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Success in the UK Contract market – Why is it not easy?
Currently the London UK IT contract market is awash with candidates and there are large numbers of people either out of work or working in a job they don’t enjoy particularly in London and elsewhere in the UK.
By: m3sm ltd uk
Successful IT candidates contractors have to learn how to access the hidden job market. There is little or no support to help potential candidates become suitable IT contractors or consultants. Yes some agencies try to help as best they can but they have to be client focussed and they are currently inundated with candidate CVs so have little time.
Very few organisation exist like BITE (a contractor career coaching company) to help bridge the gap. So candidate IT contractors and consultants have to help themselves.
The market is competitive yet April and May are a great time to get a job, provided you can access the hidden contractor job market. You have to be flexible and ‘available’
The average job applicant compete with 155 others across the UK. This varies by job for example IT support staff compete with over 330 others whilst specialist software developers only 45.
Recruiters are driven by ‘their clients’ needs and the commission they make not candidate care. Therefore candidates have to make themselves attractive to recruiters so that they ‘trust’ them to deliver a successful outcome.
Firstly candidate IT contractors and consultants have to feature on relevant agency databases. To do this they need to apply for a job and then regularly update their status with the recruitment company. Their CV must have the relevant key words to help ‘rank’ their CV on any searches the agency carry out. Secondly the candidate contractor must speak to the ‘agent’ to prove that they can effectively communicate and concisely explain their skill set and why they are an excellent candidate for potential clients.
Thirdly they need to network. The new generation of recruitment search software ranks candidates on 1 Skills, 2 availability, 3 location, 4 status updates, 5 social network activity on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google (Twitter can be used to enhance this), 6 suitability from contact and call
Therefore candidate contractors need to develop their network and update their status daily as well as letting agencies know their situation regularly by phone calls
Fourthly candidate contractors have to create their good luck through volumes of applications. At BITE we expect a successful candidate to make 155 applications on average. This is time consuming and finding suitable opportunities is a full time job. However, it is possible to automate this using RSS feeds and aggregators such as Indeed or Trovit.
When they find the contract they need to apply, positively communicate their suitability by email and then over the phone. Candidate IT contractors and interim consultants have to learn to use the process of applying for a job as a positive opportunity to access the hidden job market and gain the opportunity to get the next suitable job.
Most people want to successfully ‘career transition’ into the IT contract market because an interim consultant when asked because of the high pay and excellent opportunities available to those who are successful. Yet the average UK applicant spends 2 hours on their CV and 2 hours a week looking for a job. In the current market average candidate contractors will fail, especially if they are attempting career transition.
As an IT contractor or consultant you have to be better than average, one of the best and prepared to ensure your CV (or CVs) are in ‘top condition’ and that you are putting enough effort into your job search.
Contractor seeker equation:
Talent (skills & experience) x performance (effort & technique) = outcome (the job)
Most people will need to generate 3 job interviews to close 1 or 2 and to do this they will need to allocate at least 20 hours a week to their job search.
They will need to do the ‘right things well’ and do enough of them to be successful.
If you work with an IT Career Coaching organisation like BITE based in London, UK we can certainly reduce the effort through getting you to work smarter by using a job search tool set, the ‘BITE Jobs’ phone app and the mobile job seeker portal.
Success comes in the contract marker (better contracts at higher rates) to those who want success and work to communicate their suitability. Wishing you good skills and effort not luck!