Contractors Used by 70 Percent of IT Businesses, Survey Says
September 20, 2011 Alex Woodie
Independent contractors have been an intrinsic part of the IT industry since the IT industry was invented. But according to a recent survey of CompTIA members by tech staffing firm OnForce, nearly 70 percent of companies in the IT business use independent contractors when they don’t have enough full-time staff to do the work.
While the country as a whole suffers through economic stagnation and a high unemployment rate, the situation is a bit brighter in the IT industry, where the unemployment rate is 4.5 percent, according to a recent blog post by CompTIA’s Jim Staats, who counted 856,000 IT-related job openings around the world on a popular IT jobs site.
There are a lot of full time jobs available in the IT industry–particularly in high demand areas like networking and security–so when companies can’t fill job openings, it’s no great surprise that they would turn to temporary firms and IT staffing agencies to get the needed help.
The figures from OnForce, which conducted its survey of CompTIA members at a recent CompTIA event, shines some light on the ways in which the current economic situation is impacting the IT jobs market. “Ninety percent of those surveyed at CompTIA Breakaway are unwilling to turn down new business opportunities when they don’t have the staff to support the work,” states OnForce CEO Peter Cannone in a press release. “As a result, about 70 percent are tapping trusted third-party providers with the skills and certifications needed to ensure the highest quality work.”
OnForce’s study should be taken with a grain of salt, as the company didn’t disclose how many attendees it surveyed or its error rate. With that in mind, it’s worth taking a look at some other interesting tidbits, such as the fact that full-time employees make up at least 75 percent of the IT services team at more than half of the organizations surveyed. Having so many full-time staff “can be a major financial risk in a business where variable demand is extremely common,” OnForce stated.