The eWork Barometer
AUTUMN 2015

About the eWork Barometer

The eWork Barometer is the leading survey of the consultant market in the Nordic region. The participating consultants are residents of the four big Nordic countries plus a few respondents from Poland. Hence it offers a unique insight into the situation in the northern European consultant market.

eWork has built the Nordic market’s largest network of consultants with over 65,000 specialists in IT/telecom, engineering and business development. Within this network eWork has conducted the eWork Barometer survey since 2005, a survey of the consultants’ perception of the market and its future.

Data were collected through survey interviews. The basic structure of the survey is the same over time in order to allow comparison between surveys. This report is a summary of the results.

1771 people responded of which: Sweden: 1263, Finland 211, Norway 143, Denmark 121, and other (mostly Poland) 33.

Summary

Optimism and increased hourly rates

The eWork Barometer indicates that the Nordic consultancy business in in good shape. Many consultants have successfully managed to increase their hourly rates. The group with the lowest hourly rates, under EUR 70, have in one year decreased substantially from 30 to 22 percent. The group of middle-rate consultants have increased with four percentage points to 52 percent, and the also the most expensive consultants (rates above EUR 100) have increased somewhat.

The fact that the Nordic consultants have managed to increase the fees, despite a competitive environment is a sign of a strong demand for consultancy services.

An indicator pointing in the same direction is that 24 percent of the participants in the Barometer expect to increase the hourly rate from these new levels, whereas only 8 percent expect their rate to be lowered.

The participants give a fairly optimistic market outlook. 47 percent of the consultants expect the market for general consultancy services to grow “somewhat” or “much”, which is in line with the last survey (spring 2015).

Demand

What do you think about the development over the next 12 months regarding demand for consulting services in general?

Show numbers +

By country

Total Denmark Finland Norway Sweden Other
Decreases 7,7% 6,0% 13,5% 10,7% 6,8% 3,3%
Unchanged 62,4% 53,0% 59,6% 72,1% 63,0% 46,7%
Increases 23,8% 36,8% 15,0% 15,7% 24,4% 40,0%
Don't know 6,1% 4,3% 11,9% 1,4% 5,8% 10,0%
Respondents 1691 117 193 140 1211 30

By group

Total IT Technology Business development
Decreases much 2,2% 2,4% 1,8% 1,9%
Decreases some 12,2% 12,5% 12,4% 11,0%
Unchanged 38,3% 38,7% 40,2% 36,5%
Increases some 41,2% 40,7% 37,9% 44,2%
Increases much 6,1% 5,8% 7,7% 6,4%
Respondents 1636 1094 169 373

Just as in the spring 2015 survey the respondents indicate a stronger outlook for the consultant's own area of expertise than for the consultancy market in general. The ratio of strong optimists, saying that the demand for consultancy in their own area will “increase much”, is now 11 percent, compared to 10 percent in the spring study.

The pessimists saying the demand for consultancy in their own area is to “decrease much” is only 1.8 percent. The optimism regarding demand in the consultants own area is positive. When it comes to their own sector, consultants have a direct business experience, and should therefore in fact be better informed.

Fees

What is your, or your consultants' average hourly rate today?

Show numbers +

By country

Total Denmark Finland Norway Sweden Other
30 € or less 3,0% 0,0% 5,2% 0,7% 3,1% 12,0%
40 € 2,1% 0,9% 7,7% 0,0% 1,7% 0,0%
50 € 3,8% 2,8% 7,7% 2,2% 3,3% 12,0%
70 € 13,3% 13,2% 16,8% 2,2% 14,4% 4,0%
80 € 18,5% 20,8% 16,1% 5,2% 20,6% 8,0%
90 € 18,3% 14,2% 15,5% 9,7% 20,3% 12,0%
100 € 15,6% 15,1% 12,3% 11,9% 16,3% 28,0%
110 € 7,6% 6,6% 6,5% 13,4% 7,1% 12,0%
120 € 7,4% 11,3% 5,8% 19,4% 5,8% 4,0%
130 € 4,5% 7,5% 1,9% 18,7% 2,6% 8,0%
140 € 1,6% 1,9% 0,6% 6,7% 1,0% 0,0%
150 € or more 4,4% 5,7% 3,9% 9,7% 3,8% 0,0%
Respondents 1479 106 155 134 1059 25

By group

Total IT Technology Business development
30 € or less 3,0% 2,4% 8,8% 2,3%
40 € 2,1% 1,6% 6,6% 1,7%
50 € 3,7% 3,0% 11,7% 2,5%
70 € 13,4% 15,3% 17,5% 6,5%
80 € 18,7% 20,4% 24,8% 11,3%
90 € 18,1% 21,6% 9,5% 11,6%
100 € 15,7% 14,8% 6,6% 21,8%
110 € 7,6% 6,8% 2,2% 11,6%
120 € 7,3% 6,9% 5,8% 9,1%
130 € 4,5% 3,7% 1,5% 7,6%
140 € 1,6% 0,8% 1,5% 3,7%
150 € or more 4,5% 2,5% 3,6% 10,2%
Respondents 1483 993 137 353

In the past year many consultants have successfully managed to increase their hourly rates. The group with the lowest hourly rates, under EUR 70, have in one year decreased substantially from 30 to 22 percent. The group of middle-rate consultants have increased with four percentage points to 52 percent, and the also the most expensive consultants (rates above EUR 100) have increased somewhat.

An indicator pointing in the same direction is that 24 percent of the participants in the Barometer expect to increase the hourly rate from these new levels, whereas only 8 percent expect their rate to be lowered.

What do you think about your or your consultants' average hourly rate in 6 months?

Show numbers +

By country

Total Denmark Finland Norway Sweden Other
Decreases 7,7% 6,0% 13,5% 10,7% 6,8% 3,3%
Unchanged 62,4% 53,0% 59,6% 72,1% 63,0% 46,7%
Increases 23,8% 36,8% 15,0% 15,7% 24,4% 40,0%
Don't know 6,1% 4,3% 11,9% 1,4% 5,8% 10,0%
Respondents 1691 117 193 140 1211 30

By group

Total IT Technology Business development
Decreases 7,8% 7,1% 8,4% 9,5%
Unchanged 62,2% 62,8% 60,9% 61,1%
Increases 23,9% 24,3% 21,8% 23,8%
Don't know 6,1% 5,8% 8,9% 5,6%
Respondents 1695 1125 179 391

The proportion of consultants anticipating unchanged or increased hourly rates is flat, and the proportion expecting decreased rates is down (from 9.2 percent in the spring survey to 7.8 percent in the present survey.

Competition

How do you anticipate the competition to develop in the next 12 months?

Show numbers +

Domestic by country

Total Denmark Finland Norway Sweden Other
Decreases much 1,5% 0,9% 0,5% 1,5% 1,7% 0,0%
Decreases some 7,2% 7,8% 6,4% 9,6% 6,7% 18,5%
Unchanged 60,6% 64,3% 57,2% 48,1% 62,5% 44,4%
Increases some 24,2% 20,0% 25,1% 30,4% 23,7% 29,6%
Increases much 6,6% 7,0% 10,7% 10,4% 5,4% 7,4%
Respondents 1630 115 187 135 1166 27

Foreign by country

Total Denmark Finland Norway Sweden Other
Decreases much 0,9% 0,9% 0,5% 0,0% 1,0% 0,0%
Decreases some 5,3% 7,0% 3,2% 7,5% 5,2% 7,4%
Unchanged 58,2% 64,3% 36,7% 51,1% 61,9% 55,6%
Increases some 30,1% 26,1% 45,2% 39,1% 26,9% 33,3%
Increases much 5,5% 1,7% 14,4% 2,3% 4,9% 3,7%
Respondents 1627 115 188 133 1164 27

Domestic by group

Total IT Technology Business development
Decreases much 0,9% 1,1% 0,0% 0,5%
Decreases some 5,3% 6,4% 4,7% 2,4%
Unchanged 58,1% 58,8% 56,2% 57,0%
Increases some 30,2% 28,6% 30,2% 34,9%
Increases much 5,5% 5,1% 8,9% 5,1%
Respondents 1628 1089 169 370

Foreign by group

Total IT Technology Business development
Decreases much 1,5% 1,6% 1,2% 1,3%
Decreases some 7,2% 7,8% 4,7% 6,5%
Unchanged 60,6% 57,3% 60,9% 70,1%
Increases some 24,2% 25,4% 28,4% 18,9%
Increases much 6,6% 8,0% 4,7% 3,2%
Respondents 1631 1091 169 371

The competitive landscape is much the same as in the spring survey. Regarding the domestic competitors the competition is largely expected to remain the same. However notable is that the percentage expecting the domestic competition to decrease (somewhat or much) is only 6.2 percent, up from 7.3 percent in the spring Barometer. This is bit strange in the light of the good demand of services and the increasing consultancy fees.

Have you personally experienced competition from foreign consultants during the past 12 months?

Show numbers +

By country

Total Denmark Finland Norway Sweden Other
Yes, ten times or more 7,8% 4,6% 8,9% 7,4% 7,7% 22,2%
Yes, less than ten times 32,2% 20,4% 37,4% 43,4% 30,9% 40,7%
No, never 46,5% 34,3% 25,8% 41,2% 52,1% 22,2%
Don't know 13,5% 40,7% 27,9% 8,1% 9,3% 14,8%
Respondents 1634 108 190 136 1173 27

By group

Total IT Technology Business development
Yes, ten times or more 7,9% 9,1% 5,9% 5,4%
Yes, less than ten times 32,2% 34,6% 32,4% 25,2%
No, never 46,3% 42,5% 44,1% 58,7%
Don't know 13,6% 13,9% 17,6% 10,7%
Respondents 1636 1093 170 373

The fear of foreign competition is diminishing slowly. In the present study only 46.4 percent have not experienced any foreign competition during the past year, down from 45.1 percent in the spring study and the lowest figure since 2009. At the same time only 31 percent of the respondents think that the foreign competition will grow (somewhat or much) during the coming 12 months, which can be compared to 50 percent when the same question was asked 2010.

Flexibility

Where are you willing to work?

Show numbers +

By country

Total Denmark Finland Norway Sweden Other
Only in your community 32,2% 35,3% 33,1% 33,6% 32,2% 8,3%
Throughout the country but not abroad 10,8% 1,0% 20,0% 8,2% 11,0% 4,2%
In all the Nordic countries but not outside Scandinavia 9,1% 12,7% 11,7% 14,5% 7,7% 8,3%
Even outside Scandinavia 47,8% 51,0% 35,2% 43,6% 49,1% 79,2%
Respondents 1349 102 145 110 968 24

By group

Total IT Technology Business development
Only in your community 32,1% 36,3% 25,9% 23,1%
Throughout the country but not abroad 10,9% 11,0% 13,8% 9,6%
In all the Nordic countries but not outside Scandinavia 9,2% 9,5% 11,2% 7,8%
Even outside Scandinavia 47,8% 43,3% 49,1% 59,5%
Respondents 1348 899 116 333

The mobility of consultants is in general good, but somewhat declining from previous surveys. In the eWork Barometer Autumn 2015 32.2 percent of the consultants are NOT willing to move to another place if required to get an assignment, slightly more than the 31.0 percent in the last survey.

Drivers

Administrative respite a growing driver

Show numbers +

By country

Total Denmark Finland Norway Sweden Other
Interesting assignments 2,44 2,34 2,33 2,4 2,47 2,64
Possibility to direct how much I work and earn 2,09 2,11 2,14 1,83 2,1 2
Assignments at my community 1,96 1,73 1,9 2,05 1,97 0
Administrative unloading 1,65 0 1,67 3 1,58 1
Social networking with industry colleagues 1,44 1,8 1,44 1,63 1,38 2
Increase my occupancy 2,01 1,63 2,33 1,85 2,04 2
Profitable assignments 1,99 2,1 2,09 1,95 1,96 2,1
Possibility to combine work with family and spare time 1,8 1,78 1,8 1,79 1,81 1
Possibility of flexible working hours 1,6 1,7 1,65 1,53 1,56 2
Stimulating assignments 1,9 1,75 1,73 1,95 1,92 1,67
To avoid working with the selling-in of new assignments 1,64 2 1,78 1,67 1,57 2,67
Opportunity to skills development 1,56 1,61 1,7 1,77 1,49 1
Total 1,84 1,87 1,88 1,95 1,82 1,82
Respondents 1283 96 133 107 926 21

By group

Total IT Technology Business development
Interesting assignments 2,44 2,41 2,45 2,5
Possibility to direct how much I work and earn 2,09 2,1 2,03 2,09
Assignments at my community 1,96 1,95 2,06 1,97
Administrative unloading 1,65 1,57 3 1,5
Social networking with industry colleagues 1,44 1,45 1,5 1,41
Increase my occupancy 2,01 1,93 2 2,15
Profitable assignments 2 2,03 1,98 1,89
Possibility to combine work with family and spare time 1,8 1,91 1,54 1,65
Possibility of flexible working hours 1,6 1,61 1,88 1,45
Stimulating assignments 1,89 1,9 1,8 1,91
To avoid working with the selling-in of new assignments 1,64 1,61 1,6 1,69
Opportunity to skills development 1,56 1,55 1,75 1,51
Total 1,84 1,84 1,97 1,81
Respondents 1283 869 98 316

Consultants were asked to rate factors that influence their work situation, giving them in a rate from 1 to 3. “3” was the highest possible rate. "Interesting assignments" received the highest rating, just as it did in the former survey.

In second place with far fewer votes came "Possibility to direct how much I work and earn”. “Assignments at my community" and “Increase my occupancy” received an average of 2.0. “Administrative unloading” received a rate of 1.65, up from 1.5 in the spring Barometer.

The role of the consultant broker

How important are consultant brokers for your ability to develop new business?

Show numbers +

By country

Total Denmark Finland Norway Sweden Other
Very important 16,6% 26,5% 15,9% 12,0% 16,2% 13,0%
Important 30,6% 31,4% 26,2% 29,6% 31,6% 17,4%
Some importance 35,6% 23,5% 39,3% 48,1% 34,7% 43,5%
No importance at all 11,0% 4,9% 7,6% 8,3% 12,5% 8,7%
No experience 6,2% 13,7% 11,0% 1,9% 5,0% 17,4%
Respondents 1346 102 145 108 968 23

By group

Total IT Technology Business development
Very important 16,6% 18,2% 8,7% 15,0%
Important 30,6% 32,6% 22,6% 28,2%
Some importance 35,5% 35,2% 39,1% 35,1%
No importance at all 11,0% 8,8% 11,3% 16,8%
No experience 6,2% 5,2% 18,3% 4,8%
Respondents 1345 897 115 333

Comments

Respondents view is in general that consultant brokers play an important role. In this survey, nearly half, 47.3 percent have had personal experience of consultant brokers playing an important or a very important role for them to get an assignment, unchanged from the last survey the vast majority have at least some positive experience from consultant brokers adding value to their business.

Questions?

For questions or comments concerning this report, please contact:
Zoran Covic, President and CEO
+46 706 65 65 17
zoran.covic@ework.se

For questions about the report's implementation and additional results,
please contact Madeleine Bergenheim, Marketing Manager
+46 709 26 36 11
madeleine.bergenheim@ework.se