IT recruitment in London is one of the most buoyant recruitment markets in the world. It is driven by Banking and Financial Services and the fact that London has the global headquarters of so many multinational companies.
All recruitment markets have cycles, but IT is such an inherent part of business today that the cycle in IT is flattened. When there is an economic downturn and companies decide to cut heads, then projects have to suffer. However, most IT projects are essential to business continuity, business change, competitive pressures or strategic issues (for example mergers or new products/services). The HR department may have to shed headcount under pressure, but what happens is that many of the IT heads lost will be immediately taken on again as consultants.
The headlines may scream ‘500 jobs to go at Megabank’ and in reality there will be some real cuts as business processes are reshaped and jobs are really cut in the business itself. The cyclical reshaping involves IT staff, process change and new systems. So, the re-engagement of many IT staff as contractors is immediate so that important projects can continue. For a reasonably capable person planning to make a career in IT in London, it is important to be able to play this cycle.
They should be prepared to accept that there may well be redundancy and that periods of contracting may form part of the quilt-work of their careers. When working in IT in London, they will come into contact with contractors, and that is a useful time to observe behaviour and what makes a good or a not so good freelancer.
It is a good career policy to forge long-term links with several recruitment companies, and include some which also have contract divisions. This will help smooth the bumps of the cycle – the reality is that recruitment companies will re-shape their own staffing to follow the cycle, too.
About the Author : Emily Inglis is a supporter of IT recruitment in London