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Monday, 08 March 2010 13:19

Body business rebounds big time


February brought the most new business Finite IT Recruitment Solutions has enjoyed for the last 18 months as companies sought both contract and permanent IT staff, while the IT&T sector itself is also body shopping, with demand rising 8.11 per cent during the month according to the Advantage Job Index.

The Advantage Job Index (formerly the Olivier Job Index) tracks internet advertised positions and overall rose 1.59 per cent in February. The Index also noted that employment in the IT&T sector itself had rebounded with an increase of 8.11 per cent as companies sought staff with management, sales and database development skills.

Whether that sectoral demand will be sustained is moot. The last five years of Index data show the IT&T sector typically sparks a skills demand surge in February before settling back to more sober levels for the rest of the year.

Finite however is predicting demand for IT skills themselves will be sustained. The company, which will next month open its new Adelaide office, said that IT skills demand was on the rise across the country - including renewed appetite for higher end positions.

Duncan Thomson, Finite general manager, told iTWire that as of last week he had 44 positions with salary packages above $150,000 on his books, driven in particular by strong demand from the banking and finance sector.

Of those 44 positions around a third represented permanent hires. Most of the big banks are currently involved in core systems revamps and, or integration projects which Thomson said was spurring recruitment.

Just a year ago the bottom fell out of the permanent IT employee market according to Thomson. While demand has been improving slowly for the last eight months, this is the first month that the business has returned to its usual split of 80 per cent contract jobs and 20 per cent permanents he said.

However there was yet little movement in permanent salaries. Contract positions were still in greater demand leading to upward salary pressure in areas of skills shortage.

Thomson predicts that over the coming months demand will be strongest in the finance sector; telecommunications and government - both federal and state.

Although the Gershon review had taken some wind out of the sails of the government IT recruitment market, he said that departments were now starting 'To realise that they may have to invest in order to achieve longer term savings.'

The standouts in terms of State Government recruitment were Queensland, and NSW where Thomson claimed; 'The NSW hiring freeze on temps for the last 18 months is starting to ease, because projects need to get finished before the election.'

Greatest demand was for developers, analysts, project managers and engineers. In terms of technical skills he said demand remained strong for SAP, Oracle, Java and J2EE. What was proving harder to find was people with those skills and five plus years experience in a particular sector, which organisations were increasingly specifying.

Other recruitment companies such as Clarius Group and PeopleBank have also reported a strong start to 2010, suggesting the economic green shoots observed at the beginning of the year, are continuing to flourish.



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