A balanced picture between contract and permanent hiring in Q3 for the Technology market

Cem Baris 18.10.2018

There has been an increase in the need for professionals across business as usual and projects. The market continues to be very candidate driven due a shortage of available talent; professionals often have multiple opportunities on the go at once.

Q3 recruitment across IT

Development: The demand for contract versus permanent hiring has balanced out somewhat in Q3 compared to the first half of the year, when it was incredibly permanent focused. This could be attributed to an increased volume of work but ultimately it’s from the limited inflow of new talent from Europe. The need for contract or interim solutions seems to be simply due to an inability to attract and onboard permanent applicants fast enough to service client workload.

Data Science: Q3 was fluid in terms of job opportunities and available talent, with each active candidate on average in contact with 3 or 4 different companies. Whilst it seems there are a lot of options for these professionals, companies are being increasingly selective, only taking on an individual if they fully meet their requirements. A career in Data Science is increasing in popularity due to heightened exposure in recent years and as a result, we have seen more candidates that are graduating from university with qualifications suitable for a career in the area.

Data Engineering: This segment of the Data market is dominated by contractors, therefore demand, and in turn salaries, for permanent staff continue to grow at eye watering speed. Top level Data Engineers can command as much as £130,000 base salary. Due to the shortage of available talent, we are engaging with more candidates from the Far East than Europe, as clients are increasingly willing to sponsor - the Brexit effect.

Digital: Augmented Reality has been a focus and there has been a huge increase on the use of this function on social media platforms, creating numerous new roles in this field. Another area of focus has been on customer journey and consumer-centric digital movement; emphasising what the user wants. Hybrid skill sets have been sought after with increasing importance placed on web and internet partnerships.

What have clients’ needs been?

Development: Hybrid hires top the pile for development; there’s strong demand for any candidates with hands on development experience who are keen to get involved with management responsibilities. ‘Tech savvy’ hires are more important now than ever, with increasing exposure to Java, Scala, Kotlin and Big Data technologies at many organisations.

Data Science: In banking and financial services, numerous firms have been growing fraud detection teams, thus they are looking for candidates with a background in fraud or credit risk with high end machine learning skills.

Data Engineering: The flow of jobs for this area is based on professionals needed to support business critical data science projects.

Digital: There is a constant focus on talent in Front End/Full Stack development and UX to keep up with the core demands and diet of any business in the digital domain. Due to the perennial need for Digital Developers, there remains huge demand for permanent staff over contract resources. Perhaps with potential concerns over changes relating to IR35, we may begin to see more contractors considering permanent options in the near future.

The top roles available across IT in Q3

IT jobs available


  • Senior Software Engineer Equities Trading - £150k - equities desks are profitable and performing well
  • Algo Trading Java Developer - £120k - automated trading is on the rise in banks
  • Java Developer eTrading - £110k

Data Science

  • Data Science Developer (Banking) - £110k - building an analytics platform to assess post and pre-trade moves
  • Senior Data Scientist (Health) - £100k - designing new machine learning products for clients
  • VP Data Science (Banking) - £100k - building a new team in fraud detection

Data Engineering

  • Senior Data Engineers - £80-120k - in what is a contract heavy market, permanent positions pay well


  • Front End Developer - £90k
  • Lead Front End Developer - £130k
  • Full Stack Developer - £90k

Looking towards the end of the year

In such a candidate driven market, professionals should capitalise on their niche skill set. They should also grasp any opportunity of gaining exposure to exciting technologies that will increase their potential value to employers. We anticipate that there could be a shift of contract data engineers looking for permanent roles due to concerns over IR35, but whether this occurs from companies committing to filling roles before the end of 2018 remains to be seen.

Contributors to the Q3 IT recruitment update

  • Digital: Jessica Burns
  • Development: Donato Basso
  • Data Science: Richard McArdle
  • Data Engineering: Kieran Bassan
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