The IT industry's hiring activity is expected to surge as Australian businesses continue to align business strategy with IT investment.
According to findings from recruitment firm Hays, the alignment driving this increase in IT hiring is aimed at supporting new business models and systems to boost efficiency, and enhance customer engagement in the digital era.
As the ongoing reliance on digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things, continues, candidates with the ability to translate data into actionable business outcomes will be valued, alongside cyber security expertise in protection, compliance and audit of such data.
In New South Wales, and specifically Sydney, the market continues to be busy for both temporary and permanent roles, as businesses increasingly invest in new technology.
Report findings reveal that this has lead to strong opportunity for project roles - specifically technical SAP and agile experience will be highly valued.
Meanwhile in Victoria, there are fewer project services candidates, and a shortage of candidates in the e-Health space.
Further down in South Australia, there are few roles at the senior level, with vacancy activity instead largely centred on areas such as business analysis, IT security, risk management and ERP/CRM functional and technical consultants.
Hays quarterly report also showed that demand in project/program management has been limited to short to medium term contracts, with business analysts instead in focus - there continues to be a strong supply of quality candidates.
Across the country in Western Australia, there is still a focus to remain on contracts between three and six months.
According to Hays, most employers in the state are looking for candidates who can work in an agile environment and closely with a team, so communicative skills are highly valued.
Specific to the Northern Territory, demand is rising for IT staff as a number of organisations localise their services rather than use interstate solutions.
The report also showed some IT consultancies have seen increased activity, and require entry-level IT staff across all specialisations, while development and software consultancies are focused on recruiting talented and experienced staff.
Meanwhile in a post-election ACT, the recruitment firm claims new project work will start to emerge.
While the market is primarily contractor driven, there has been a continued upswing in permanent vacancy activity, especially in the team lead area.
The job market is active with clear hiring intentions for the months ahead, according to Hays.
The firm said certain skill shortages have emerged and, in response, employers are more flexible in the skills and level of experience they will consider. They are also more willing to train new employees.
Additionally, report findings have seen a continued push for permanent hires in software development as employers seek to retain talent and IP in the long term. Candidates in demand often receive multiple offers.
Specifically in development, more female team members are sought to improve gender diversity.
Hays said that in the Northern Territory, highly specialised professionals are required to support new projects being undertaken at both state and local level as the government organisations have undergone large system changes.
According to the research, the trend has been to give these roles to local IT consultancies that take some liability for completion of projects to deadline. The report also showed fixed-term contracts and daily rate contractors are in higher demand than ever before.
High demand hotspots
Infrastructure and support
Building and deploying software has continued to be a key area of focus for many organisations. Therefore, DevOps remains a skill in high demand within the technology space.
Hays claimed there has been particular increase in demand for candidates with skills in software deployment tools like Jenkins, Bamboo and Chef to automate the deployment of customised applications.
Office 365 Implementation Engineers are sought too. There are a host of Office 365 upgrade projects coming up and not enough candidates with experience delivering this upgrade in the past.
In terms of cyber security, there is a strong demand for candidates with expertise in data protection, compliance and auditing with CISSP and CISM certifications viewed favourably.
Generalist Microsoft Windows Server engineers with virtualisation skills are sought to upgrade or refresh sites and maintain existing infrastructure.
Network engineers with particular skills in Cisco switching and routing are needed, too, in response to the increase in projects to upgrade and refresh networks.
SCCM application packagers are also in high demand as Windows 10 is rolled out.
Digital and Software Development
According to Hays, skills in frameworks such as Angular.js, Node.js, Ember.js, Backbone.js, Ext.js and React.js are in greatest demand.
The firm added that employers are recruiting candidates who don’t necessarily have commercial experience, but have technical knowledge, passion and strong stakeholder management skills and significant rates and salaries are on offer.
The ERP/CRM space has seen significant demand for candidates with expertise in cloud technologies such as Salesforce, particularly for development, integration, administration, and application analysis roles.
These candidates are rare and therefore often receive multiple offers. Microsoft Dynamics CRM remains popular, with demand coming for candidates experienced on the 2013 version or later.
Hays said Business Intelligence/Data warehouse engineers are needed too. A number of state government agencies require engineers, analysts and coordinators in this space.
Increasing reliance on in-house data analytics has also spurred growth, especially in the government space. Big data is an area that will continue to grow as employers seek to establish teams to utilise technologies, such as Apache Hadoop and Spark.
Projects and Business Change
Experienced IT Project Coordinators and Managers are sought by organisations to implement new systems, said Hays.
Many departments are looking to either implement a brand new capability in Dynamics CRM or completely overhaul their Dynamics CRM capability to migrate into the most current versions and/or include cloud solutions. As a result, Dynamics CRM solutions architects candidates are in high demand.
According to the report, a large number of international IT professionals with self-funded visas have moved to the Northern Territory. These candidates are often highly experienced but can struggle to find appropriate jobs to match their niche skill sets.
The firm also claimed that there is a growing trend for candidates to ‘live’ their craft if they are to secure the best job opportunities - this means being an active networker, event attendee, and contributor to online sites such as stakoverflow and github.
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