Recruiters forecast buoyant 2006

Ongoing churn leads to increased demand, say recruiters

The continuing skills shortage is the main issue that will face IT employers and the IT recruitment industry this year, recruiters say.

The shortage will be particularly felt in the capital, says QidR’s Hugh Riley.

“Wellington will continue to experience strong demand for skills across the board — there seem to be a lot of projects there that are mid-cycle and continue to require the ongoing supply of skills across the software development lifecycle spectrum.”

Another factor fuelling demand in Wellington is “strong demand for infrastructure support” by the outsourcing vendors based in the city, he says.

Also fanning the flames is high staff and contractor turnover in the industry, he says.

“There’s a lot of churn in the New Zealand employment market, which creates ongoing demand while not satisfying the total job needs of the market.”

As for the effect of the predicted economic slowdown this year, Riley says it won’t have much impact on the IT sector.

“It may have some impact but historically, the IT market in New Zealand has tended to follow international trends rather than national up and downs. With all those mid-cycle projects, demand will remain strong for the medium term.”

Both QidR and Enterprise Recruitment looked overseas to supply clients with candidates, targeting both returning Kiwi expats and foreigners seeking work here.

Enterprise Recruitment’s Ashley Sadler says his company picked up a healthy database of would-be IT immigrants on a recent recruiting trip to Britain.

He says the local IT recruitment industry is “going strong" on the back of a strong IT industry.

“It’s not crazy like in the pre-2000 days, but it’s strong and healthy.”

The skills shortage is particularly noticeable at intermediate level, he says, with senior management and graduates not so in-demand.

“Most people want to populate their companies with people who are degree-qualified and have 2-3 years’ experience. That’s where the real skills shortage is.”

At that intermediate level, network engineers, software developers and business analysts are in particular demand, he says.

CPU Recruitment director Craig Parsons says the period from August to December was “very busy” and a survey of clients shortly before Christmas found that all intended to hire staff this year.

He says certain software development roles such as senior J2EE developers and Linc developers are very in-demand.

“J2EE developers at ‘guru’ level are hard to find and there are still a couple of organisations that work on the Linc development platform.”

A trend he foresees this year is organisations that have traditionally concentrated on the Wellington or Auckland markets expanding into the other city, creating demand for more staff.

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