Soft skills are becoming an essential focus of IT recruitment, with customer service and communication skills now weighted quite heavily for low level infrastructure support roles, according to the latest Hays Quarterly Report.
Predicting trends in IT recruitment from April to June 2015, the report said that while technical competence and proficiency across up-to-date technologies remains important, individuals with a proven tenacity and the ability to empathise with users takes precedence in many work environments.
As a result of this more personable approach, the report said candidates who are based locally are preferred by employers due to urgent project requirements and their desire to meet potential employees face-to-face.
The report also found a growing demand for IT workers with skills in hardware and deployment projects, due to a considerable number of organisations planning projects around system migrations and upgrades this year.
With regards to particular roles, the report said information security experts who have experience with penetration testing are expected to continue being snapped up as more and more industries realise the increasing necessity to protect their data.
Mid- to senior-level business analysts with particular domain experience were found to still be in demand, along with data analysts and data warehousing specialists as employers recognise the value of their data. The increased focus on data also means business intelligence developers with a background in analytics are becoming more important.
As more businesses move towards the cloud, storage engineers are also expected to be sought out to recommend a cloud-based storage solution and oversee installation; agile experience is especially sought for implementation projects, the report said. Front-end developers are in demand for full-time roles as businesses discover the importance of up-to-date online accessibility for customers, especially on mobile.
The report found contract types have been fairly typical, with a greater focus on permanent hires across the development space as managers look to secure long term staff. This is expected to be followed by a rise in contract requirements in order to meet end of financial year project deadlines.
“More and more candidates were found to be moving away from the contract market and looking to secure permanent positions, even if they have been habitual contractors for most of their career," the report read.
“Having said that, there is still a good level of flexibility from candidates and many are still willing to consider short-term contracts. Some are also open to relocating inter-state to secure contract roles.”
The report also found IT workers are more actively upskilling on their in areas such as Microsoft, ITIL and networking certifications, and are more inclined to take a lower salary if a role promises career progression.
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