Almost half of all ICT employers across Australia have flagged plans to increase their staff numbers before the year’s end, according to a survey by recruitment firm Hudson.
The quarterly survey, which examined the views of 3840 employers across Australia and New Zealand, found that despite a national two-year low in confidence across all industries to just 27.9 per cent, confidence across the ICT industry grew 3.9 per cent to 42.7 per cent.
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Some 49.3 per cent of ICT employers plan to increase staff headcounts; in the ACT where, 59.5 per cent of employers plan to increase staff number by the end of December.
“With a number of upcoming major systems implementations there is consistent demand for IT skills in the federal public sector, especially strong project management skills, either permanent or contract, as well as for contract analyst programmers and business analysts,” Hudson director of IT practice, Kevin Alexander, said in a statement.
Alexander said organisations had scaled back significantly throughout the global financial crisis but due to Australia’s quick recovery rate, employers were now seeking IT skills for increasing workloads.
According to the report, project management and business analysis skills are also being sought in the ACT with 35.7 per cent of employers in the sector keen to keep headcount steady over the coming three months.
On a state-by-state basis, Queensland also indicated strong results, recording a three year high in employer confidence of 62.2 per cent. The state also recorded the highest employer hiring intentions in the country with 64.9 per cent or those surveyed looking to increase staff numbers.
NSW felt the effects of economic uncertainty overseas and experienced its seventh consecutive decline in confidence of 15.3 per cent over the quarter. However, some 41.7 per cent of employers plan to increase hiring intentions in the next quarter.
“Mission critical and niche skills in financial applications, CRM, SAP and architecture remain in high demand,” the report reads. “As many large scale projects either are placed on hold or have already been resourced, demand for project management and business analyst roles are slowing.”
Victoria, heralded as Australia’s “IT hub”, experienced growth in confidence to 35.7 per cent, while 41.1 per cent of employers signal plans to increase hiring, specifically across project management, business analysis and architecture, as well as development and network engineering.
“It is clear the Australian labour market is reflecting broader global uncertainty as well as the already strong differences between sectors resulting from a two-speed economy,” Alexander said. “The last two years have represented some of the most testing and challenging times in recent history for the IT sector and it is extremely encouraging to see the resilience in the sector.”
According to Alexander, ICT employers should also revise their recruitment process with the continuing skill shortage providing a challenge in finding the correct level and type of skill.
“In light of this demand hiring managers in the IT sector need to engage their existing workforce or risk losing staff to customers or competitors,” he said. “To stand out from the competition and to ensure current and future growth by hiring the best talent, employers must invest in their brand by effectively communicating a strong employee value proposition that goes beyond a simple focus on salary.”
In August, the firm advised employers to examine their recruitment process after an annual survey across Australia and New Zealand found almost half of participants new ICT hires were considered not up to the job.
It also indicated that the ongoing skills shortage and a competitive employment market had left businesses under pressure to employ staff and making poor hiring decisions.
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