IT has once again topped recruitment firm Hudson’s list of industries when it comes to hiring intentions.
It’s the fifth time in a row IT has recorded the strongest employer hiring intentions, meaning the sector has been the hottest in terms of employment plans for two-and-a-half years (the employment expectations survey is conducted twice annually).
However, hiring plans in the industry aren’t as firm as they were mid-year, with a net positive 59.8% of employers saying they expect to increase staffing levels in the next six months, down 8.4 percentage points on the previous survey, which looked at expectations for July to December.
The “net positive” figure is arrived at by taking the percentage of employers surveyed who intend to increase staffing levels and subtracting the percentage who intend to reduce their workforce.
Hudson IT&T national practice manager Campbell Hepburn says the dip reflects a slight drop in confidence from the previous survey, but “overall, IT is still buoyant for several reasons”.
Firstly, “business continues to invest in systems and technology to improve processes, create competitive advantage and improve productivity.”
Also, he says, “there is significant investment in the public sector, both in infrastructure and systems”.
Telecommunications showed the second-highest level of hiring intentions, rising 0.9 percentage points from the previous survey to a net positive effect of 52.5%.
According to the survey, “the industry continues to develop following the opening up of Telecom’s lines to competitors, with companies like Vodafone and Orcon stepping up competition in anticipation of the government’s
telecommunication regulatory package”.
IT has had a spin-off into another sector studied in the survey, wholesale and distribution.
Hiring intentions in that sector were up 17.8 percentage points, reaching a 41.9% net positive effect.
According to the survey, “this result is being driven by increased competitive advantage in the industry as companies see their investment in ERP systems start to pay off.”
Hepburn says ERP systems have “aided the growth of the wholesale/distribution sector for much the same reasons as the overall IT sector remains bouyant”.
Investment in ERP software “has created efficiencies and ultimately cost-effectiveness and therefore ensured optimum growth for the sector.
“Retailers and consumers are both benefitting,” he says.