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Employment in Australia’s IT industry appears to have bottomed-out, and hiring intentions are now strengthening. This is according to new research by Australian IT recruiter, Clicks IT Recruitment.
This found that 2012 was a challenging year with increasing budget constraints placing less demand on employment. But prospects for job seekers are looking up as 27% of the 200 large-scale organisations surveyed plan to increase staff numbers over the next 12 months.
“We think the IT industry is at the bottom of its hiring cycle and demand will steadily increase during 2013,” said Ben Wood, managing director of Clicks IT Recruitment.
“Companies are realising they have to spend money to make money, and Governments have to spend money to improve services. There has been no pressure on IT salaries for the past year, with increases averaging below CPI, but we do expect salaries to lift to between 3% and 3.5% in 2013.”
The organisations surveyed in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra come from a variety of industry sectors – Government, education, banking, financial services, IT, health, retail, manufacturing, transport and resources .Three-quarters employ more than 500 staff.
“Having a flexible workforce is the key, and companies will rely more on contractors than having a large pool of permanent employees,” said Mr Wood. 70% of firms report they would be using contractors at least as much as they did in 2012.
“Demand for contract labour will continue to be robust,” Mr Wood said. “For organisations it means they can match their workforce to their business peaks and troughs, and maximize flexibility during the upturn. Once this process is underway an upturn in permanent hiring should occur, but contracting will lead the way.
“IT workers generally prefer contracting. They don’t do it because they can’t find permanent work. They enjoy the independence, diversity of roles and stimulus that comes from working on a specialist task or in a team set up for a specific goal. Their skills are well rewarded. When this goal is reached the contractor can move on to other challenges.”