The eWork Barometer
Autumn 2016

About the eWork Barometer

The eWork Barometer is the leading survey of the consultant market in the Nordic region. The participating consultants are mainly residents of the four big Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland Norway and Sweden. 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 2007, a survey of the consultants’ perception of the market and its future.

Data were collected through survey interviews in August and September 2016. 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.

2.158 (1.902) people responded of which: Sweden: 1.570 (1.326), Norway 183 (172), Finland 160 (151), Denmark 128 (148), and other 117 (105).

(Figures in parenthesis refer to the results of the previous eWork Barometer.)

Summary

Thriving optimism

The eWork Barometer indicates that the optimism of the Nordic consultancy business continues to thrive. 45 (42) percent of the consultants have successfully managed to increase their hourly rates during the last 12 months. The average rate is now 96 euro per hour, compared to 94 euro in the previous Barometer. 26 (21) percent of the consultants have rates above 110 euro per hour. The group with the lowest hourly rates, under 70 euro, now comprises less than 15 percent (16 percent) of the consultants. The segment consisting of more expensive consultants (rates above 130 euro) nowadays corresponds to 12 (8.0) percent.

The average capacity utilization among the participants in the Barometer remains at 77 percent, but the fact that 83 (81) percent of the consultants have experienced an unchanged or increased capacity utilization during the last 12 months really shows how strong the demand is for consultancy services.

The optimisms among participants regarding the market outlook remains. 53 (53) percent of the consultants expect the market for general consultancy services to grow “somewhat” or “much” over the next 12 months. Only 9.1 (11) percent think that the market will decrease “somewhat” or “much”.

Demand

How will the demand for consulting services in general develop over the next 12 months?

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases much 1,0% 0,7% 3,8% 0,9%
Decreases some 4,8% 10,9% 17,1% 6,8%
Unchanged 33,3% 38,4% 34,8% 38,8%
Increases some 53,3% 45,7% 41,8% 49,0%
Increases much 7,6% 4,3% 2,5% 4,6%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases much 1,1% 1,8% 1,5%
Decreases some 8,4% 11,7% 6,3%
Unchanged 39,9% 39,9% 34,8%
Increases some 46,8% 41,7% 51,1%
Increases much 3,9% 4,9% 6,3%

How will the demand in your area of expertise develop over the next 12 months?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases much 1,0% 3,6% 3,8% 0,9%
Decreases some 1,9% 8,6% 11,5% 5,3%
Unchanged 35,2% 36,0% 31,8% 32,2%
Increases some 53,3% 45,3% 43,9% 51,4%
Increases much 8,6% 6,5% 8,9% 10,1%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases much 1,2% 2,7% 1,3%
Decreases some 6,6% 7,6% 4,8%
Unchanged 34,9% 32,1% 29,4%
Increases some 49,0% 48,2% 53,3%
Increases much 8,3% 9,4% 11,3%

As always, the respondents forecast for their own area of expertise differs from the how they look upon the consultancy market as a whole. The ratio of optimists, saying that the demand for consultancy in their own area will increase, is now 60 (61) percent, in comparison to 53 (53) percent for the consultancy market in general.

At the same time, the pessimists saying the demand will decrease in their own area is only 7.4 percent, compared to 9.3 percent in the last Barometer and 9.1 (11) percent saying the same about the whole consultancy market.

When it comes to their own sector, consultants have a direct business experience, and should therefore in fact be better informed.

Fees & Capacity

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

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
< 30 € 1,0% 1,6% 1,3% 0,9%
30-49 € 1,0% 8,2% 1,3% 2,9%
50-69 € 8,0% 18,9% 1,9% 11,5%
70-89 € 30,0% 32,8% 6,4% 36,6%
90-109 € 30,0% 19,7% 27,6% 29,3%
110-129 € 15,0% 16,4% 42,9% 11,5%
130-149 € 9,0% 0,8% 14,1% 3,5%
> 150 € 6,0% 1,6% 4,5% 3,9%

By group

IT Technology Business development
< 30 € 0,8% 2,3% 0,0%
30-49 € 2,4% 5,0% 2,1%
50-69 € 10,6% 22,6% 6,3%
70-89 € 38,7% 40,3% 17,3%
90-109 € 29,2% 17,6% 36,7%
110-129 € 13,2% 10,4% 26,3%
130-149 € 3,4% 0,5% 10,4%
> 150 € 1,7% 1,4% 0,9%

Average hourly rates €/h

Euro per hour
All respondents 96,4
Denmark 104
Finland 82
Norway 115
Sweden 94
IT/Telecoms 91
Technology 81
Business development 114

In the past year as many as 45 (42) percent of the consultants have successfully managed to increase their hourly rates. Another 22 (23) percent raised their rates the year before. The group with the lowest hourly rates, under 70 euro, have dropped to below 15 percent (16 percent). The average hourly rate is 96 euro, compared to 94 euro in the last Barometer. The group comprising the more expensive consultants (above 130 euro an hour) now includes 12 percent of the respondents, in comparison to 8.0 percent in spring 2016.

An indicator pointing in the same direction is that 83 (81) percent of the participants in the Barometer reports an increased or unchanged capacity utilization compared to 12 months ago. 62 (60) percent is satisfied with their workload, 34 (36) percent would like to work more and 3.8 (4.1) percent say they have too much work.

When was the last rise in your average hourly rate?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
During the last 12 months 45% 27% 47% 46%
1-2 years ago 23% 27% 24% 21%
2-3 years ago 13% 17% 11% 12%
3-5 years ago 3% 11% 8% 8%
More than 5 years ago 17% 18% 11% 13%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
During the last 12 months 43% 48% 44%
1-2 years ago 23% 19% 23%
2-3 years ago 12% 15% 13%
3-5 years ago 8% 5% 9%
More than 5 years ago 15% 13% 11%

How do you think your hourly rate will develop in the next 12 months?

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases 6,4% 7,9% 8,2% 7,5%
Unchanged 40,9% 62,1% 54,7% 49,3%
Increases 44,5% 18,6% 28,9% 32,4%
Don't know 8,2% 11,4% 8,2% 10,8%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases 7,7% 7,8% 8,2%
Unchanged 49,6% 49,6% 53,7%
Increases 31,9% 34,1% 30,0%
Don't know 10,7% 8,6% 8,2%

32 (31) percent of the participants in the Barometer expect to increase the hourly rate from these new levels. Only 7.4 (8.2) percent expect their rate to be lowered. 50 (52) percent of the consultants expects unchanged hourly rates.

Average capacity utilization

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
< 50 € 16,2% 32,1% 12,6% 12,2%
50-59 € 6,8% 10,7% 9,0% 5,7%
60-69 € 4,3% 3,6% 3,6% 3,5%
70-79 € 7,7% 7,1% 10,8% 8,8%
80-89 € 6,8% 10,0% 18,6% 15,6%
> 90 € 58,1% 36,4% 45,5% 54,3%

By group

IT Technology Business development
< 50 € 11,2% 17,2% 16,9%
50-59 € 5,1% 4,8% 10,4%
60-69 € 3,1% 2,0% 4,0%
70-79 € 6,8% 8,8% 12,2%
80-89 € 12,9% 22,4% 16,4%
> 90 € 60,8% 44,8% 40,0%

Are you satisfied with your average capacity utilization today?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Yes 62,9% 45,0% 61,7% 64,4%
No, it is too low 35,3% 51,7% 37,1% 31,2%
No, it is to high 1,7% 3,4% 1,2% 4,4%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
Yes 66,2% 58,3% 56,8%
No, it is too low 29,6% 38,2% 39,9%
No, it is to high 4,2% 3,5% 3,4%

How does your current capacity utilization compare to 12 months ago?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Higher 30,4% 21,8% 20,1% 23,7%
Unchanged 53,0% 47,9% 45,6% 62,5%
Lower 16,5% 30,3% 34,2% 13,7%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
Higher 21,9% 22,7% 27,8%
Unchanged 61,9% 58,7% 55,1%
Lower 16,2% 18,6% 17,1%

Competition

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

Show numbers +

Foreign by country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases much 0,0% 1,5% 1,9% 0,9%
Decreases some 3,8% 3,7% 5,7 4,4
Unchanged 61,5% 48,5% 53,2% 62,9%
Increases some 29,8% 38,2% 33,5% 27,4%
Increases much 4,8% 8,1% 5,7% 4,5%

Foreign by group

IT Technology Business development
Decreases much 1,3% 1,4% 0,8%
Decreases some 4,3% 4,5% 5,5%
Unchanged 55,0% 57,7% 68,7%
Increases some 33,4% 31,1% 20,6%
Increases much 6,0% 5,4% 4,5%

Among the respondents 60 (62) percent have not experienced any foreign competition during the past year, though 34 (35) percent of the respondents think that this competition will grow over the next 12 months. 13 (13) percent have experienced foreign competition on numerous occasions, whereas 27 (25) percent has experienced it a few times.

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

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Yes, on many occasions 18,3% 16,7% 17,0% 10,7%
Yes, on a few occasions 25,7% 23,2% 30,8% 26,4%
No, never 56,0% 60,1% 52,2% 62,9%

By group

IT Technology Business development
Yes, on many occasions 15,8% 14,7% 7,0%
Yes, on a few occasions 29,8% 26,2% 20,6%
No, never 54,4% 59,1% 72,4%

The fear of domestic competition is decreasing to some extent. In the present study 33 (35) percent of the consultants believe the competition to increase within the next 12 months. 6.0 (5.8) percent expect it to decrease.

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

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases much 0,0% 1,4% 0,0% 0,5%
Decreases some 3,8% 3,6% 7,6% 5,4%
Unchanged 65,7% 51,1% 50,6% 63,7%
Increases some 28,6% 36,7% 34,8% 27,5%
Increases much 1,9% 7,2% 7,0% 2,9%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases much 0,7% 0,9% 0,5%
Decreases some 6,3% 5,8% 3,8%
Unchanged 61,6% 61,9% 60,9%
Increases some 27,6% 27,4% 31,1%
Increases much 3,8% 4,0% 3,8%

The fear of domestic competition is decreasing to some extent. In the present study 33 (35) percent of the consultants believe the competition to increase within the next 12 months. 6.0 (5.8) percent expect it to decrease.

Flexibility

How long are you prepared to spend travelling for an assignment each day?

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
< 1 hour 20,0% 15,6% 36,1% 27,0%
< 2 hours 47,3% 37,6% 50,0% 46,2%
< 3 hours 18,2% 24,8% 9,5% 15,2%
< 4 hours 7,3% 7,1% 1,9% 4,2%
> 4 hours 7,3% 14,9% 2,5% 7,3%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
< 1 hour 29,4% 25,6% 19,3%
< 2 hours 47,5% 41,9% 46,0%
< 3 hours 14,9% 17,6% 15,8%
< 4 hours 3,6% 3,5% 7,0%
> 4 hours 4,6% 11,5% 12,0%

The mobility of consultants is in general good. 74 (75) percent of the consultants are prepared to spend at least 2 hours per day travelling for an assignment, 88 (87) percent are willing to accept overnight stays and 71 (73) percent will take on assignments abroad.

Are you willing to take on assignments involving regular overnight stays?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Yes, one or two overnight stays per month 33,6% 31,9% 39,6% 44,9%
Yes, one or two overnight stays per week 38,3% 39,0% 28,3% 27,1%
Yes, all week 19,6% 24,1% 18,9% 14,7%
No 8,4% 5,0% 13,2% 13,3%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Yes, one or two overnight stays per month 42,6% 37,2% 42,1%
Yes, one or two overnight stays per week 26,5% 27,0% 36,7%
Yes, all week 16,2% 22.1% 16,0%
No 14,7% 13,7% 5,2%

Are you willing to take on assignments abroad on a regular basis?

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
No 19,3% 18,6% 26,9% 32,2%
Yes, in my closest neighbouring country 7,3% 6,4% 7,5% 7,9%
Yes, anywhere in the Nordic region 12,8% 11,4% 7,5% 7,3%
Yes, in and outside the Nordic region 60,6% 63,6% 58,1% 52,6%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
No 34,0% 27,1% 20,4%
Yes, in my closest neighbouring country 8,0% 8,9% 5,0%
Yes, anywhere in the Nordic region 7,1% 11,1% 9,5%
Yes, in and outside the Nordic region 50,9% 52,9% 65,1%

Drivers

Administrative respite a growing driver

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Work on interesting and stimulating assignments 1,12% 1,21% 1,16% 1,28%
Have control over how much I work 0,42% 0,47% 0,50% 0,73%
Have control over how much I earn 0,54% 0,30% 0,47% 0,50%
Have control over where I work 0,35% 0,42% 0,38% 0,40%
Reduce my administrative burden 0,07% 0,20% 0,11% 0,08%
Network with industry colleagues 0,31% 0,30% 0,43% 0,25%
Get help to increase capacity utilization 0,52% 0,31% 0,29% 0,31%
Work on profitable assignments 0,76% 0,95% 0,82% 0,72%
Get a good work/life balance 0,57% 0,39% 0,54% 0,72%
Get help to develop new business 0,67% 0,74% 0,45% 0,42%
Get the opportunity for skills development 0,33% 0,61% 0,70% 0,50%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Work on interesting and stimulating assignments 1,18% 1,27% 1,39%
Have control over how much I work 0,65% 0,59% 0,71%
Have control over how much I earn 0,52% 0,39% 0,44%
Have control over where I work 0,41% 0,49% 0,36%
Reduce my administrative burden 0,11% 0,11% 0,05%
Network with industry colleagues 0,27% 0,38% 0,24%
Get help to increase capacity utilization 0,34% 0,30% 0,31%
Work on profitable assignments 0,75% 0,80% 0,69%
Get a good work/life balance 0,69% 0,52% 0,72%
Get help to develop new business 0,50% 0,45% 0,46%
Get the opportunity for skills development 0,47% 0,57% 0,56%

The respondents were asked to rank the top-three aspects of the consultancy profession that they valued the most. Positions were then converted into average ratings. Once again "Interesting and stimulating assignments" received the highest rating, 1.25 (1.23) of a total of 3.

Ranked as the second and third most important aspects of being a consultant were "Profitable assignments” and “Good work/life balance”.

The role of the consultant broker

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

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Very important 40,4% 20,9% 25,3% 26,2%
Quite important 33,0% 32,4% 42,4% 35,8%
Unimportant 11,9% 23,0% 21,5% 22,1%
No experience 14,7% 23,7% 10,8% 15,8%

By group

IT/Telecommunications Technology Business development
Very important 31,5% 19,5% 21,1%
Quite important 37,7% 32,6% 35,2%
Unimportant 18,9% 24,9% 24,9%
No experience 11,9% 23,1% 18,8%

Comments

In general the respondents view is that consultant brokers play an important role and 63 (64) percent feel that consultant brokers are quite or very important for their assignments. In this survey, 63 (62) percent have had personal experience of consultant brokers helping them to get an assignment. When asked in which areas the respondents think that a consultant broker might be able to help, the number one answer is once again “help to develop new 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@ework.se