High demand for permanent staff over contractors in the IT sector highlights employer confidence and a focus on meeting long-term agendas for market growth, according to the latest Absolute IT Employer Intentions Survey. Released this week, the six-monthly Employer Intentions Report shows an expected 1600 vacancies are due to hit the market over the next 12 months – with 73 percent of the 550 respondents seeking permanent positions.
Absolute IT director Grant Burley says the trend is nationwide with Christchurch employers most focused on long-term agendas. In Christchurch 90 percent of respondents were seeking permanent staff, compared to 80 percent in Auckland and 67.8 percent in Wellington.
“Despite a very slight dip in hiring intentions over the past 12 months, which is negligible and part of the overall economic recessionary caution, companies are confidently setting long-term agendas for the market," says Burley. “This is reinforced by the fact that business analysts are in very high demand as they are often the first link in the development chain.”
Overall, 70 percent of respondents are planning to recruit over the next year while 77 percent have no plans to reduce staff. The main reason for recruitment is new project requirements (35 percent), up from 27.4 percent on the last survey, followed by staff churn (25 percent) and increased customer demand (19 percent).
The most highly sought after skills are business analysis (34.7 percent), with highest demand in Wellington and software development (33.8 percent) with highest demand in Auckland. Project management is also high on the list (29.2 percent).
Additionally, due to an expected increase in IT demand within business, nearly 15 percent of the new roles over the next 12 months will be for DBA and support role functions.
“Talent shortages remain a key issue for employers with .Net and Java developers, permanent business analysts and DBAs top of the list. Strong candidates are receiving multiple offers and the talent pool needs to be increased.
“While local knowledge and skills are still highly sought after, employers are increasingly seeking overseas candidates to fill the gaps.”
Mr Burley said competition for talent was encouraging more employers to enhance their workplace cultures with offering flexi time as well as additional benefits such as discounted gym membership, health insurance and buy/sell holiday schemes.
On a regional basis, Wellington has the highest level of opportunities, followed by Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch. More than 50 percent of Wellington respondents are looking to recruit in the next 3 months dropping back to 12 percent over the year; in Christchurch, 50 percent will recruit in the next 3 months falling to 14.3 percent over the year and in Auckland, nearly 47 percent will recruit in the next 3 months back to 13.2 percent over the year.
“Having recently opened an office in Hamilton, we’ve also been very interested to see a significant rise in recruitment activity in this hub of IT growth, with 62.5 percent of respondents looking to recruit in the next 3 months - 30 percent of those due to increased demand for IT business.”
New results also indicate social media is seen as an increasingly effective marketing and recruitment tool for the sector. More than 41 percent of respondents are using social media to promote their company’s employer brand, with 36 percent of them finding it to be effective or very effective. More than 53 percent do not use it.
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