PAYE umbrella contractors supplying the IT skills market might wish to take heed of recent advice proffered by a leading recruitment specialist on how to clinch the best work placements. Professionals in IT contracting are widely respected for their technical expertise, but according to Richard Nott, the Website Director of specialist IT recruiter CWJobs.co.uk, this is fast becoming a criterion to be filed under ‘necessary but insufficient.’
Even though there is a significant shortage of IT expertise in the UK at present, IT professionals need to have additional ‘softer skills’ to do well in contemporary businesses. Mr Nott elaborated on this by noting the new shift toward a ‘much more modern way of working,’ which he believes is demanding good communication skills from IT professionals as well as technical knowledge.
Referring to what he called ‘agile methodology,’ Mr Nott explained that it was now incumbent on IT professionals to develop ’softer’ communication skills in the organisations they work within, as they are increasingly called upon to negotiate effectively with the commercial part of the business to deliver the IT projects the company actually requires. Today, the conventional model of an IT technician ‘sitting in the corner bashing out code all day’ is outmoded; today’s companies require people who can translate that code to the business end in plain, straightforward language and deliver required projects in time with business needs.
IT contractors working through umbrella companies might need to start purging their speech of techno-babble as a matter of urgency. Those with the softer skills Mr Nott identifies may well find themselves securing the best placements.