Growing employer confidence visible in IT sector

12 per cent of Australian IT employers plan to increase their permanent employee levels

Employer confidence in Australia’s IT sector has risen for the first time since March 2008, according to a report by recruitment firm Hudson.

The latest quarterly Employment Expectations survey revealed that 12 per cent of employers in the IT sector plan to increase their permanent employee levels in the next quarter.

Hudson CEO Mark Steyn says the rise in optimism is welcome, but the country is still in the midst on an unsettling economic period.

“The employment landscape remains mutable and we should view this result as a stabilisation in employer confidence rather than assuming the start of a consistent upward trend,” he said.

The rise in employer confidence has been felt throughout the country with 6.5 percent of employers across all sectors planning to increase employee levels – up from last quarter’s low of 0.8 percent.

All states and territories recorded a rise in confidence compared to last quarter.

The report also revealed a trend towards holding current staff levels steady and it reports many employers are using natural attrition and hiring freezes to contain costs, rather than redundancies, which Steyn says is a positive move.

“It is important to note that Australia is still suffering a skills shortage in key industries. Now is the time for agility, proactivity and bravery. Employers who use this time, with a focus on long-term strategy, to actively look for and engage high-performing employees will increase their competitive advantage and best place their organisations, and people, for a more prosperous future,” he said.

This sentiment is echoed by Phaedon Stough, co-founder of executive recruitment firm MitchelLake, who says the IT recruitment market is re-bounding thanks to some positive re-investment into early stage technology.

“CEOs and investors are starting to see blue skies and there are a lot more deals being done,” he said.

“We have seen five to 10 percent of workforce redundancies take place over the last eight months, but now we’re seeing niche hires occur, where companies see specific opportunities.

“So there is not a huge amount of work available, but there are key hires being made based on some growth in the market.”

The Hudson report says IT remains amongst the most confident of all industries.

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