Two recent supports suggest that PAYE umbrella contractors in the IT skills market will be in high demand for the foreseeable future. ReThink Recruitment’s latest report reveals that, under pressure to defer and limit bonus payments and salaries, the banking sector is losing talent. But as one door closes at the bank for these workers, another opens elsewhere, as canny hedge fund managers capitalise on the banks’ problems by poaching disgruntled IT talent.

ReThink Recruitment’s Head of Financial Services, Fhamid Malik, said that there had been a “flurry of new hedge funds” setting up in London over the last few months. As IT infrastructure is pivotally important to how these funds do their business, Mr Malik added, “they are prepared to pay a premium for the right IT skills.”

Banks, he continued, “have their hands tied over bonuses,” a predicament which allows the newly emerging hedge funds to simply poach key IT personnel. In the financial services industry, he went on, IT is “critical to competitive advantage.”  Describing the situation as an “escalating arms race,” Mr Malik said that banks will need to develop innovative ways of retaining skilled staff.

ReThink Recruitment’s report follows directly on the heels of a survey by specialist IT recruiter Modis International, which revealed that 64 per cent of IT leaders in the UK say that commercial demand for IT skills in their teams “far outweighs” their ability to deliver. If they heed recent advice given by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Director of Policy, Tom Bradley, they may well take on highly skilled temporary IT workers from umbrella companies to make up the shortfall.

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