Redundancy and furlough data from Scotland’s IT and digital businesses suggests the sector is ready to help kickstart economic recovery across the country.
A survey commissioned by recruitment company, Be-IT, examines the impact of coronavirus on companies’ income, their workforces, and their current hiring strategies.
While the poll highlights the significant impact of the pandemic, several positive indicators also emerged.
More than half (57%) of survey respondents said they would not make redundancies and 43% intended to bring furloughed staff back early, while almost three-quarters (72%) expected to resume recruitment.
Although 28% of respondents said there was no chance they would be recruiting in 2020, 72% said they are expecting to recruit to some extent, and one-in-five (21%) expect to return to normal hiring by the end of the year.
The survey ran for three weeks from 1st July 2020 and explored a range of areas, including IT companies’ income, employment and hiring experiences during the crisis.
Be-IT CEO Gareth Biggerstaff said: “It was a pleasant surprise and hugely encouraging to see positives emerge from the survey.
“The data indicating business intend to bring staff back before furlough closes, shows the sector is in a healthy position in terms of a starting point for recovery. Similarly, 72% told us they expect to recruit in the coming months.”
Biggerstaff added: These statistics show our IT and digital businesses can be at the forefront getting the economy back on its feet. Coronavirus has been a catalyst for fundamental change. The pace of the digital transformation of the workplace has been accelerated, and opportunity is there for the services and businesses who embrace change and adapt.
“There could be phenomenal growth in Scotland over the next few years.”
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The poll, which surveyed Be-IT’s 200-plus client base, found 69% said the pandemic has had a “significant impact” on their business, with a further 72% suffering a reduction in profits.
Be-IT Managing Director, Nikola Kelly, said recruitment demands in the sector are likely to change as both businesses and workers adapt.
She commented: “Our market has been pushing for workplace change for some time, with software developers and IT professionals having embraced the ability to work from home with enthusiasm.
“We now expect the demand for fulltime workers to fall, as companies instead look for highly skilled contractors to deliver programmes of work. Disruption to business is not going away. It is those companies who are flexible, who are prepared and who can adapt that will be the ones to thrive.”