IT hiring intentions remain strong in latest survey

Hudson's quarterly survey shows steady demand for skills

IT has been displaced in recruitment firm Hudson’s latest quarterly employment expectations survey as the most buoyant sector when it comes to hiring intentions, by construction/property/engineering.

In the survey, which covers employers’ plans for the July-September quarter, IT recorded a net effect of 56.2 percent, compared with 57.4 percent for construction/property/engineering.

(The net effect figure is calculated by taking the percentage of employers surveyed that expect to increase staff levels during the forthcoming three months, and subtracting the percentage that expect to decrease staff levels).

However, at 56.2 percent, IT still ranked second out of 16 industry sectors covered by the survey in terms of how many employers plan to hire.

Hudson ICT director John Coventry says demand is being driven by a number of large national projects, especially in the banking industry, that are around the half-way stage, and require mid-lifecycle roles such as business analysts and testers.

“Banking as a sector is working hard to take new products to the market, and is using a lot of energy and resource,” Coventry says.

He says that other roles related to the projects, but not directly part of them, are also in demand.

“Application development skills, and support and maintenance are especially sought-after,” he says.

“Database administrators, system engineers and security analysts are starting to be re-hired.

“Those are the types of roles that aren’t central to the development lifecycle, but which, as more development happens, are needed to maintain the integrity of the solutions while they are being developed.”

In Upper North Island, a net 40.6 percent of IT employers plan to hire in the July-September period, while in the Lower North Island, the figure is 58.6 percent.

Both figures are up on the previous survey, for April-June.

Central government IT projects are driving much of the demand in Wellington, including in the health sector.

The commentary on the Hudson report notes: “In the recent budget, the government committed an extra $420 million to the healthcare sector, against the backdrop of cuts and conservatism elsewhere.

“There is increased hiring in the support functions in this sector, for example in information technology, office support and HR.”

While in Auckland, the tertiary education sector is busy, with a lot of demand coming from the city’s universities, Coventry says.

IT skills are sought-after in Christchurch, he says.

“The bulk of the demand is for programme managers and people that can help re-build and upgrade systems.

“It is leadership roles, rather than delivery ones, that are in demand.”

Nationwide, telecommunications is relatively quiet, as the detail around Telecom’s operational split are finalised, Coventry says. Greater demand for full-time staff is expected to emerge as the Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiative projects progress, he says.

Demand for IT contractors is the highest the survey has recorded in six years, with a net effect of 31.4 percent.

“We are seeing requirements coming through consistently, across the board, but it is especially strong in the utilities and energy sector, and also in banking and financial services.

“These sectors use contractors for specific projects and workload peaks.”

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