employees and 200 business owners conducted by Samsung UK. Even though 52% of senior business leaders believed that flexible working could improve productivity, a substantial 28% said that they don’t trust their staff to work flexibly. Amongst employees, however, the wish to work flexibly is strong, with 27% stating that they would choose flexibility options over pay increases. A mismatch appears to be […]

    HMRC recovers nearly all disputed tax in first wave of accelerated payments

    December 17th, 2014

    HMRC has recovered 99% of disputed tax from the first group of tax avoidance scheme users to be sent controversial accelerated payment notices (APN). Nearly 30 users of such schemes received APNs in August, which required them to pay disputed tax within the ensuing 90 days. The total amount for this group was £29m; however, a number of others who have not yet reached their 90 day limit have also settled, bringing the amount recovered to £32m. Contracting Umbrella Company employees are most unlikely to be hit by the notices, as they have chosen an option that results in full payment of due tax and NICs on a PAYE basis. […]

    IT pros switch to contracting as never before

    December 16th, 2014

    New data from international professional services consultancy Procorre reveals that the number of IT professionals switching from permanent roles to contracting leapt by 50% between 2009 and 2014, soaring from 143,000 to 211,000. The rise is being propelled by four factors. After a lengthy period of post-recession slashing and freezing, IT budgets are at last rapidly on the increase due to: More businesses drafting in IT contractors to upgrade systems previously mothballed by the recession but now promise to radically improve customer service, productivity and efficiency. A burgeoning ‘app economy’ awash with investors and entrepreneurs, which is confidently predicted to rocket in value over the next ten years from its […]

    Regulatory change and new business priorities drive work bonanza for financial services contractors

    December 15th, 2014

    Contracting Umbrella Company employees and other independent professionals specialising in financial services have been enjoying a contract bonanza, with regulatory change and new business requirements driving a significant shift in hiring patterns within the sector. So says a new survey of 6,000 UK financial services contractors from leading global recruitment firm Hydrogen Group. In preference to exclusively hiring permanent employees, financial services organisations are increasingly benefiting from the flexibility and value offered by contractors. A background of economic uncertainty and the need for rapid responses to regulatory change and business transformation lie behind the trend, the survey finds. Almost one-third of the contractors polled were working in one of the […]

    IT pros have the toughest interviewing process of all sectors

    December 12th, 2014

    Jobbing Umbrella Company employees contracting as IT specialists will be amongst the IT professionals who report a significant toughening of the interviewing process. New research by specialist recruiter Randstad Technologies has revealed that 60% of IT pros had more than one interview before being assigned to their current role – considerably higher than the national average of 35% and the biggest proportion of any sector. The survey revealed the following percentage of candidates, sector by sector, who had more than one interview prior to obtaining their current role. The MD of Randstad Technologies, Mike Beresford, said that the most successful IT pros were “masters of a broad range of skills”, […]

    Irish professional jobs market is thriving, says Morgan McKinley

    December 11th, 2014

    Further evidence of robust recovery in the professional jobs and contracts market has emerged with the latest Morgan McKinley Ireland Monitor: the number of professional roles available in the Emerald Isle last month was 33% higher than in November last year. Most of this increase (24%) took place over the last six months; however, skills shortages, as reflected in falling candidate availability, are also worsening. In November 2013 the professional candidate pool stood at 7,320, but by November this year it had fallen to 6,755 – a contraction of 8%. The fall in candidate numbers was even more marked between October and November, tumbling by 13% from 7,795. While the […]

    UK and Germany for highest number of job-creating high growth firms in Europe

    December 10th, 2014

    The UK’s army of Umbrella Company employees and flexible freelancers from the professional contracting community have helped to bring the country ‒ with Germany ‒ to the top of the European league table for ‘high growth’ companies, new data from international contractors’ tax advisory company Von Essen reveals. Germany pipped the UK to top place with 32,352 high growth firms (businesses that have expanded their headcounts by more than 10% over the last year). Despite the fact that Germany has a far larger workforce, the UK came second with 22,615. The study notes that high growth companies in the UK are generally larger than in Germany, with the result that […]

    Jobs and contracts in banking and finance to outperform 2014’s total next year

    December 9th, 2014

    The latest annual Banking & Financial Services Salary Survey from specialist recruiter Michael Page confidently forecasts a bumper year for new job and contracting opportunities in 2015. The head of Page Executive’s new Banking and Financial Services Practice, Andrew Breach, said that hiring trends for next year were undoubtedly set to outperform 2014’s record. He continued: “Despite increased pressure within the banking and financial services industry, business attitudes remain fundamentally optimistic and 2015 looks positive in terms of the hiring market. Interestingly, the US economy remains robust and is delivering above-trend growth in the banking and financial services industry. The UK, while not performing to the same level as it […]

    Temporary and contractor billings and pay rates climb again in November

    December 8th, 2014

    Agency billings for the placement of Umbrella Company employees and other temporary/contracting staff rose at a faster rate than for permanent staff during November and climbed faster than in the previous month, the latest REC/KPMG Report on Jobs reveals. Of the disciplines monitored, IT & computing topped the demand league table for temp/contractor staff. Pay rates for temporary and contracting staff also grew solidly, rising faster than in October. Permanent staff also saw a quickening in the rate of starting salary increases after the previous month’s eight-month low. Permanent candidate availability continued to fall markedly in November, leaving a raft of skills in short supply. The availability of temp/contracting staff […]