ICT employers are the most optimistic in hiring expectations, with more than 40 percent saying they plan to hire more permanent staff in the next three months, according to recruitment firm Hudson. The latest Hudson Report: Employment Expectations, reveals hiring expectations among New Zealand employers have increased for the third consecutive quarter.
But for the past two quarters, ICT has been leading across all sectors. In the previous survey, around 25 percent of ICT employers said they plan to increase their number of permanent staff.
“There is a sense that as businesses become more upbeat about future cash flows, they will start to revisit some of the large IT projects put on hold 12 to 19 months ago. Some organisations are also considering bringing the IT function in-house, generating a need to source staff directly,” says Hudson in a press statement. The report is based on interviews with 1237 employers across the country.
The report shows most employers are looking to increase rather than reduce headcount, with the number of employers looking to increase their permanent staff levels in the next three months, rising from 21.9 percent to 27.7 percent. The proportion looking to reduce headcount decreased from 11.2 percent to 8.2 percent, while the proportion of employers intending to hold their current staff levels steady declined from 66.9 percent to 64.1 percent.
In an interview with CIO NZ, Brendon Carian, director of ICT at Hudson, says it is not just ICT vendors, but businesses like financial services and large commercial firms including telecommunications that are looking for more ICT staff.
Hudson is also seeing huge demands for technology skill sets such as those around Websphere, SharePoint, CRM, and Java developers. Carian says there was also a high demand for both technical and business analysts and project managers towards the end of 2009.
Some of these technology skills are hard to find locally and Carian says more and more of their clients are open to sourcing these skills offshore.
Carian says employers who have been investing in their staff via leadership development programmes and looking after them in the lean times, hopefully will be better off this year and retain their talent leadership.
At the CIO level, he says, there have been more candidates than positions available in the past 12 months. Some senior experienced ICT candidates took on consulting positions. The current market should give CIOs more confidence, he says, but adds, “We need to be realistic. I use the words ‘cautious confidence’. It is not all going to happen at once.”
There is positive news for ICT staff on the salary front. Carian says there has not been a lot of movement in salaries in 2009, but he expects some of the salary freezes to come off in the coming months. He says based on Hudson’s recently completed salary report, any rises will be in the vicinity of “roughly 5 to 7 percent”.
“We should start to see some increases towards the end of the year. I don’t think we will necessarily see them in the first half of the year, but as optimism grows we will certainly start to see that reflected in the contracting rates again,” he says.
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