The eWork Barometer
SPRING 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 70,000 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 in February and March 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.

1.902 people responded of which: Sweden: 1.326, Finland 151, Norway 172, Denmark 148, and other 105.

Summary

The optimism continues

The eWork Barometer indicates that the Nordic consultancy business in in good shape. Many consultants have successfully managed to increase their hourly rates. The average rate is now 94 euro per hour and one third of the consultants have rates between 90 and 110 euro. The group with the lowest hourly rates, under 70 euro, have in one year decreased substantially from 22 to 16 percent. The most expensive consultants (rates above 150 euro) have also decreased somewhat, from 4.4 to 3.9 percent.

Still, the fact that 42 percent of the participants in the Barometer have increased the hourly rate and 81 percent haven’t lowered their capacity utilization within the last 12 months really shows the strong demand for consultancy services.

The participants give a very optimistic market outlook. 53 percent of the consultants expect the market for general consultancy services to grow “somewhat” or “much” over the next 12 months, compared to 47 percent in the last survey (autumn 2015). On mere percent think that the market will decrease 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 0,0% 0,8% 4,2% 0,9%
Decreases some 4,8% 8,5% 37,5% 7,0%
Unchanged 26,4% 42,6% 33,3% 37,0%
Increases some 62,4% 43,4% 23,6% 49,9%
Increases much 6,4% 4,7% 1,4% 5,3%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases much 0,1% 1,8% 0,3%
Decreases some 10,4% 11,4% 7,9%
Unchanged 37,3% 36,7% 34,7%
Increases some 47,1% 44,0% 50,6%
Increases much 4,1% 6,0% 6,5%

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 0,0% 0,0% 2,1% 0,8%
Decreases some 5,6% 4,1% 9,7% 4,2%
Unchanged 54,0% 51,2% 48,6% 62,9%
Increases some 32,3% 34,1% 34,7% 27,1%
Increases much 8,1% 10,6% 4,9% 5,0%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases much 0,5% 0,6% 1,5%
Decreases some 5,5% 6,1% 5,3%
Unchanged 53,0% 62,8% 71,4%
Increases some 33,6% 23,8% 18,9%
Increases much 7,5% 6,7% 2,9%

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 35 percent, in comparison to 53 percent for the consultancy market in general.

Yet, the pessimists saying the demand will decrease in their own area is to decrease is only 6.0 percent, compared to 10.8 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 € 0,9% 0,9% 2,1% 1,3%
30-49 € 1,7% 9,4% 0,7% 2,3%
50-69 € 8,6% 17,9% 3,5% 13,6%
70-89 € 31,9% 36,8% 12,8% 36,1%
90-109 € 35,3% 19,7% 31,9% 38,0%
110-129 € 12,9% 8,5% 30,5% 3,3%
130-149 € 6,9% 0,9% 13,5% 4,2%
> 150 € 1,7% 6,0% 5,0% 1,3%

By group

IT Technology Business development
< 30 € 1,5% 3,2% 0,6%
30-49 € 3,6% 1,3% 1,9%
50-69 € 13,4% 15,2% 7,4%
70-89 € 34,0% 40,5% 18,6%
90-109 € 34,5% 29,7% 28,2%
110-129 € 9,9% 7,0% 21,1%
130-149 € 2,0% 3,2% 9,9%
> 150 € 1,1% 0,0% 12,4%

Average hourly rates €/h

Euro per hour
All respondents 94,0
Denmark 96,4
Finland 85,6
Norway 109,3
Sweden 93,4%
IT/Telecoms 88,1%
Technology 85,4
Business development 112,0

In the past year as many as 42 percent of the consultants have successfully managed to increase their hourly rates. Another 23 percent raised their rates the year before.The group with the lowest hourly rates, under 70 euro, have in one year decreased substantially from 22 to 16 percent. The average hourly rate is 94 euro, and the group of middle-rate consultants (90-110 euro an hour) now comprises one third of the respondents.

An indicator pointing in the same direction is that 81 percent of the participants in the Barometer reports an increased or unchanged capacity utilization compared to 12 months ago. 60 percent is satisfied with their workload, 36 percent would like to work more and 4 percent 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% 30% 39% 43%
1-2 years ago 19% 21% 27% 22%
2-3 years ago 15% 17% 9% 12%
3-5 years ago 2% 11% 7% 10%
More than 5 years ago 20% 21% 18% 13%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
During the last 12 months 40% 47% 42%
1-2 years ago 22% 26% 23%
2-3 years ago 12% 9% 12%
3-5 years ago 9% 6% 9%
More than 5 years ago 16% 11% 15%

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

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases 7,9% 8,5% 15,1% 7,3%
Unchanged 50,4% 57,7% 52,1% 51,2%
Increases 33,1% 23,1% 27,4% 31,7%
Don't know 8,7% 10,8% 5,5% 9,9%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
Decreases 8,4% 8,8% 7,3%
Unchanged 51,9% 49,1% 52,0%
Increases 30,0% 33,9% 32,2%
Don't know 9,7% 8,2% 8,5%

31 percent of the participants in the Barometer expect to increase the hourly rate from these new levels, compared to 24 percent in the autumn 2015 survey. Only 8 percent expect their rate to be lowered, the same percentage as in the last Barometer. 52 percent of the consultants expects unchanged hourly rates, compared to 62 percent in the autumn survey.

Average capacity utilization

Are you satisfied with your average capacity utilization today?

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Yes 58,0% 37,9% 54,3% 63,2%
No, it is too low 39,9% 60,0% 43,7% 32,2%
No, it is to high 2,2% 3,0% 2,0% 4,6%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
Yes 62,4% 57,5% 51,3%
No, it is too low 33,1% 39,7% 45,0%
No, it is to high 4,5% 2,8% 3,7%

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

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Higher 23,7% 18,9,% 15,7% 23,4%
Unchanged 62,2% 52,3% 50,7% 60,1%
Lower 14,1% 28,8% 33,6% 16,5%

By group

IT / Telecoms Technology Business development
Higher 20,5% 27,2% 26,1%
Unchanged 60,9% 57,2% 53,3%
Lower 18,6% 15,6% 20,6%

Competition

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

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Domestic by country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases much 0,0% 0,0% 0,0% 0,3%
Decreases some 3,2% 2,3% 6,9% 5,7%
Unchanged 62,1% 49,6% 45,5% 62,1%
Increases some 29,0% 38,0% 42,1% 29,0%
Increases much 5,6% 10,1% 5,5% 2,9%

Foreign by country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Decreases much 0,0% 0,0% 2,1% 0,8%
Decreases some 5,6% 4,1% 9,7 4,2
Unchanged 54,0% 51,2% 48,6% 62,8%
Increases some 32,3% 34,1% 34,7% 27,2%
Increases much 8,1% 10,6%% 4,9% 5,0%

Domestic by group

IT Technology Business development
Decreases much 0,1% 1,2% 0,0%
Decreases some 6,5% 5,4% 4,5%
Unchanged 59,2% 53,9% 61,4%
Increases some 30,1% 34,1% 31,5%
Increases much 4,0% 5,4% 2,7%

Foreign by group

IT Technology Business development
Decreases much 0,5% 0,6% 5,3%
Decreases some 5,5% 6,1% 5,3%
Unchanged 52,9% 62,8% 71,4%
Increases some 33,6% 23,8% 18,9%
Increases much 7,5% 6,7% 2,9%

In the present study 62 percent have not experienced any foreign competition during the past year, though 35 percent of the respondents think that this competition will grow over the next 12 months. A mere 13 percent have experienced foreign competition on numerous occasions, wereas 25 percetn 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, ten times or more 14,2% 21,4% 18,5% 11,0%
Yes, less than ten times 28,3% 23,8% 26,7% 24,1%
No, never 57,5% 54,8% 54,8% 64,9%

By group

IT Technology Business development
Yes, ten times or more 15,8% 16,9% 6,7%
Yes, less than ten times 27,5% 27,1% 19,6%
No, never 56,6% 56,0% 73,6%

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

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

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
< 1 hour 21,3% 14,7% 40,1% 24,8%
< 2 hours 44,9% 38,8% 38,7% 47,6%
< 3 hours 22,8% 19,4% 9,2% 16,9%
< 4 hours 4,7% 9,3% 4,9% 4,8%
> 4 hours 6,3% 17,8% 7,0% 5,9%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
< 1 hour 26,1% 24,0% 20,9%
< 2 hours 47,1% 44,9% 45,1%
< 3 hours 16,3% 19,2% 17,9%
< 4 hours 5,4% 3,6% 6,3%
> 4 hours 5,2% 8,4% 9,9%

The mobility of consultants is in general good. 46 percent of the consultants are prepared to spend up to 2 hours per day travelling for an assignment, 87 percent are willing to accept overnight stays and 57 percent will take on assignments outside the Nordic region.

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 32,5% 31,5% 37,5% 43,2%
Yes, one or two overnight stays per week 34,1% 26,2% 30,6% 26,3%
Yes, all week 24,6% 37,7% 16,0% 16,6%
No 8,7% 4,6% 16,0% 13,9%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Yes, one or two overnight stays per month 40,5% 41,9% 38,1%
Yes, one or two overnight stays per week 25,8% 24,6,% 34,2%
Yes, all week 19,4% 24.0% 18,2%
No 14,3% 9,6% 9,5%

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

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
No 18,1% 17,8% 29,9% 29,5%
Yes, in my closest neighbouring country 15,0% 4,7% 4,2% 7,6%
Yes, anywhere in the Nordic region 8,7% 9,3% 13,2% 7,6%
Yes, in and outside the Nordic region 58,3% 68,2% 52,8% 55,2%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
No 29,7% 19,8% 22,8%
Yes, in my closest neighbouring country 7,3% 7,8% 7,1%
Yes, anywhere in the Nordic region 8,2% 10,8% 8,0%
Yes, in and outside the Nordic region 54,7% 61,7% 62,0%

Drivers

Administrative respite a growing driver

Show numbers +

By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Work on interesting and stimulating assignments 1,30% 1,20% 0,91% 1,22%
Have control over how much I work 0,31% 0,36% 0,53% 0,70%
Have control over how much I earn 0,51% 0,52% 0,32% 0,50%
Have control over where I work 0,40% 0,20% 0,29% 0,48%
Reduce my administrative burden 0,14% 0,16% 0,14% 0,07%
Network with industry colleagues 0,39% 0,37% 0,45% 0,25%
Get help to increase capacity utilization 0,43% 0,39% 0,30% 0,25%
Work on profitable assignments 0,81% 1,06% 0,91% 0,60%
Get a good work/life balance 0,42% 0,55% 0,44% 0,70%
Get help to develop new business 0,64% 0,48% 0,35% 0,47%
Get the opportunity for skills development 0,47% 0,66% 0,82% 0,58%

By group

IT/Telecoms Technology Business development
Work on interesting and stimulating assignments 1,21% 1,26% 1,26%
Have control over how much I work 0,64% 0,37% 0,69%
Have control over how much I earn 0,50% 0,46% 0,48%
Have control over where I work 0,44% 0,48% 0,43%
Reduce my administrative burden 0,10% 0,08% 0,05%
Network with industry colleagues 0,28% 0,35% 0,30%
Get help to increase capacity utilization 0,32% 0,35% 0,30%
Work on profitable assignments 0,68% 0,85% 0,63%
Get a good work/life balance 0,64% 0,59% 0,65%
Get help to develop new business 0,47% 0,35% 0,51%
Get the opportunity for skills development 0,59% 0,79% 0,59%

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

In second and third place, but with remarkably lower scores, came "Profitable assignments” and “Good work/life balance” with 0.69 and 0.64

The role of the consultant broker

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

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By country

Denmark Finland Norway Sweden
Very important 41,70% 21,40% 19,30% 27,70%
Quite important 31,50% 31,70% 45,50% 36,10%
Unimportant 14,20% 26,20% 23,40% 23%
No experience 12,60% 20,60% 11,70% 13,20%

By group

IT/Telecommunications Technology Business development
Very important 33,50% 18% 21,10%
Quite important 35,10% 31,70% 37,50%
Unimportant 19,80% 28,10% 27,10%
No experience 11,60% 22,20% 14,30%

Comments

In general the respondents view is that consultant brokers play an important role and 64 percent feel that consultant brokers are quite or very important for their assignments. In this survey, 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 “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 Thomas Dalebring, Competence & Marketing Director
+46 734 03 43 43
thomas.dalebring@ework.se