Category Archives: News
Currently the London UK IT contract market is awash with candidates and there are large numbers of people either out of work or working in a job they don’t enjoy particularly in London and elsewhere in the UK.
However, if you talk to the majority of recruiters they will say there is a shortage of suitable candidates. How can this be? Simply the current market is split between clients who have too many CVS, if they advertise directly agencies who want a highly suitable candidate IT contractor and who tend to focus on looking after the client, and umbrella companies or accountancy companies who process pay and tax and NI.
Successful IT candidates contractors have to learn how to access the hidden job market. There is little or no support to help potential candidates become suitable IT contractors or consultants. Yes some agencies try to help as best they can but they have to be client focussed and they are currently inundated with candidate CVs so have little time.
Very few organisation exist like BITE (a contractor career coaching company) to help bridge the gap. So candidate IT contractors and consultants have to help themselves.
The market is competitive yet April and May are a great time to get a job, provided you can access the hidden contractor job market. You have to be flexible and ‘available’ with a clearly defined skill set and a clear ‘personal brand’ – that is recruiters need to know in seconds who you are, what skills and experience you have and what you want in the current market. Your CV ‘follow ups’ have to clearly communicate this.
The average job applicant compete with 155 others across the UK. This varies by job for example IT support staff compete with over 330 others whilst specialist software developers only 45.
Recruiters are driven by ‘their clients’ needs and the commission they make not candidate care. Therefore candidates have to make themselves attractive to recruiters so that they ‘trust’ them to deliver a successful outcome.
Firstly candidate IT contractors and consultants have to feature on relevant agency databases. To do this they need to apply for a job and then regularly update their status with the recruitment company. Their CV must have the relevant key words to help ‘rank’ their CV on any searches the agency carry out. Secondly the candidate contractor must speak to the ‘agent’ to prove that they can effectively communicate and concisely explain their skill set and why they are an excellent candidate for potential clients.
Thirdly they need to network. The new generation of recruitment search software ranks candidates on 1 Skills, 2 availability, 3 location, 4 status updates, 5 social network activity on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google (Twitter can be used to enhance this), 6 suitability from contact and call
Therefore candidate contractors need to develop their network and update their status daily as well as letting agencies know their situation regularly by phone calls
Fourthly candidate contractors have to create their good luck through volumes of applications. At BITE we expect a successful candidate to make 155 applications on average. This is time consuming and finding suitable opportunities is a full time job. However, it is possible to automate this using RSS feeds and aggregators such as Indeed or Trovit.
When they find the contract they need to apply, positively communicate their suitability by email and then over the phone. Candidate IT contractors and interim consultants have to learn to use the process of applying for a job as a positive opportunity to access the hidden job market and gain the opportunity to get the next suitable job.
Most people want to successfully ‘career transition’ into the IT contract market because an interim consultant when asked because of the high pay and excellent opportunities available to those who are successful. Yet the average UK applicant spends 2 hours on their CV and 2 hours a week looking for a job. In the current market average candidate contractors will fail, especially if they are attempting career transition.
As an IT contractor or consultant you have to be better than average, one of the best and prepared to ensure your CV (or CVs) are in ‘top condition’ and that you are putting enough effort into your job search.
Contractor seeker equation:
Talent (skills & experience) x performance (effort & technique) = outcome (the job)
Most people will need to generate 3 job interviews to close 1 or 2 and to do this they will need to allocate at least 20 hours a week to their job search.
They will need to do the ‘right things well’ and do enough of them to be successful.
If you work with an IT Career Coaching organisation like BITE based in London, UK we can certainly reduce the effort through getting you to work smarter by using a job search tool set, the ‘BITE Jobs’ phone app and the mobile job seeker portal.
Success comes in the contract marker (better contracts at higher rates) to those who want success and work to communicate their suitability. Wishing you good skills and effort not luck!
A Valuable Job Seeker Information Guide
For busy people on the go the new Mobile BITE Job Search System includes BITE’s Mobile Job Seeker app available at the I-phone store and the Android store (Google play) under BITE Jobs or BITE Consulting.
Primarily the system is designed to help existing and prospective contractors source contracts and develop their network to source work in the future, linking into the un-advertised or hidden contract job market.
Here’s how to use the system:
First download the free app and install on your I-phone or android phone (if you don’t have one of these phones but you have access to the internet you can use the mobile portal via www.bitesupport.co.uk/mobile, provided you are a signed up BITE member)
Open the App
At the bottom of the page the icons illustrate each page’s functionality. Just touch each icon to open it:
Contact (the phone) – provides phone calls, email access and the website plus location details for both the London and Bagshot offices
Photo – Gives an opportunity to send a photo
Record – To record a message
Enquiry – Provides a form to make a simple enquiry
More – Holds the Key Jobseeker information and sub divided into:
Message – Where messages and tips are sent to you from BITE
Job Search Portal – The access point to the mobile Job Seeker Portal
News – Picks up on the latest news from BITE
Info – Explains all about BITE Consulting and the UK Contracting Market
Social – Provides quick access to the main social media sites for Job Seekers including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, You Tube and RSS feed of BITE’s blog
Additionally Job Aggregates, Trovit Jobs and Job Hits can be used to search for suitable contract opportunities.
All this is available free to anyone accessing it.
The next level down is available to BITE members only; those either on Contract Job Search, currently working through BITE or those paying to use our Job Seeker Marketing and Portal Services. These can all be viewed on the Job Services tab at www.biteconsulting.co.uk
To access the BITE Mobile Job Seeker Portal:
Click on the bar, type in your email address and the encrypted password allocated to you by a member of the Job Search Training Team in the London Office, contact details under “Contact tab”.
Once logged in:
The welcome menu will present itself:
- My Jobs – shows the jobs you have applied for and the filter box allows selection
- Express Jobs – provides the ability to quickly add a job “on the go” to the portal with part or incomplete information reminding you to update and complete when you have more time and log onto the main Job Seeker portal.
- My Tasks – Allows you to access the tasks and reminders in the Job Seeker portal that you have set yourself
- My Docs – Includes your CVs (more than one if required), your cover letters and thank you letters
- Agency List – Provides the ‘Find a contact, agency or company’ function. Where you can find all the actual telephone numbers and contact details of decision makers in the contract market. You can email them direct from here.
- Job Search – Provides everything to use social media for an effective job search. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn & Twitter, so you can log in quickly . Additionally the job aggregator sites Job Hits and Trovit can easily be configured to find ‘the right job for you’
- Main BITE Portal – This gives you quick ‘button’ access to your main Job Seeker Portal accessible via the wee.bitesupport.co.uk/jobseeker/
- Enter postcode – Provides a search facility for Google Maps to ‘find that interview location’
All this functionality is designed to make Job Seeking and Job Networking easier and accessible when mobile.
The app stands alone as a useful free mobile tool for ANYONE and after feedback from users has been collected and understood it will be updated with further functionality.
For BITE members it enables easy access to the Mobile Job Seeker portal and in turn this allows easy access to the main Job Seeker Portal for your Desktop.
Primarily the system is convenient enabling an easy system to tap into the ‘hidden contract market’
However to find ‘clever contracts’ in the hidden contract job market you need to be using RSS feeds effectively and networking effectively
We will provide useful advice on how to do this in the next update of BITE’s blog.
I would like to say a very Merry Christmas to all from us here at Bite Consulting and we hope all of you reading this have a prosperous 2013!
To be prosperous at this time of year there are many things you can do to improve your chances of landing that ideal contract you have been looking for.
Firstly lets look at your CV.
As early as possible in your CV writing, establish your personal brand clearly positioning yourself combining skills experience technical skills and business skills into one statement with personal key competency or competencies. Then stating what you are and what you want when!
Define your Key Skills
Defining your key skills at the start of your CV will see that you are ranked highly in the employers list of candidates – it makes it easy to see clearly what your skills are make it relevant to the job title and remember each job must have its own CV written to enhance the skills which that employer is looking for.
Syndicate all of your Professional pages
Now as we have discussed in previous months to make social media work for you! im sure if you are reading this blog you have already followed our advice but just to remind you… if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile GET ONE! don’t have a facebook page GET ONE!! and Google+ yes you guessed it GET ONE!!!! when you have set up all of these proffessional pages you can then ensure that all of them are updated with your current CV and all should match. You can also set up a profile with your email provider such as windows live.
Organise your RSS feeds
have your job feeds streaming to your laptop and mobile. By setting up your RSS blog feeds from the companies you want to hear from, it is tailored to you and this way saves you time and energy searching for jobs yourself leaving you plenty of free time to speak to people on the phone and to network!
Always Record your Searches
create a spreadsheet to keep track of all of the informaion you gather in your jobsearches. if you would like you could use the BITE job seeker portal which gives you intelligent information on your job search.
Have a target list
A list of companies and agencies you need to send your CV to and speak to for positions that may come in. and aim to contact all of them before the new year!
Update your CV and records on all the relevant job Boards, for contracting use the www.getitstaff.co.uk<http://www.getitstaff.co.uk> which is a mobile marketing availability site for contractors.
BE READY TO RING AND NETWORK AND STANDOUT FROM THE CROWD so that any suitable job will consider you!
Traditionally after the summer holidays (where as we know can be drought for contractors!) the contracting industry begins to pick up. September is the spring of the contracting seasons so spring clean your CV get yourself noticed and get ready for the phone calls!
Now to be prepared for the big rush of job offers you must prepare yourself in September!
This is vitally important as if you can land yourself a good contract at this time of year you can be rest assured that you will be hired straight through to Christmas!
Here at Bite we are always on hand to offer assistance in getting a killer CV and making sure you are seen out there on the market to the best employers who matched to your needs.
Join Bite the career management consultancy for contractors today to get YOU noticed!
- Our trainers will advise you on how to secure interviews
- Our team test YOU to keep up to date with training
- We network for YOU
- We Access the hidden job market for YOU
Our specialist career councillors help you to unlock your potential and get it all done by the end of September will maximise your chances of getting the dream job you have always wanted!
By looking at the monthly cycles of the consultancy year we can see how and when to prepare for the job market at bite we see it like this:
- Jan/Feb – after the Christmas holidays, clients start to galvanise into action. New budgets are approved and hiring starts.
- Mar/Apr – Arguably the best time to look for a new contract.
- May/June – If you can secure a 3 month contract in March, you’ll be in a strong negotiating position in June.
- July/August – Holidays break the rhythm of the market, and hiring becomes a low priority. If you’re not in a contract by the end of June, you may end up unemployed until September.
- Sept –After the summer holidays, kids return to school and the HR department awakens from its slumber.
- Oct/Nov –brings better paid contracts. Another very good time to be on the market.
- Dec – Many projects are scheduled to deliver in the week before Xmas, which means that this is the perfect time to renegotiate. By Dec 24th, the market goes dead until the New Year. – take all this into consideration when looking for new contracts and you could be on top of the contracting market!
Maximising your Contract search during the holidays
As we know there can be a dip in the uptake of new staff in the holiday season, primarily due to decision makers being away on holiday. But this is not a time to rest a lot can be achieved to ensure you are at the front of the quew for any job opportunities.
Here are some tips to brush up on your contract career in the holiday season;
- Update your CV – making sure your CV is tip top is a great way to ensure those employers pick it up and read it, think of how to make yourself stand out, make sure your skills are clear and concise and also relevant. Your CV should promote your personal brand stating clearly the skills and experience you have what personal strengths you offer, and what it is you seek in terms of employment or engagement. Doing this now is preparing yourself for when all the jobs come to the market. If you’re prepared it shows employers like that!
- Distribute your CV – send your CV out to anyone you know that could operate as an effective contact to your job search. If you have been contracting before you will have a list of contacts, if new using a service like BITE’s Job search database with its thousands of contacts can be the tool you need. Alternatively gain a directory of agents and software houses and send your CV to the m cold with a well worded cover note.
- Feature on the main Industry databases – once you have sent your CV out to recruitment agencies software houses and companies follow up with a phone call. Don’t necessarily ask for a job but ask to be placed on the database with a note stating you are flexible and immediately available, then explain your core skills and strengths and what you offer as a unique selling point (what differentiates you from the average candidate).Consider a contractor marketing services that will help distribute your CV to key decision makers. Bite’s service will send you out to over 3,000 clients.
- Remember social media works! Places like LinkedIn are fantastic platforms to showcase yourself to companies who are actively seeking employees. While you are in the holidays ensure that you are keeping your profile up to date and contacting anyone who may of viewed your profile, remember they could be a prospective employer so be sure to make an impression! If you can develop your network and lock it into BITE’s huge career network.
- Practice your interview technique – on friends/ family. Why not use a consultancy like ours? Here at BITE we offer complete contact training for all of our clients. Why not train now ready for the peak job search period after the holidays and get ahead of the crowd.
Remember most people see the holiday periods as a time to relax and enjoy them but invest time meaning you are prepared and ready for any job opportunity that becomes available you will be one of the stand out candidates ready to take on any task!
Career development in the UK as a Contractor
‘True Career Management for Contractors is a journey not a destination’
Being a contractor has a lot of benefits including better pay, hours to suit and a lot of work experience to add to your CV.
To get all of these benefit you must keep updated with the fast moving industries which you will be involved in. There is much need to ensure that you’re trained and ready to impress all the potential employers you wish to contract for!
Deciding the right career development path for you is critical. BITE’S mentors can help you with this process and its existing fast path training and testing suite can help evaluate immediate needs.
However for longer term career development BITE has introduced our new IT Skills Academy. Bite Consulting offers our regular contractors a year’s free subscription to the National Skills Academy for IT. A subscription gives you unlimited access to a wide range of training to use whenever you need.
The E-Learning courses include Technical training as well as business skills training and they allow people to learn new skills, update existing skills and develop their personal competencies. When combined with a one to one career review with a BITE mentor this is indeed a unique career development opportunity.
This enables you to:
- Plan your career.Use the IT Professional Profile to benchmark your skills against national standards,
- identify gaps in your knowledge
- Get the training you need to progress,
- Try new areas
- Gain recognised skills.
Certified Courses include:
- Project management
- Team leadership.
YOU can choose the training YOU want and add it to your personal Learning Plan.
YOU choose to train when you have the time. With access to 24/7 online mentoring, over 200 e-books and exercises to test your knowledge you have all the information at your fingertips to ensure you are prepared! After you have completed the training you can have a review
What we would like to suggest in terms of next steps is as follows;
- Complete your Professional profile
- Discuss your skills and their worth in the market place
- Decide on the likely career paths you can continue, develop or take.
”The simple fact is BITE’s partnership of their trained consultants combined with its testing and training facilities together with the IT Skills Academy provides a unique opportunity to further your contract career.
And remember…..‘True Career Management for Contractors Is a journey not a destination.’
With the Olympics just around the corner we all want to get a slice of the action. The 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be held in London from 27 July to 12 August 2012, followed by the 2012 Paralympic Games from 29 August to 9 September. The will be an expected 205 nations to take part in 300 events at the Olympic Games in 2012. 147 nations will take part in the Paralympic Games.
With this in mind we may think about what jobs we could take to coincide with the Games for MAXIMUM enjoyment of your time here in London! Being bi-lingual is sure to be an advantage!!
Of course within this period there will be an increase in accommodation costs so let us look into more affordable options for your stay
- Hostels can be anything from £11 -£30 per night and include shared facilities
- Private rental of single double or even shared rooms to be within a homely environment depending on area the price per person ranges from £16 upto 60 for short stays, reducing in price for long stays (more than a couple of weeks)
To see more helpful information see http://www.accommodationlondon.net
The Games are sure to be packed with excitement from gymnastics to water sports and football at locations around England. You decide where you want to be and then we’ll help find the job to get you there!!
Locations and events
South of England:
London: The first choice for most of you who want to be in the hussle and bussle of it all with the sight seeing tours , west end musicals and of course all the action at the olympic Park! You will be spoiled for choice for things to do/see! Events here will be athletics, gymnastics, white water rafting (just outside London), cycling, marathons and much much more!
Weymouth & Portland in Dorset is to host the 2012 Olympic Sailing events with beautiful beaches and the friendly locals it is a good place to be. There will be no tickets needed to watch these events just a deck chair and some sunscreen as you watch the boats sailing from along the line. There will be a 15,000 capacity live site to watch all the action live from the BBC including all the other events FREE! So if you Missed out on buying the tickets but still way to be part of the action this is definitely the place to come to! If your lucky enough to have got tickets be sure to read the info on the website as you can only take 1 bag with you!
Surrey: Cycling events will be taking place in surrey and this is an ideal location, you can hop on a train and be in London within 30min to see the sites there, with lots of English countryside to see it is a beautiful location too!
Essex is to host the mountain biking events in 500 hacres of beautiful farmlands which is sure to be an action packed adrenaline junkies dream!
North of England:
Manchester / Coventry / Newcastle are all areas where the football events will take place so if you’re a football fanatic and want to visit old Trafford or St James park this is your chance! The people are friendly the matches exciting and there are plenty of sites to see! With Newcastle boasting ‘the angel of te north’ statue y of you will find plenty culture to sample!
For more detailed information about game schedules and times please see the official olympic website for more detail http://www.london2012.com/schedule-and-results/
For those that have come over and wish to stay and work Tier 5 Youth mobility visa’s will entitle you to 2 years working and visiting the UK. While BITE can arrange for the right IT candidates Tier 2 VISA’s anyone with a E.U. passport can work in the UK.
Those worrying about working in the UK for flexible available candidates with 2+ years in their profession there is plenty of contract or interim work available, and those in I.T. well the IT market is up by 17% and climbing!
Meanwhile enjoy the Olympic festival.
Pros and Cons
Contracting in the UK can be a great way to get work experience, improve your CV and earn money, but it’s not for everyone…
A contractor can earn more than an employee, simply because they can charge the amount they wish to for their expertise.
A few years spent contracting will give you an experience not gained elsewhere. If you then decide to look for a permanent position, you may be more attractive to employers.
It is said that travel broadens horizons, and contracting abroad is an excellent way to travel the world. To work abroad and gain insight into different cultures and work environments can be very rewarding, and can help you grow as a person.
Flexibility as a contractor is something not always acheivable as an employee. You have the opportunity to fill your dairy as you wish.
You will also be available to take that course that you have been wanting to take to update yoru skills and make you more valuable. As an employee, often you are tasked with the one job in one company, which leads us onto the next pro…
Variety is the spice of life, and certainly as a contractor, you will get variety. As you move from one company to the next you will meet new people, learn about different companies and how they work and contincue to develop as a person. Often picking up business skilss as you go too.
Work is not guaranteed. You may find you have to learn new skills in chasing the work. However, BITE Consulting are very good at helping you brand and market yourself in order that you get the right amount of work that suits you and your pocket. As you get established, the work finding becomes easier, and often work then finds you.
You’re almost certain to be working to tight deadlines, and the demands made on you are likely to be very stressful. Managers will have high expectations of you and the levels of work you can complete. You’ll be expected to hit the ground running and be an expert in your skill-set: people will look to you for the answers and you’ll be expected to deliver.
As a contractor you’ll often be at the sharp end of projects, where your contribution will be highly valued and critical to deadlines. This can stretch you more than a 9-5 job, improving your skills and your flexibility.
Contracting is for me – what next?
As a potential contractor in the UK, BITE Consulting can offer assistance not only in finding you the right type of contract work, but also helping you get started. Our packages can help you to set up as a company, help you to relocate to the UK, help you with the financial aspects by giving you the right kind of advice, and also help you market yourself in the UK (which can be very different from the job market in your homeland).
Our training sessions can help you adjust to our very different culture, our landing packs will help you hit the ground running, even down to providing you with a mobile phone on your arrival.
Take a look around our website for more information on how we can help you settle into contract work in the UK.