Recruiters say job market is looking up

IT recruitment agencies say the jobs market is picking up and there's "too much doom and gloom" out there.

IT recruitment agencies say the jobs market is picking up and there’s “too much doom and gloom” out there.

After claiming conditions may be their “worst in 20 years”, many agencies now say recovery is under way and next year will only get better.

Spherion New Zealand manager Brian Powell says the second week of November was the firm's busiest since September 11, with companies making requests for more staff, particularly for early 2002.

“Clients say significant projects are planned,” says Powell.

Candle Auckland chief Christine Fitchew says the market is “not too bad” and that the contracting market is “picking up”.

“There’s stuff happening out there. We are ahead of Australia and the UK. We [New Zealand] are still moving along,” she says.

Icon Recruitment’s Craig Parsons says companies are relaxing their hiring freezes and are “looking actively for new staff, both contract and permanent”.

Parsons warns too much negativity can lead people to talk the industry into a downturn. “Negativity breeds negativity. When people read how bad the market is, it creates a sense of hesitancy and they act accordingly."

Icon enjoyed “a definite influx of new work last week” and Parsons expects a further boost in the new year.

IT@Work Recruitment (formerly MMC International Technology) says last week was “one of a series of busy weeks” and “the market for us has definitely picked up over the past month”.

“Our clients are definitely thinking positively and seem proactive in terms of planning resource requirements for the months ahead instead of putting everything on hold,” says director Sally Breed.

Breed expects strong growth in contracting next year. Her banking and finance clients have been cautious lately but “their businesses are doing well and we anticipate that next year should be a very good year".

Protocol Personnel director Megan Fletcher says while overseas vendors are staging hiring freezes, local firms are still recruiting.

“Business seems to be quite good in the end user market. For the larger corporates it just seems to be business [hiring] as usual. I think we will see some let up in the new year and a bit more of a positive IT job market,” Fletcher says.

However, while agreeing there is “too much doom and gloom”, Pinnacle director Ross Turner says that is because it is reality.

“The government will need to spend on large projects -- very likely as it is election year -- before there will be any major forward moves in the IT&T sector. We will need to see some international initiatives and local action before this situation is seen to be improving."

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