Uncertainty over Brexit has been generally positive for the contractor market so far, with many companies selecting interim support for positions, allowing them the flexibility to scale up for market demand without long-term commitment. With organisations creating new Brexit-specific positions, specialist legal and financial skills are attracting a particular premium. High UK unemployment has also contributed to a sellers’ market and continued demand for talent. Here, Contracting Wise looks at the top sectors for contractors and the skills that are most in-demand.
- Tax: FinTech, IT and E-commerce platforms are continuously increased their hiring of tax professionals. Companies prepared for Brexit by introducing specific project-based roles, such as Head of Brexit Tax, within existing team infrastructures. Detailed understanding of tax laws such as IR35 as well as knowledge of financial planning in areas such as estate, retirement, risk management and investments are also in demand.
- Legal: Brexit resulted in increased hiring for both temporary and permanent in-house lawyers with specialist knowledge in Data Protection, Banking/Finance & TMT, 6+PQE (employment law).
- Banking: Specialist with knowledge of the regulatory change, model risk, e-trading, regulatory change, and equity capital markets (ECM). As ever, an ACA accounting qualification will also act as a good differentiator.
- Accountancy: Clients need more accountancy advice and extra help with planning, forecasting, and managing working capital. The Big 4 firms (PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and EY) are the main players in terms of global accountancy firms. They offer a broad range of services from the traditional audit, tax and advisory offerings to risk analysis, consulting and data analytics. These firms each have more than 1,500 staff and hire roughly 200-300 graduates every year. Professionals with experience in cloud computing software are in demand for this sector: Xero, Quickbooks and Sage Business Cloud.
- Healthcare: With over 4.5 million people having contact with the NHS every week and this being forecast to rise with an ever-ageing population, staff in all areas of healthcare are in urgent demand.
- Construction: The construction business continues to increase its demand for candidates with technical skills such as building information modelling (BIM), drone piloting and project management software. Green construction is also a growing field in construction. More and more buildings and plans are incorporating green technology into the construction process.
- Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT)
Technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sectors continue to experience rapid expansion. As technology and business become even more tightly entwined, industry leaders report a greater need for executives with combined business and technology skills—even those who are in non-technology roles. TMT CIOs named cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence, creativity, and negotiation as the soft skills whose importance will increase the most over the next three years.