Have you delighted a customer lately?

Julie_webI’m sure you’ve heard of the term “delighting a customer”, where organisations make a great impression on a customer by going just the little bit further than expected. Well, I’m very glad to say ITCRA had one of these moments recently.

As an industry association one of the key benefits we provide to the employment sector is information – not always at our fingertips but, like the octopus with a brain on every tentacle, we have a bank of ‘knowledge’, resources and contacts.

And, I have to say, the questions often come from unexpected quarters which makes for interesting conversations around the meeting table when we report on the latest requests to the Research Committee.

Here’s what happened recently. I received a call from a global technology corporation with an office in remote regional Australia who was looking for information about rates for ICT contractors in their area. They were not having any luck sourcing the information they needed, as much of data was related to capital cities.

However, Google soon lead them to ITCRA. They found the ITCRA Trends Report cited on several IT trade news and blog sites but no mention of their particular setting.

So they picked up the phone and were discussing their challenge with me and asked if we might have any remuneration data on the roles they were looking to recruit in their region. Not a problem was my confident answer – as I knew there would be someone in our “knowledge” bank who could find the answer.

Within minutes I was in touch with our research experts at BurningGlass and gave them a quick brief. Soon after, BurningGlass were mining their data and comparing various roles and rates. Within 40 minutes of taking the initial call I had a market summary and rate estimates from BurningGlass and was sharing it with the global company, along with the latest Trends Report that didn’t cover the specific region in question but did profile Members who participate in our “market knowledge” program – SkillsMatch.

The response was, “Thanks for the email. Wow! This data is impressive – and in such a short turnaround. There are some differences in what I am seeing in the market here but it gives me a validated starting point – accepting it is based on a sample from your source”

This caller was expecting to wait days before receiving a response, not minutes. I think saying he was “delighted” is an understatement.

Did I make a sale with this? No.

Did I get a new Member? No.

Did I do my job? Yes because:

  • ITCRA delivered on its commitment to provide business intelligence to the market and to profile ITCRA Members
  • A global company who engages contractors now knows the ITCRA brand and the names of all companies who support the knowledge program (ie SkillsMatch Partners)
  • BurningGlass demonstrated its agility and its responsiveness to a quite challenging request and validated its place as a Gold Partner.

In continuing with the knowledge theme ITCRA has just released the ICT Employment Trends report for Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2015.

The results in this quarter’s Report reflect the continued trend of a slight shift in the proportion of roles in the market away from contract towards permanent positions. In the last quarter of 2015, 16% of new roles were for permanent positions. This has risen from 9% since the start of the year. Interestingly there was a jump in the proportion of permanent roles in New South Wales to 20%, whereas the previous high was 13%. To my NSW network reading this – is there something happening in NSW that can explain this spike or is it an anomaly?

Our analysis of market activity, in terms of the time it takes to fill roles, showed that across Australia the average time to fill permanent roles has decreased during 2015 from 67 to 45 days – is this a sign we are moving towards a buyer’s market?

We are also noticing a shift in the remuneration relationship between contract and permanent roles. Contract roles appear to be decreasing in value compared to over a year ago. Nationally, contractors’ average hourly rates have shifted from earning 58% more than permanent roles in Q1 2015, to now earning 23% more.

My instincts tell me that this trend will not continue given the size of the country’s contractor market. Rather, this is perhaps a reflection a shift of senior level roles moving from contract to permanent positions.

You can visit itcra.com to contribute data or subscribe to the report … and delight your customers with your knowledge (with a little bit of help from ITCRA)!

 

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