Spotlight on project management as a recruitment hotspot

27 Jan 2016

As we move into 2016, recruitment trends are already beginning to emerge, and Hays Recruitment sees one area growing significantly – project management. Hays’ Jeremy Pigott elaborates on the surge within the industry.

As the economic recovery accelerates and confidence returns to the local and global business market, the demand for skilled and experienced hires in project management continues to increase.

Over the last number of years, many organisations have taken an understandably cautious approach to any expenditure that was deemed non-essential, but they now find themselves in a position of needing to update systems that have since become legacy.

They also face the risk that, having not delivered any significant technology upgrades to either internal systems or external product offerings, the company’s once strong market position may be slowly – or quickly – slipping away.

Ireland as a great place to do business

Throughout 2015, Ireland continued to gain global recognition as a great place to do business for both international and indigenous companies.

The excellent products and ideas that many start-ups have launched here will further increase the need for project delivery experts. As many of these product-focused businesses reach scaling point, the ability for them to successfully deliver their suite of applications to the global market will be crucial to their success.

Project managers with experience scaling companies through the transition from early-stage to well-established company will be paramount. In addition, experience working in product-oriented businesses that incorporate a global delivery model looks to be a key trend for 2016.

It’s not just the more recent arrivals on the business scene that are driving the growth of the project management market.

Within the Big Four – PWC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG – firms are seeing increased demand for project services staff as more companies are coming to them for their project needs. The opportunity to move project risk to a third party, the lack of maturity in the project delivery space and the opportunity to partner with a proven delivery expert continue to make the Big Four and other managed service providers an attractive option for many Irish businesses.

Beyond the private sector

Recent announcements from the HSE mean that this demand for project managers will not just be limited to the private sector. The Executive’s focus on eHealth in 2016 will result in a move to embrace the digital age and to launch an Electronic Health Register (EHR) across Ireland. This major initiative will further contribute to the demand for individuals with both a systems delivery background and process improvement skills.

In financial services, demand for skills within the realm of project management is extremely high. Such requirements would include project managers, program managers, and roles within a project management office (PMO).

The ability to manage projects, and understand them and how they work, are skills essential to the running of financial institutions, alongside the ability to work in teams and manage professionals with differing skills and backgrounds.

The specifics

Project management roles within financial services are becoming even more specific, and these organisations require niche specialist skills including infrastructure outsourcing, payments, programme transformation, credit cards, mortgages and risk.

Project managers with experience of moving systems, platforms and services to the cloud will be in high demand in 2016. As more and more businesses gain confidence in cloud-based solutions, we will see a rise in those companies looking to fully embrace the as-a-service market.

Continuing on from the hot points of 2015 – big data and business intelligence – project delivery skills will see a rise as organisations come to understand the need to interrogate, interpret and gain value from their data. Underpinning both of these areas will be the need for a robust and secure network, which should create roles for people with skills in the cyber security side of project management.

During 2016, the market will provide excellent opportunities for both contract and permanent candidates as demand impacts on the supply of project management professionals.

We’ve got a busy year ahead of us.

Jeremy Pigott is a business manager with Hays IT.

Main image via Shutterstock

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