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Super-contractors break through the 1,500 per day barrier

Von Essen says that the “super-contractors” are paid so highly by businesses because they possess a unique skill set and a wealth of experience that they’ve built up from moving from one challenging role to another.

Lydia Marref, partner at Von Essen, commented, “Super-contractors are individuals who are able to step in at a moment's notice and take on mission critical roles which require a very specific, highly sought after skill set.

“Five years ago &pound1,000 a day was seen as the upper end of the spectrum for contractors.”

While these “super-contractor” assignments can be found across a variety of sectors, there is a particular concentration in the oil & gas, financial services and IT sectors - where there is a combination of extreme skills shortages and high demand within particular roles.

Lydia Marref, partner at Von Essen, commented, “The oil & gas sector is facing a global shortage in the supply of talented and experienced employees, particularly in new growth areas like countries in Africa where there is a shortage of domestic industry expertise.”

“Super-contractors with the right mix of experience, skills and the willingness to work in new countries are able to command very high day rates.”

“A willingness to move to a new country at short notice, often too dangerous or remote locations is frequently a crucial factor in breaking through the &pound1,500 per day mark and becoming an oil & gas super-contractor.”

In financial services, demand and a shortage of supply for highly skilled roles like contract chief financial officer are combining to push daily rates into “super-contractor” territory.

Marref added, “The culture in financial services is a willingness to pay contractors handsomely if the business can see that the individual is worth it.”

“Poaching from rival firms is another reason that contractors are in such high demand from financial services businesses. Super-contractors are well placed, with their wealth of experience and skills, to step seamlessly into the shoes of their predecessor.”

According to Von Essen “super-contractors” within the IT and Telecoms sector are being contracted for their specialist skills, like handling cyber-security problems for businesses.

“The specialist skills that super-contractors can provide make them a valuable asset for any company able to tempt them with very high rewards,” concludes Lydia Marref, partner at Von Essen.

Examples of contractor roles with daily rates of &pound1,500 or more

Role

Day rate

Sector

Location

Drilling superintendent

&pound2,140

Oil & Gas

Tanzania

Group Finance Director

&pound1,750

Global PR and communications

UK

Pilot Coordinator/Drilling Rig and Service Contractor Specialist

&pound1,600

Oil & Gas

Canada

Petrophysicist

&pound1,550

Oil & Gas

Norway

Contract Managing Director

&pound1,500

Aerospace/ Defence

UK

Insurance Contract Programme Manager

&pound1,500

Financial Services/Insurance

UK

Shared Service Creation/Implementation

&pound1,500

IT & Telecoms

Netherlands

Contract CFO

&pound1,500

Consumer goods

Nigeria

Contract CFO

&pound1,500

Technology

Netherlands

Contract European Marketing Director

&pound1,500

Consumer goods

UK

 

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