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Implications to the UK recruitment market when Microsoft ends Windows XP support in 2013

Implications to the UK recruitment market when Microsoft ends Windows XP support in 2013


Microsoft will end support to Windows XP in April 2014 which we believe will have many ramifications including those on the IT Recruitment market here in the UK. In this blog I am looking to address some of the issues and look at what businesses need to do to avoid these upcoming issues.

Windows XP accounts for about 40% of installed desktops in the UK and judging by our clients a large number of companies have not even started upgrade projects yet. No Support means no patch updates for any new bugs, resulting in major security risks for companies still clinging onto XP so the ramifications to businesses are big.  These projects can typically take up to 2-3 years to compete and rely on large numbers of IT contractors to support the changes.

Repercussions to Businesses

Security risk associated with holding onto XP past April 2014 & some applications are not compatible with newer OS

Cost associated with the upgrade will be expensive if projects have not kicked off already.

Ultimate decision on whether to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 or whether desktop virtualisation is suitable for some users

Implications for the Recruitment market

Due to the large number of projects in the market there will be a huge pressure on the skills market. We are currently experiencing a lack of strong skills around Windows 7 & 8 migrations from Project Managers & Architects through to Software Auditors, Discovery Engineers, Application Packaging, SCCM, Desktop Engineers & Post-Deployment Support

This in turn is driving the daily rates of the best and most experienced contractors up.

We are seeing lots of permanent IT staff looking to venture into the contract market to take advantage of these projects and the rates on offer.

We are seeing huge demand from consultancies for these types of projects which indicate companies are much more interested in outsourcing these types of projects rather than handling them by themselves.

Good recruiters do very well if they partner up with companies and truly understand their requirements

Summary / Conclusions

It’s going to be a buoyant year for recruiters in the infrastructure space if they have a good client base. Demand for Windows 7 / 8 upgrade resource from Project Managers & Architects through to Packagers & deployment Engineers will be high this year and consequently the daily rates for these skill sets will carry on going up.

Consequently, if you are a company who have started or are starting one of these projects make sure you engage with your recruitment companies or internal recruiters and make sure you have the process on lock down from CV review to offer. If you delay the process candidates will go elsewhere because the market is buoyant – 48-72 hours from CV to offer is about right.

Make sure you get your daily rates right and that they are competitive so you do not lose candidates to your competitors or consultancies. We believe many of our clients & companies may swap existing apps that aren’t Windows 7 compatible for SaaS alternatives.

It is safe to say that companies will not be able to respond efficiently and effectively in time for the deadline and there will be plenty of XP users still working unsupported by Microsoft in 2014 and beyond. If this article has stimulated you into taking action and you want advice on daily rates, market conditions or just want to see what skills are out there please get in touch.


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