The Australian IT employment market has been claimed to be at its strongest ever, and is expected to strengthen further over the next 12 months, according to recruitment industry expert, Chris Le Coic.
With the resources boom, an increase in local and foreign investment, as well as the appearance of constant innovations and improvements in the Australian market, job vacancies are far outnumbering the number of qualified IT workers, said Le Coic, CEO of online employment portal, CareersSites.
Le Coic's speculations are derived from a study of national recruiter surveys conducted over the past few months, in which almost one in two employers in the IT industry revealed plans to increase permanent staff levels during the next quarter, while more than half of professional service firms said they would be increasing staff in the next six weeks.
"The job market is frenetic because everyone is so desperate to find good candidates across a whole range of disciplines," he said. "ICT has seen a resurgence over the past couple of years, and this will continue with the merging of communications and media channels."
"There shouldn't be too many unemployed ICT professionals over the next year or so," he said. "With so many jobs out there and so few skilled workers available, recruiters are being required to broaden the experience and analytical qualities they are looking for in candidates."
Recruitment has moved from being an employer's market to becoming far more candidate-centric, Le Coic said, adding that recruiters can no longer afford to be as "dismissive of candidates" as in the past, and need to consider more innovative ways of recruiting people.
Additionally, the competition for skilled candidates is forcing recruiters to make job offers in increasingly short periods of time, he observed, noting that recruiters now have to be more efficient in spotting and placing the right candidates in the right jobs.
"Companies used to take up to three weeks to come back with an offer of a second interview... It is closer to two or three days now, and increasingly, on the spot," he said. "I was with a recruiter this morning at 10.30 am who said they had seen someone at 8.30am and they had already placed them with a client!"
While shortened interview processes are likely to benefit job hunters, employers may be disadvantaged if the candidates turn out to be unsuitable. Le Coic recommends better organised and structured interviews to ensure a good match between employers and potential recruits.
"It's just a matter of expediting the process, which is not a bad thing in today's competitive environment," he said.