Are you Handcuffed to your Desk? The Challenges of Moving Jobs as a Successful Contract Recruiter

So, you’ve built up your desk, have an existing client base and earn a steady stream of commission, however you are no longer inspired by your market or sector. What do you do?

The technology sector is growing exponentially...

With the guaranteed high earnings from having a successful cotract book, it is difficult to take the plunge, particularly if you are moving into a new sector like technology. The terminology is often deemed a foreign language and this can be intimidating.

As well as this, it can take up time to build a new profile in a new market, and so the prospect of starting from scratch is undeniably daunting. However, with the UK technology market receiving a record £6.2billion worth of overseas investment in 2017 (more than France and Germany combined!), surely the case to transition is more compelling than ever?!

Technology has revolutionised the way companies work across all sectors, where it is estimated that by 2030, over 80% of jobs will be tech focused, and don’t even exist today! The tech sector is growing 2.6 times faster than the rest of the UK’s economy, and this cannot happen without people. By 2020 there are expected to be 100,000 unfilled tech jobs in the UK!

The growing demand for skilled candidates and the project led nature of tech roles means contract workers are absolutely essential to the businesses we work with. In turn, this means the UK tech market is more lucrative than any other. Tech earnings (including day rates) are found to be 33% higher than the UK average.

Moving from construction and education to tech recruitment...

We spoke to Sawan Shah, a Senior Consultant from our London contracts division working in the Devops space. Prior to joining Opus he spent 5 years in contract recruitment across construction and the education space. Having enjoyed 3 years as a £250k+ biller in the education space, and achieving 2 promotions, he began considering a move to tech recruitment in 2018.

He was aware from other colleagues who successfully transitioned into technology recruitment that the market was “future proofed and would not have the same budgetary constraints as working within the public sector”. He also highlighted how within his previous market there was a seasonality, which had an impact on his pro-rata earning potential (as teachers only work 10 months a year).

Understandably, he had a couple of fears about moving into a technical market, as he had no real grounding in technology, and was unsure how quickly he could get back up and running to his previous levels. He interviewed across 4 different tech recruitment firms, however selected Opus as he felt “everything was really transparent and clear – the opportunity, the market he would work on, his perm counterparts and his reporting line”. He also felt there was a personal approach from all levels, where the management team seemed really approachable, having the personal mobile number of the Managing Director Rory McGowan, being able to “ring him at anytime during his decision making process which made the whole decision so much easier”.

Highly buoyant market

Within his first six months in a completely new market, he has already made 12 placements within the highly buoyant Devops interim market, and is already running £5750 WGP – a very strong start indeed! From his perspective, he feels he has had a great platform as “there are 35 consultants in the London tech market working alongside me, which is fantastic from a knowledge sharing perspective!”, with a number of experienced recruiters to lean on and aid his development. He has found that if you are willing to work hard and be open to learning a new market, there is no reason someone could not move from another recruitment market to technology, provided they have the right support structures around them and a business which genuinely understands the technology market, like Opus!

What can recruitment companies do to facilitate and support contract consultants moving to a new business or market? Have you done it yourself? Tell us about your experiences. If you want to find out more about getting into the Technology Sector please do get in touch!

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