Contract Roles: An Increasingly Attractive Option for IT Professionals
With headcount freezes across the banking sector, the IT contracting market has continued to grow. Many IT functions are being off-shored to lower cost locations, such as India and banks are increasingly looking to IT contractors to fulfill any roles they require.
Whilst the majority of Hong Kong professionals prefer a permanent role, there are many benefits of taking on a contract position. It can often be a stepping stone for those looking for the next step on the corporate ladder or perhaps a move into a different area. Banks will often consider IT professionals from a different background for a contract position.
Many of the contract positions currently on offer are longer term, renewable, 12-month contracts, as opposed to being temporary or maternity cover. This means the contract roles on offer are relatively stable and not short-term offers.
The banking IT market continues to evolve into more of a contract market. IT is often project based, with new projects constantly cropping up. Top tier banks in particular have been hiring more and more IT contractors. Other organisations, such as large MNCs and IT solutions providers, have also been increasing their uptake of IT contractors. On the other hand, smaller companies tend to have more permanent hires.
Whilst permanent roles offer benefits, such as more annual leave and health insurance, contractors base pay tends to be higher. Additionally, some banks will also give competitive annual leave allowances for contractors as well. And whilst permanent staff do get annual bonuses, these are not guaranteed. Contractors often receive a 20-30% increment on salary when compared with permanent employees. So perhaps contracting is not such a bad option after all? Especially if it might get your foot in the door for that next role or first role within banking IT.