Arrows group, a UK recruitment company, has said that companies who want highly skilled IT contractors need to “up” their offers or otherwise settle for more affordable, lower skilled workers.

If firms don’t have “realistic [pay] expectations”, the IT staffing group has warned, then some of them “won’t get the skill level they are demanding” (if their rates stay the same). A bridge needs to be drawn between the existing “clear gap” between expectations of clients and contractors’ skills.

Paul Winchester from Arrows Group predicted: “We expect this matching of expectations…to last for the rest of the year.” This refers to the many negotiations currently being held over rates of pay. He went on to say that: “Clients often want the world for a set amount of money… [but they] will have to up their game or accept a candidate with less of the skills for the money that they are willing to pay.”

However, between March and April this year, RBS, Barclays and ONS all told their freelance IT workers that they would be dismissed unless they accepted a lower rate. Arrows Group seems to think this isn’t the case anymore though: “I don’t think that ‘take it or leave’ offers are industry-wide,” reflected Mr Winchester. “[the] gap in the expectations of what the client wants to pay and what the contractor is expecting…is creating almost an ‘unofficial shortage’” of appropriate applicants in the market.

An “element of compromise” has now been suggested to clients, even though firms are now mainly concerned about “getting their product or release out”. This “element of compromise” may be difficult to keep up though if businesses don’t have the appropriately skilled workers to deploy or release their products.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.

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