The size of the pay package still remains the main focus of ICT workers in South Africa and, despite the slowdown in the ICT industry and a hold on many projects, workers are still generally getting paid the money they want.
So said Karen Geldenhuys, MD of Abacus Recruitment, who says that fewer projects are being given the go-ahead, and those that have started are
"going slower" – but good ICT workers are still holding employers to ransom, sometimes with exorbitant salary requests.
"This situation is unlikely to change, especially since we see signs that projects are starting to pick up again and companies are again looking to kick-start dormant projects. This requires IT skills," she says.
"There are still some troubled times ahead, but we note that ICT consulting firms are getting more active again, pointing to an imminent overall revival. Positions are again becoming available. On top of this, the ICT industry has not been nearly as hard-hit as the rest of the economy."
But could IT contractors be heading the way of the dinosaur?
Mahlako Hlakudi, CEO of Titan Trade Technologies, says that while there is certainly some signs of a revival of projects, the role of the IT contractor is probably "never going to be the same again".
"With the new laws contractors are essentially operating as full-time employees. The labour Law states that they must receive medical aid and other benefits such as sick leave and pension.
"In the old days, IT contractors could actually end up costing companies less. But, with the new labour laws, companies are preferring to employ full-time staff; they are
seeing less point to use contractors. We will see a shrinkage in this market, even when the ICT industry picks up more noticeably."