ICT skills shortage persists, says recruiter

ICT skills shortage persists, says recruiter

Manpower Professional says difficulty finding ICT staff during the recession is continuing as the market picks up.

It says in the midst of last year’s recession, 60 percent of ICT employers had trouble sourcing staff, and ICT professionals were sitting at the top of the local Skills in Demand list.

“Now that the economic signs appear to be more positive, the skills shortage is likely to become more acute. Employers need to focus on having a compelling proposition to attract employees and a positive culture and leadership team to retain them. And finally, they need to continually invest in nurturing new talent, to create a pipeline for the future,” says Chris Riley, general manager of Manpower New Zealand.

Matt Love-Smith, business manager for Manpower Professional in Christchurch, says during the downturn the number of roles for ICT contractors and project managers dropped off, as companies put IT projects on hold. He says there are positive signs of the market picking up although momentum has yet to genuinely beg regained.

“We are seeing more demand for business analysts, who focus on research and requirements gathering at the initial stages of a project. This tells us that the next step should be an uptick in the number of projects actually kicking off, so we can expect more demand in coming months,” he says.

Despite demand for some roles declining, Love-Smith says overall the ICT sector has been relatively resilient.

“This time last year, Manpower research showed that 70 percent of ICT employers didn’t believe the downturn would affect their hiring plans, and that appears to have been quite accurate, at least for the software developers. We’ve actually seen continued demand from the smaller players in the sector, who export their technology and aren’t as reliant on local market conditions,” Love-Smith says.

Manpower Professional says the most in-demand roles at the moment are for .Net developers, SQL developers and business analysts. However, the broader ICT industry is still facing a skills shortage, according to Riley.

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