Market looking up for 2005, recruiters say

Consolidation might give tier two firms a chance to grow

Recruiters spoken to by Computerworld are predicting a continuation of the better times the industry began experiencing last year.

Megan Fletcher, owner of Auckland recruiter Protocol, says activity in both technical and sales and marketing IT recruitment greatly picked up in the second half of last year.

"The market has really cranked up in the last six months," she says. "Big vendors are recruiting in the high end services space and in product specialist roles and in the infrastructure/technical space, our reseller customers are pretty excited — they're talking about wins and deals in the pipeline."

In the desktop and services area, a lot of users are embarking on upgrade programmes and high end Citrix, Exchange and NT server skills are in short supply, Fletcher says.

There's also a shortage in the in the consulting and architectural solutions area.

"Infrastructure architects will always be in short supply."

In the helpdesk space, those who are "sharp and have good experience" will have no problems finding employment, she says.

A key difference between now and the last time the industry was this bouyant is that there are fewer vendors and the consolidation, while it removes the number of employers, has some positive spin-offs, Fletcher says.

"With Telecom buying Computerland and Gen-i, it gives tier two dealers and resellers an opportunity to grow."

She's picking that 2005 will be "a good, solid year in IT for everyone, not just recruiters."

John Wyatt, general manger of Wellington recruiter Icon, expects in 2005 a continuation of last year's "more upbeat" trend and that demand for testers, programmers and business analysts will be high.

"There's been a significant increase in demand for a broad range of skills, from finance to procurement to sales."

Demand for contractors will continue to be high, he says, but "where possible, employers will be looking for permanent staff."

Those fulltime employees won't just be sourced from the local market, Wyatt says.

"Having been to the Opportunities Expo in the UK last year, we're starting to see people saying 'I'm coming to New Zealand in 3–6 months,' and looking for jobs."

Some of those wanting to come to New Zealand are expats who have been away a long time, but most are British wanting to migrate, he says.

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