IT job market to slow next year

However, employers will have to “bite the bullet” and invest, according to a recruiter

There was a steady slide in IT recruitment in the fourth quarter of this year and the outlook for 2013 is no better, according to recruitment firm Ambition.

Next year will be a slow moving year for most industries in the IT infrastructure market with little or no new hires, Ambition’s “Market Trends Report, Technology” has found.

Speaking to CIO Andy Cross, managing director, technology at Ambition, said pricing and cost pressures have forced employers to do more with less as their organisations fall short of their profit predictions.

“If people are not confident in the economy and their profitability and revenue-generating activities, they won’t hire,” said Cross. “People are trying to spread the workload between few resources [but] by the end of the first quarter [next year], people won’t be able to make do with what they have got…they will have to bite the bullet and invest.”

Cross said IT staff were working long hours, were frustrated with their salaries and working in roles where they had no ability to influence their careers.

“Employers are trying to improve their [financial] situation and working people to the max,” said Cross.

Fixed term contracts and permanent hires are also being viewed more favourably than temporary contract hires, a trend that will continue in 2013, the report said.

Employees are increasingly looking for a perfect fit while offering salaries that are not as competitive as they should be and the new focus is on trying to sell the image of the company, career potential etc, while asking good talent to forego a salary increase for their next move, Cross said in the report.

“A decrease in new opportunities and a general feeling of uncertainty has also meant that candidates are accepting positions at lower salaries, which is “encouraging employers to continue with this strategy,” he said.

Several organisations are also looking to move their offshore operations from India to the Philippines, perceiving that “this location can offer a better and cheaper service at the current time,” the report said.

Salaries under pressure

IT salaries continue to stay flat with $120,000 the ceiling for the bulk of even senior business analyst roles as the availability of resources outpaces current demand.

User experience (UX) designers and information architects can expect to earn between $90,000 and $110,000 whereas UX directors command more than $140,000 and organisations, even large corporates, are struggling to meet these expectations, the report said.

Demand for ASP.Net developers with experience working on HTML5 and mobile compatible websites has also increased as organisations continue to invest in mobile applications.

Follow Byron Connolly on Twitter: @ByronConnolly

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