Report: IT recruitment will remain buoyant despite economic slowdown

The new Hays Quarterly Report claims management skills will be in hot demand this year

Public sector spending, telecoms innovation and a need for better systems management will keep the recruitment market buoyant this year despite the economic slowdown, a new report claims.

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report, recruiters will see a return to demand and supply in 2009 as more organisations attempt to minimise the effects of the global economic situation. Hays IT division manager, Peter Noblet, said companies were placing more focus on a candidate’s management skills and highlighted risk management, profit maximisation, process improvement and business development experience as critical.

“One trend we have seen is a move into service management – companies are looking to ensure that they spend on the right technology, but also want to use the experts to implement it,” he said. “It’s a natural reaction to what is going on in the overall market right now.”

The Hays report found the telecoms and public sectors as key areas of opportunity and flagged the Federal Government’s National Broadband Network project as one example of increased IT spending. Systems administration, server support, project management and .Net programming skills were most in demand.

Areas of business experience less demand include those relating to new projects, as well as the wealth management and finance vertical, Noblet said.

Skills most sought after in first quarter of the year are project managers, .Net, SharePoint and Java developers as well as systems engineers with virtualisation/VMware and Cisco voice and networking expertise. In the enterprise sector, the Hays report cited SAP and Oracle database skills were high in demand.

Similarly to the IT industry, Noblet said many boutique recruitment agencies were doing it tough and predicted more rationalisation this year.

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