ICT hiring taking longer, candidates reducing: ICTRA

The ICT recruitment body has collected data from ICT recruitment companies across the country to formulate a skills "dashboard"

The average ICT employee recruitment timeframe has risen by six days in the past year, while the number of candidates has declined, according to one ICT industry group.

The findings from the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association’s (ITCRA) first SkillsMatch ICT Skills “dashboard” are based on data from ICT recruitment agencies with a total 567 placements and 3,891 candidates for these roles recorded in the database from the first quarter of 2011.

The dashboard found it now takes an average of 26.3 days to hire a new ICT employee, while candidate numbers for each ICT role have shrunk from 7.7 to just 6.8 over the past 12 months potentially leading to an ICT skills shortage.

ITCRA chief executive, Julie Mills, said the findings of the survey note the difficulty to find candidates with the right skills, or those currently working that aren’t switching roles as frequently.

According to the findings, contracting roles climbed 16 per cent for the quarter accounting for 78 per cent of all recorded placements, despite steadily declining throughout 2010.

“We expect that the number of contractors will grow even further in the coming quarter, particularly on the back of the Federal Government’s announcement of $770 million in ICT project funding in the recent budget,” Mills said in a statement.

There has been much speculation about the impending skills shortage in the ICT industry with the dashboard indicating little connection between skills in demand by employers and the skills offered by recruitment candidates.

“For example, the top five skills employers and recruiters are requesting are help desk experience; project management; Java; SQL and Windows. In comparison, the top five skills offered by job seekers are COM; training, support, email and documentation,” she said.

“This could indicate a potential skills mismatch. As businesses grow and the days taken to hire workers increases, there is a risk that this gap could grow further.”

IT workers should look to upgrade their skills and optimise what they can offer employers, Mills said, specifically taking note of the skills employers are after and developing these skills.

“Businesses can respond to the skills and talent shortage by ensuring they map out their short and longterm ICT needs… Organisations that understand their future ICT needs will be able to hire staff in a strategic manner to help drive future growth.”

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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