IT employment agencies are predicting the coming year will become much busier as larger projects begin to take up the employment slack but resellers are still holding out on hiring extra staff.
“When it comes to resellers, we haven't had much movement,” says Leon van Niekerk, sales general manager at Cube People IT Recruitment in Auckland. “I do have one reseller client who's currently looking for engineering resources, and if I look at Seek and TradeMe trends, engineering is where most of the movement is in reseller land.”
But van Niekerk sees this year as one of strong growth in the IT industry in general as large projects get underway and business confidence in the economy returns.
“2012/2013 will see some big infrastructure and new desktop roll-out projects come up. This is because of new Microsoft product versions coming through. We can already see companies getting ready for this, as we have been picking up more systems engineering roles lately.
“Many software development companies are also moving into a growth phase, and I believe it has something to do with confidence in some form of economic stability. Although we are getting many software and web development roles, there are so many candidates in the market to fill those roles, so it is unfortunately a 'free for all' type of market for us.”
The increased activity in the IT industry is a portent of better times ahead for all, including resellers, says van Niekerk.
“This leads me to focus my efforts more on infrastructure, for a couple of reasons actually. One reason is my background: I used to be an infrastructure engineer, and I got into sales of infrastructure, so this differentiates me from most other recruiters. This is the same for the rest of the Cube People consultants - we're all from the IT space.”
Van Niekerk says that although there is a large pool of skilled engineers and IT skilled labour force, the prediction is for pressure to build soon as demand for skilled people grows. But current demands are focused on engineers to work on the roll out of large infrastructure projects.
“The other reason for focusing on infrastructure is the fact that there are so many projects coming up, and there aren't that many candidates in the market, so urgency and know-how will help us fill those roles,” he says.
Lyndon Hawk, managing director of Helium Recruitment which specialises in filling IT vacancies in the Wellington region, says that “Wellington is very much government focused with the AOG initiatives”. “They’re restructuring and retrenching and that will have an impact. The future game is more about contracting and there’s still a terrible shortage of skills. Customers want a range of people with current skills in technology and it’s not always possible. I believe clients need to think about training and developing staff.
“We are also seeing private sector companies in growth mode with demand for staff across all sectors. These are in both permanent and contract areas as government agencies look to outsource,” he says.