Aussies seek local recruits, but women still spurn IT

Skills shortage downplayed

Australian employers remain confident that within the next 12 months they will be able to find most of their IT recruits within Australia and expect only 5% to be hired overseas.

The skill areas most susceptible to offshoring are software development, programming and call centre and technical support, according to a survey report by Diversiti, the recruitment arm of Accenture, which was released last week.

Diversiti managing director, Deborah Howard, says employers involved in offshoring need to play their part, by ensuring staff are given opportunities to diversify skill-sets so they remain relevant in the market.

“The jobs market locally is strong, but people in affected areas will need to concentrate their training and development elsewhere to remain competitive.”

When asked to nominate their most pressing IT staffing challenges over the next 12 months, 365 survey respondents cited retaining talent (69%); recruiting the right skill-set (63%) and a shortage of candidates (61%).

Howard says a review of current sourcing strategies and training programmes is needed to address the concerns about recruiting and retaining talent.

Tertiary qualifications have the most influence when it comes to hiring IT candidates, with 77% of respondents rating a university degree as having a high to very high influence on their hiring decisions.

A Bachelor of IT degree or a combined IT and business degree are the preferred degrees, nominated by 75% of respondents. A Bachelor of Computer Science came in third.

Women continue to represent only a small portion of newcomers. More than 56% of respondents work in organisations where fewer than 30% of total IT recruits in the last 12 months were women, while 21% say women constituted fewer than 10% of new recruits.

“Females, half of our population, are grossly under represented in the industry,” says Howard.

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