The country’s PAYE umbrella contractors, especially those supplying the IT skills market, are set to benefit from a change in direction amongst increasing numbers of UK firms who are turning away from outsourcing in favour of home-grown talent.
Recruitment giant Hays has detected the trend and feedback from the companies concerned suggests that the promise of cost reductions by outsourcing work overseas has proved to be something of a chimera. It just is not that cheap, and it is getting less so by the day. Salaries for highly skilled IT professionals in India are soaring, rising by around 20% a year.
Despite excellent English language abilities among many Indian workers, it often does not sound the same in a purely Anglophone context and accent differences may increase the risk of miscommunication. The problem is compounded by time zone differences, and concerns are growing that outsource companies have on occasions failed to understand the full requirements of a project.
Homegrown experts in IT contracting may be especially heartened by this return to the UK because they have suffered particularly badly from the outsourcing craze that swept the country a few years back. Both the availability of contracts and the pay rates for UK IT contractors diminished at the height of the fashion, but the latest trend for employers now appears to be a return to on-shore talent.
By investing in more in-house projects, hirers are likely to improve the fortunes of IT contractors considerably. Outsourcing is not about to disappear – the age of digital global communication will ensure its survival – but its days of being the ‘new black’ amongst British firms are probably over.