Australia’s IT sector continues to enjoy a high profile thanks to the Prime Minister’s $1 billion innovation initiatives and a number of high profile Australian technology successes on the global stage.
We are also seeing a spike in the number of organisations of all types leveraging technology to create or manage transformational change as well as more non-tech departments learning how to use the latest technology to help them perform tasks in new ways. There really is no sector or department not exposed to technological change these days.
Permanent vacancy activity has increased significantly within the project services space as employers recognise the value of retaining project delivery expertise and investing in the development of internal teams to deliver business and technology projects.
Agile remains at the forefront of requirements, as more organisations adopt it as their preferred delivery solution. Candidates in greatest demand have solid technical skills and strong soft skills that enable them to engage proactively and successfully with non-technical stakeholders. However, candidates with this combination of skills are rare.
In the public sector we are seeing considerable permanent hiring to build team capability but also to contain costs while the private sector is using a combination of permanent and temporary hiring to suit differing business needs.
Other trends include the development of five-year ICT strategies and gender diversity efforts.
Meanwhile, small businesses are increasingly outsourcing their service desk and storage needs to cut costs. We are starting to see some larger companies move their internal support offshore to save money and as a result we are seeing fewer lower to middle level IT support roles coming to market.
Companies that do have in-house IT support teams regard soft skills as equally important to technical skills when assessing candidates. However, candidates with strengths in both areas are in short supply.
Employers are making cultural fit the deciding factor when choosing candidates. They believe that technical skills can be acquired if candidates have the right attitude and a passion for their work.
Small to medium businesses want to keep teams lean and are therefore looking for candidates with a broad technical skill set that enables them to be utilised across different projects. We have seen an increase in these employers hiring candidates on a fixed term basis giving them greater flexibility in managing their resources.
We are confident we will see further vacancy activity, especially in the development space. We predict continued demand for business-savvy candidates who possess strong communication skills as well as solid technical skills.
In general, niche skill sets remain hard to come by with the majority of highly skilled candidates in full time employment.
Skills in demand
We continue to see great demand for soft skills. Personable candidates with a customer service mindset are preferred.
There is a huge supply gap in the market for Dynamics CRM Developers.
.Net Developers for both web and desktop systems to deliver customised solutions are also in strong demand in addition to .Net Developers with strong SharePoint experience to work in integrated development environments.
Active directory experience is highly regarded and used in many IT roles.
Agile Project Managers and Agile Business Analysts are both highly sought. In addition, Business Analysts with a commercial background and excellent communication skills are in demand.
Application Project Managers with software implementation experience and Implementation Consultants are seeing good demand for their skills.
Cloud based technologies are growing and candidates with Amazon Web Services (AWS) skills are in particularly short supply. In addition, Vendor/Supplier Management skills are needed to help companies moving towards AWS and other cloud providers.
Cloud Specialists with SaaS and IaaS experience able to help realise cost efficiencies are a hiring priority for many employers.
Experience in P2V (physical to virtual) migration projects is highly valued as more businesses look to virtualise their environments.
Security skills are always in demand. Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Managers (CISM) are needed too.
DevOps experience, particularly Chef/Puppet, is highly valued and on the rise to improve software releases. We strongly suggest candidates highlight any skills across Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS). Candidates who can straddle multiple IT requirements are also a hiring priority.
SharePoint Developers are sought too to work on an increased number of projects.
Mobile Development capability is in demand as mobile is being taken more seriously. Not surprisingly, the Application Support role is of increasing importance given the proliferation of mobile apps. Support roles for Mobile and Tablets are on the rise too in line with increased use of these devices over laptop and PC's.
Front End Development skills and User Interface/User Experience skills (UI/UX) remain in demand.
Employers are looking for candidates with a combination of Full Stack Development in both .NET and Java to offer them greater value than just server side or front end skills.
We are also seeing an increase in requirements for Business Intelligence and Analytics candidates as well as Data Architects to help companies second guess the movements of their customers.
Overall, we have noted a shift in the mindset of candidates with many seasoned contractors now starting to consider permanent jobs to transition into more secure, longer term roles.
We are also seeing candidates actively using their LinkedIn profiles to promote when they are available.
In the development space, candidates are looking for higher salaries while in the infrastructure space candidates are showing a preference for permanent roles with stability.
There has been a pick-up in interstate interest in the Canberra market, although the employment clearances remain a large barrier to entry. Candidates have also begun strongly pushing up salary levels.