Cost-conscious firms have stated that their dependency on freelance IT contractors, who are charging at a premium, has crippled their operations. Research from IT consultancy Morse shows that most IT directors feel their IT contractors are being paid too much by the company, and ‘flexible resourcing’ could offer a cost-efficient alternative.

In a recent survey conducted by Morse, over 70% of the 200 IT directors who participated said they recruit IT contractors when they have skills shortages, as the downturn has limited the firms’ ability to recruit full-time staff. Furthermore, almost the same number of IT directors expressed their regrets for becoming too dependent on contractors just to bridge the gap, despite knowing that their current ones were overpaid. Almost half of the IT directors said they would prefer to hire an extra permanent employee over a contractor, yet they know that the costs involved can make this unfeasible. Morse also suggests that, in order to cost-effectively access skills, several firms have started to examine the benefits of ‘flexible resourcing’ as an option to recruiting IT contractors. Moreover, freelancers’ contractual commitments indicated a strain on IT budgets, which held back firms from benefiting from new income generation or efficiency savings.

Mike Devlin, director at Morse, said “…employing IT contractors can help organisations to fill skills gaps immediately. However, it can also make the IT department less flexible and unable to respond to the changing needs of the business.” He added “Organisations now have to pay a premium for their skills and experience. Unfortunately, this expense comes at a time when many businesses need to make the most of every penny.”

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