Published on 26th July 2016
We sat down with our Associate Director, Martha Churchill, to discuss current market trends in IT recruitment as well as potential future developments in this sector.
Q. How would you describe hiring activity in IT perm recruitment at the moment?
The IT recruitment market has remained buoyant in 2016 as a result of a strong economy and low unemployment rates. Permanent hires in the IT recruitment market have slowed slightly in the run up to the elections and end of financial year however all indicators from our clients are that demand will be strong across the remainder of 2016.
Q. How does current hiring activity compare with last year?
We have noticed senior executives have a renewed confidence in the recruitment market and there have been a number of key movements which have created a ripple effect. We are starting to see a number of opportunities for senior appointments coming through this year and a significant increase on the previous few years. I actually noticed Seek publish research recently that there has been a year-on-year boost of 35% in for sectors such as CEO and General Management.
The market is pretty hot and key changes we are seeing is the need for speed in the recruitment cycle.
Traditionally it is in the niche areas where the candidate market has always been short that have ended up losing preferred candidates due to extended recruitment processes, however, we are seeing it across the board now. We are offering a range of tailored solutions to overcome some of the market challenges with our VBR (value-based recruitment) service.
We have noticed an increased demand across the contracting market this year and this currently contributes to 65% of our overall revenue for Ambition Technology so far this year.
Q. How do you expect hiring activity to change across the remainder of the year?
All indicators are that the second half of the year will continue to have strong hiring demands and traditionally the second half of the year is busier than the first. A really exciting area to watch will be the western suburbs. Our Parramatta office is booming and every day you can see evidence of new buildings going up and significant growth which is all leading to increased demand in a relatively untapped market.
Q. Are there any job families in particularly high/low demand? How has that changed over the past year?
There are many areas in tight supply, namely web development, analytics, DevOps, security and change management, which is not dissimilar to last year. Health IT is an area that is experiencing massive growth and this is due to a huge transformation in the way they operate with the introduction of more sophisticated technology solutions and processes.
Another interesting job family we will start to see emerging is the rise of the CMT (Chief Marketing Technologist). As marketing has become increasingly dependent on technology, this new type of executive position will be essential to bridge the gap between IT and marketing.
Q. What is the talent pool like? Where are the most marked skills shortages right now?
Web Development, UX/UI and DevOps are really the shortest skills in the market currently.
Q. Where do you see the most opportunity for recruiters in this sector at the moment?
The best opportunities for recruiters at the moment are to network across the short markets and really come at it from a candidate focused direction. Instead of three candidates for every role, the approach really needs to be 3-5 roles for each candidate. It’s a classic but the old adage still stands of Candidate is King! Really get to know your market, provide a service that centres around customer experience and excellence.
Q. What are the unique challenges for IT perm recruiters currently?
Ambition technology has operated a dual desk environment for the past five years and this works really well for us. There are ongoing challenges for consultants operating from a purely Permanent market, not least starting from scratch each month! That said, continuing pressure from companies attempting to hire directly, LinkedIn, RPO models etc all put the pinch on the amount of quality permanent business in the market.
Q. What is the competition like from in-house teams?
Internal teams are a very economical way of filling many of the vanilla roles in technology, however, where this approach can fall down is when using a once size fits all recruiter and expecting them to handle 50 + roles across multiple different verticals.
It is always best to have someone who really understands the role they are recruiting managing the process and having direct access to the person actually hiring the role. In addition, many internal teams can’t compete with the passive network that we are able to cultivate and this is really where we can add a lot of value.
Q. What about competition from other agencies?
Our consultants work hard to develop the best relationships they can with the clients they work with and we are lucky that a lot of our work is now exclusive, however, with some of our larger clients, where there are panel providers and that are highly process driven we will tend to come up against the same companies. This is indicative of our place in the market and the clients that we interact with.
Q. What is margin pressure like at the moment? Have clients increased pressure, or has it remained steady?
It is an interesting time at the moment, we are actually noticing clients opting for our specialist search option which is at a higher premium and more appetite for retained work. Our VBR offering works really well in this market as we are able to tailor the service based on the clients need (cost/speed/quality) and charge an appropriate fee for the investment of time involved.
For more information on the Technology recruitment market or details of current jobs in the sector, please contact Martha.