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Wednesday, 16 December 2009 05:32

Strong business growth driving Finite IT expansion

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National technology recruiter, Finite IT, has weathered the economic firestorm remarkably well, with the company set to open its sixth office in Adelaide early in the New Year on the back of strong business growth over the past nine months.

The brother and sister team of Duncan and Tracy Thomson – general manager and managing director respectively – are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead for their business, and for the IT recruitment industry generally, as confidence gradually returns to the market.

Finite will open the doors to its sixth office in Adelaide in February next year, only 10 months after the fifth office was opened in Perth in May this year. As Tracy Thomson told iTWire, the Perth office had moved into profitability in just four months and the Western Australian market for IT recruiting had bounced back “much quicker than any of us really anticipated and we’ve found the WA business community very open to a fresh supplier with a solid national reputation built upon service, delivery and value.”

And, Duncan Thomson says the company is quietly confident the Adelaide office will also do well as the overall IT recruitment market picks up and businesses gain further confidence in 2010.

Once the Australian operation is consolidated, Thomson says the company will next turn its attention to New Zealand, with plans for future expansion into that market.

Meantime, in the Australian market, Tracy Thomson says that the advent of the National Broadband Network (NBN) will drive strong demand across the recruitment industry for ICT professionals as vendors build resources and hire to meet new contractual commitments to the broadband project.

“Finite are strong in the telecoms market and we expect there will be a growing demand for ICT professionals in the telecom and infrastructure space.”

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Thomson says there’s been a noticeable pick up in business in the last six months of this year with steady month-on-month growth. “We had our best month in November and October was also very strong, which is in contrast to other years when March and April are usually the busiest months, but this year the economic downturn put something of a dampener on those months.”

According to Thomson, there’s greater and growing business confidence across the IT recruitment market, with permanent hirings now definitely on the increase, which “indicates clients are more comfortable bringing on-board permanent staff and investing in new people.”

Thomson says, however, that while permanent hirings are on the up – now double what they were last year - they are still not nearly back to the levels they were a few years ago, before the economic downturn hit.

“During the downturn contract hiring was more popular, which was good for Finite with our strong capability in this area, but the economic problems would have hit hard those agencies heavily dependent on permanent recruitment, and also executive search.”

And, while permanent hiring is on the increase, Thomson says there’s no quick-fix and it’s likely to take another 12 months before the recruitment industry sees permanent recruiting back to the levels it was at in a more buoyant economy, particularly with companies still showing a level of caution in hiring permanent staff.   

According to Thomson, Finite is seeing the strongest demand for ICT professionals in areas like project management, business analysts and for experienced developers.

On the NBN, both Duncan and Tracy Thomson expect to see a “big push” on hiring by vendors and other companies, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria, in 2010, as Finite rounds out a busy nine-months across all of its offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Canberra.

“We have been hiring in each of those state markets, with Western Australia particularly busy as confidence has returned to the resources sector.”

And, while recruiting and placing ICT professionals in jobs is the priority, Finite’s own team of male professionals led by Duncan Thomson stepped forward last month, en masse, for the second time, to grow facial hair for the annual Movember fundraiser to raise awareness and money for leading men’s health charities, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue, the national depression support group.

Twenty of Finite’s staff, representing each of Finite’s five national offices, raised in excess of $4,500 in donations for the two charities.

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