Recruiters see cash at top of e-tree

Top-level IT staff are cashing in as New Zealand firms move into e-commerce, gaining double-digit pay rises despite the dot-com shakeout.

Top-level IT staff are cashing in as New Zealand firms move into e-commerce.

One major IT recruiter says they are gaining double-digit pay rises, while other recruiters say the dot-com shake-out is releasing workers onto the market and flattening pay rates.

Robert Walters in Wellington last week claimed the e-business segment was enjoying the highest increases in the IT industry, with some job posts seeing pay rises of 10%.

Java developers, says the agency, earn up to $80,000, consultant architects up to $120,000 and account managers take home up to $160,000.

“This (pay) is the result of companies instituting an e-business arm as they become more aware of what technology can provide and how they can take advantage of it to give them a competitive edge,” says IT recruitment manager Glenn Bratton.

Also in demand, he says, are professionals with skills in ERP as well as network engineers, software engineers, business analysts, application analysts, database administrators and web developers.

“Database administrators can earn up to $80,000, ERP consultants up to $120,000 and software engineers up to $90,000. IT salaries are going up all the time. It is not a particular phenomenon for Wellington,” he says.

However, a recruiter at Enterprise, Barry O'Brien, says many e-commerce companies have been releasing staff, though mostly at the junior level.

“At the top end of the market -- architecture teams, senior designers -- there is still a chronic shortage. Companies are still keen to secure the limited number of good people available. There’s a helluva dogfight for good senior people,” he says.

However, both in Wellington and Auckland, demand was meeting supply for those at lower levels.

Candle recruiter Christine Fitchew says fall-out from the US was leading to some influx onto the market.

Her agency reports salaries have been flat for a nearly a year.

However, “top notch” workers of whatever level would always be in demand, she says.

Robert Walters released the data last week as part of its role in the “Smart Wellington” campaign - which involves Wellington City Council and its businesses - and aims to attract IT firms and workers to the capital.

The agency claims an exclusive recruitment role with “Smart Wellington” and is working on international expos with it to bring IT workers to Wellington. It has offices in Auckland and overseas, including London.

Bratton says a third of the 4500 contractors on its London books are New Zealanders and he was looking to bring them home, but it was too early to judge the success of the six-month-old campaign.

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