Addressing Growing Demand for IT Freelancers

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 24/09/2018
demand for IT freelancers

In this article, we will be talking to Payroll Managers and Recruiters about how to adjust their contractor management processes to harness the growing demand for IT freelancers. Our key objective is to explain why adopting SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) technology is the best way of embracing the market and how to use it for quick ROI.

In the modern world, the process of digital transformation is never-ending. It makes IT professionals some of the most sought-after employees. As the global lockdown caused tremendous job losses and people of different professions were put on the furlough scheme, many chose to enter the IT arena as self-taught contractors.

A lot of businesses faced a financial struggle following the global pandemic. As a consequence, hiring IT freelancers became a more effective solution than bringing on board permanent staff. What new challenges does this change bring to recruitment agencies?

Meeting the Demand for IT Contractors

According to Contractor UK, in May 2021 we witnessed the highest demand for contracted IT specialists in the past 23 years. As explained above, this is largely caused by the fact companies can no longer afford full-time IT specialists.

However, the ‘IT & Computing’ industry is a very broad term. It covers a lot of different skill sets, from technical maintenance to data analytics. Therefore it’s no wonder companies struggle to find IT contractors that can meet their specific needs. That’s where recruitment agencies step in. It’s your job to match clients with the most suitable prospects, and offer the best job opportunities to your contracts.

Attract New Specialists

Every agency thrives to grow. They seek to onboard new specialists they can then connect to their clients. With the demand for temporary IT workers being higher than before, the competition in acquiring new contacts is becoming particularly harsh.

One way of getting ahead of the game is by adopting a high-performing CRM system. This way you can automate the majority of the time-consuming manual tasks. For example, creating talent pools, application tracking and candidate engagement measurement and others.

We personally recommend Firefish as one of the best on-market solutions. Largely because it caters for recruitment agencies that work with contractors. It puts you in control of creating the processes you need and also integrates with a variety of tools that expand your automation capacities. 

Re-engage Former IT Contacts

There is another good tactic to become a highly relevant resource to your IT freelancers seeking clients. Reach out to IT contractors you’ve previously worked with. However, this route isn’t easy. You will need to separate those whose placements are over from the ongoing ones. And approaching them one by one can be a challenge.

But not if you’re using Timesheet Portal’s Recruitment edition. Our integrated email inbox allows you to easily navigate between clients and contractors. You can also filter the contractors by their placement status. From there on, you can send an email to multiple people - just tick check boxes next to the names to determine the recipients. 

Manage Bigger Volumes of Contractors

Assuming you’ve got a flawless and highly effective candidate acquisition strategy, you will soon find yourself dealing with bigger volumes of contractors than what you may be used to. And that, of course, is a challenge. If you’re running the majority of your processes manually, you may not be ready to face it. The best way of effectively managing more contractors at the same time is by relying on process automation.

Invoice Generation

One of the biggest issues in the contractor recruitment industry is invoicing. Manual data input from timesheets is a time-consuming process that is also prone to errors. And, if spotted, invoice mistakes can lead to serious legal issues. And, the cherry on top, break trust with the client. Naturally, as the volumes of contractors grow, so will the number of invoices. This again increases the chance of potential mistakes.

At Timesheet Portal we aim to minimise manual data insertion. This is why our Recruitment product has a tool that generates invoices as opposed to tasking you with that. Additionally, it’s not a rigid one-for-all template. We are offering a diverse range of customisation options, allowing you to create unique invoices that depend on the client’s requirements, the complexity of the job, differentiating charges and other details you may need to include.

It takes the timesheets submitted to the system and applies a set of rules you’ve programmed to pull relevant data together in a form on an invoice. Similarly to how you can engage past contractors, you can also distribute the invoices to your clients via the same internal email tool.

Automated Reminders

As covered in the previous section, you can’t really generate invoices unless you have timesheets. And, unfortunately, contractors are sometimes guilty of not submitting timesheets on time. That interferes with the process of invoicing and can cause setbacks that affect everyone. It strains your relationship with the client for not providing them with the needed documentation, and this also leaves the contractor bitter as they are not going to be paid on time.

The same type of issue arises when a recruiter fails to approve the timesheets on time. Basically, both parties are equally susceptible to error - and it’s human to make mistakes. That’s why the wisest course of action is to pass as much slack onto the technology.

Our product addresses this issue by including a customisable and highly flexible notification system. It’s applicable for both parties, the contractor and the approver. The notifications will be either sent via email or SMS.

You can customise your reminders by day of the week, time, whether it’s pre or post-required activity time and many more.

On-going Collaborations

As a contractor recruiter, you know you’re meant to be a virtuoso of communication. You’re right to apply this skill set in attracting new talents, but that’s not the only area you should concentrate on. Rather, focus most of your effort on maintaining a good relationship with the existing contractors as it’s far cheaper to retain existing staff than to attract new people.

Stay in Touch During and After Placement

The key to securing a loyal and effective contractor that will work with you time and time again is keeping the relationship alive. It’s a rookie mistake to stay actively in touch with the contractor prior to securing their placement, and then drop off once they start the project.

First of all, this makes your previous relationship-building efforts look ingenuine and self-profit-oriented. Secondly, this puts you both at a disadvantage as you absolutely should provide the contractor with feedback DURING the project.

Finally, with a shortage of IT specialists, building a strong relationship is the most effective way to ensure they don’t run off to your competitors. And, for them to stick around, you need to prove you’re giving them as much value as you get from them.


Growth in demand for IT contractors has never been higher. At the same time, however, the market is experiencing the biggest shortage of IT specialists since 2017. The best way of addressing the competition in the recruitment arena for this industry is to establish tight bonds with your existing freelancers. Treat new talent acquisition as a secondary task.

It might be tempting to focus on just one task at a time: either retention or attraction. However, to be successful and stay ahead of the competition you need to find the balance between the two. The best way of achieving that is by adopting software that’s rich in integrations and automation options.

As it happens, we are offering such a solution.


So, why not get in touch and see for yourself?

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Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.