4 Freelance Trends For 2023 in the IT Sector
As we bid adieu to the pandemic in 2022, hoping for a “normal” new year, the war in Ukraine arrived along with inflation, and a scenario of uncertainty for the whole world (including freelancers). What can IT freelancers expect in 2023? More uncertainty, some stability, or a mix of both?
1. Remote Work Is The New Normal
Only a few years ago, especially in Europe, IT freelancers had to go into work at a client’s office along with the rest of the staff. One of the favorable changes that emerged after the pandemic was the acceptance of remote work. While remote working started off as a necessity to getting things done during the pandemic, it is now a widely accepted way of working across the globe.
More and more companies are leaning towards remote working, sometimes only requiring freelancers to be present in person during the kick-off stage of the project alone (for example, the first week and then it is a remote project the rest of the time).
On the other hand, it is also common to see hybrid offers with 80% remote and 20% on-site, which implies that the freelancer goes to the office sporadically for meetings, discussions, and progress reports.
No one knows how the economy will evolve and recover in 2023 (or if it will recover at all). But what we do know is that remote and hybrid work will be the new ways of working as a freelancer. Freelancers rely now more than ever on flexibility, and companies and recruiters should keep this trend in mind if they want to remain competitive and continue to attract talent.
Having 100% of your staff be permanent employees is no longer going to be the norm, but rather having a mixed team of employees, consultants and freelancers who are capable of working together to carry out projects more efficiently and quickly will be the way forward.
2. Specialized IT Professionals High In Demand
It’s been three years since the pandemic began and since then the freelance sector has experienced a boom.
Despite the fact that many companies are having difficulties finding talent (especially in IT), and that there is a decline in the number of job opportunities available due to the current uncertainty of the market, companies are beginning to understand that freelancers can help them get their projects off the ground. This is the reason why IT professionals specializing in different technologies looking to get interesting jobs can expect to see more opportunities in this new year.
3. Freelancers Will Increase Their Rates
With the ongoing energy crisis, inflation, massive layoffs at large tech companies, etc., one would expect freelancers to lower their hourly rate across the board in order to remain competitive. However, most freelancers – in particular those specialized in technology – are planning to increase their rates given the current situation to compensate for the rise in prices and thus maintain their income.
According to the industry association Bitkom, (German) tech companies currently have about 137,000 job openings for IT experts. This demand allows the most experienced and specialized talents to increase their freelancing rates.
4. Top IT Skills in 2023
Companies are now paying more attention to data and starting their digital transformation processes. This is a great opportunity for freelancers to improve and deepen their knowledge based on what the market demands. Programming languages and business-oriented applications are increasingly attractive to companies.
What technologies are going to be most in demand in 2023?
Apps, software and tools – SAP experts high in demand
When it comes to business solutions, SAP dominates the business software industry. Due to the flexibility – thanks to its modifiable source code – that SAP offers to companies thanks to its modifiable source code, skilled professionals are able to incorporate their own requirements into the software.
As a result, SAP experts are in high demand and they are one of the freelance profiles with the highest hourly rates. Even during the pandemic, freelance fees remained stable.
Although freelancers have struggled with their own set of unique challenges over the past couple years, things are slowly taking a turn for the better. Companies are now more willing than ever to offer remote positions to freelancers, allowing them to work from home or even continue working as a digital nomad.