“Hire now. Delays will be costly.” That is the advice from John Wyatt, director of Recruit IT in Wellington. New Zealand has already gone through the first quarter of a three-year phase of heavy ICT resource demand, he says. Major projects are being kicked off in the banking, telco and insurance sectors and they are all using technology as a driver, he says. Wyatt compares the situation now to that of the post the dot.com crash. “Back in 1998 to 99 I experienced first-hand IT budgets being brought forward and IT spending reach unprecedented levels for Y2K purposes. Then, there was a decline for the following two years. Our industry, I believe, is currently experiencing a reverse of this situation. Postponed IT spending throughout 2008 and 2009 means organisations must take action now to remain competitive. The big spenders like banks, insurance providers, airlines and telcos are out in full force doing exactly this.” These projects are quickly soaking up existing local talent and employers should actively consider hiring offshore again, says Wyatt. “Certainly hire locally first, but do consider overseas candidates too. You could still be looking for that hard to find skillset in a local candidate one to two months from now, while someone from overseas could have arrived and started within this timeframe.” Another option to consider is offshoring, he says. The local market needs to be open to moving work to other markets, and not just in Asia, he says. Wyatt believes offshoring to Eastern European countries will become more common in the next 12 months. Demand for some roles, including business analysts, software developers, architects and test analysts, has gone up around 40 percent in the past six to nine months, says Wyatt. Recruit IT is busy at the moment and has taken on more staff, he adds. Wyatt has just come back from a trip to the UK where the company has set up a London office, focused on bringing UK and European talent to New Zealand. The first wave of candidates is arriving within the next month, he says. Recruit IT has organised a number of New Zealand job expos in London with around 40 people attending each time, he says.