Is IT contracting an option for you?

Fiona Richardson - 01/06/2012

I’ve recruited for IT contractors in Dublin for nearly 5 years now.

I believe I have a good understanding of the market, what it takes to be a good contractor and why someone should consider contracting. If it’s something you’ve been thinking about for a while, perhaps this blog will give you some food for thought.

Dublin is the hub of contracting in Ireland and there are opportunities across all areas in IT. In particular there is always a need for software developers and testers on contract as traditionally contracting has always been project driven and people were recruited to develop and test a new application or system. Java, .Net and PHP are skills that are in constant demand similar to selenium for testing.

I have noticed increasing requirements for Mobile Developers on contract, with skills in Android and Object C as more and more companies are developing mobile applications. There is a steady requirement for Project Managers and Business Analysts on contract in Dublin across all industries as well as subject matter experts in areas such as Biztalk and Sharepoint. 

There is definitely a type of person that suits the contacting model.

  • Motivated: Firstly, you really need to be motivated to keep up with the latest technologies and become an expert in your field. I’m not saying that people in permanent employment are not, but you need to bear in mind that you will be self-employed so this drive has to come from you without the assistance of an employer.
  • Flexible: You need to be flexible and to be able to adapt quickly to new environments. People use the term “hit the ground running” so basically you’re getting stuck in to the task at hand, from day one!
  • Being organised helps also. As a self-employed contractor you can avail of tax returns on a significant amount of business expenses. Keeping receipts and filing for your tax returns on a regular basis is a must for self-employed contractors.

One of the main drivers for people considering contracting is money. Daily rates are very favourable especially in the IT market. When considering daily rates you need to take into account that you are no longer on a company’s payroll so therefore you will not be getting the benefits that are associated with being a PAYE employee such as Holiday Pay, Sick Leave, Health and Insurance. Self-employed contractors pay less in tax than PAYE employees, however, in order for you to reap the financial benefits of contracting you need to be diligent when it comes to invoices, receipts and your tax returns.

Contracting can offer great flexibility as well. After finishing a particular assignment, some contractors take a break to travel, enrol in a course to upskill, or simply spend time at home with the family. Finally, contracting can offer someone more varied experiences. Every company has a different way of doing things. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not. What a contractor can do is take the best things from each company and forge new and improved processes that in turn make them a very valuable contractor.

For those of you who have traditionally worked as permanent employees, going contracting can be a daunting prospect, however we are here to help and advise as best we can. Having read this, if you think the contracting model might be an option for you, contact me or any of the contracting team here at Morgan McKinley for a chat.

Senior Consultant | Accounting & Finance, Cork
+353 21 2300 300
frichardson@morganmckinley.ie