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The roles contractors will be most in demand for in 2018

Kerry Hull

Kerry Hull | Marketing Manager

Monday 15th Jan, 2018

Contractors with IT security architect experience are set to be the most in-demand workers in the UK this year, a new report suggests.

IT contractors with niche skillsets are set to be among the workers most in demand to fill job vacancies in the UK over the course of 2018, according to a new report.

Hays has published a list of the top ten roles that skilled professionals will be most coveted for this year, which predicts that limited company contractors and freelancers with experience of IT security architect-type work will have the biggest pick of jobs throughout 2018.

With cyber security becoming an ever-increasing focus for firms of all sizes, this is no great surprise, but where else will contractors be in high demand over the next 12 months?

The 10 hottest contractor roles

After IT security architects, data analysts were found to be the next most highly coveted workers, followed by risk analysts in third place. Next on the list were accountants, with civil engineers completing the top five.

They were followed by payroll team leaders in sixth place, Java developers in seventh, safety case engineers in eighth and building surveyors in ninth.

Meanwhile, project managers came in tenth place, but no industry was specified here. As this could apply to a whole variety of sectors, contractors with extensive project management experience could find themselves in demand across a range of fields over the coming year.

What's more, they can expect to be well-remunerated for access to their skills, as Hays found that pay rates in many industries are on the up as firms increasingly understand the importance of paying for high-quality talent, amid the ongoing skills shortage.

Just how many jobs will be on offer?

Overall, almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of the companies questioned by Hays said they would be looking to increase their headcount over the next year. At the same time, more than half (55 per cent) of workers admitted they would be looking for a new contract during the coming 12 months, which indicates that while there may be plenty of opportunities, competition will be high.

With this in mind, personal service company contractors and freelancers need to make sure they are going into each application, interview or contract pitching situation with a comprehensive understanding of what the client wants, and can demonstrate that they can meet all of their criteria to a high standard.

Contractors might even want to use the first few weeks or months of the year to work on their skillsets or towards additional qualifications so that they really stand out against the competition when it comes to securing their next role.

Commenting on the report's findings, Managing Director of Hays UK & Ireland Nigel Heap said: "Looking for a new job always features highly amongst new year resolutions, but to keep those resolutions alive, candidates need to understand how much demand there is for their skills and how likely they will be to secure another role.

"If you're looking for a new challenge in 2018, now is a crucial time to evaluate where you want to take your career, reflect on how your skills could benefit [a client] and find out where your next role could be by looking at what jobs are available."