Recruitment firms ‘failing to find right IT staff’

1 Oct 2007

Recruitment agencies are falling short of the mark when it comes to sourcing IT staff for companies, according to a survey conducted by Clarion Consulting.

Clarion Consulting’s mid-year review of ICT in Irish companies forecasts a strong upsurge in investment in IT people with skills in project management, systems analysis and network security in strong demand. Over one third (35pc) of companies plan to increase IT recruitment this year,

However, the actual process of recruiting staff is posing a major challenge with 49pc of companies classifying the search for temps in particular as “reasonably difficult”. Recruitment agencies remain the first port of call for sourcing staff with 67pc of those surveyed using this method. However, 61pc of respondents expressed a marked dissatisfaction with the services offered by recruitment firms.

“We have seen a shift away from traditional recruitment agencies to a more consulting-based approach, particularly for contract staff,” explained Ronan Foley, director, Clarion Consulting. “Clients are increasingly turning to niche providers whose recruitment services are supported by a consulting knowledgebase. This approach minimises selection risk, offers far greater value to the assignment and ensures much higher performance levels from the individual.”

Some 50 pc of companies surveyed indicated a requirement for permanent project managers and systems analysts while network administrators, security specialists and IT management will be recruited by 36pc of respondents. The picture for temporary staff is broadly similar with contract positions in project management (45pc), desktop support (36pc) and business intelligence/systems analysis (27pc) widely available.

“We are seeing a much greater emphasis on building project management capability,” said Pat Millar, managing director, Clarion Consulting. “For some time now we have been encouraging companies to invest more in project management skills and welcome these recruitment trends which indicate solid headcount increases across temporary and permanent staff.”

Ninety-seven companies and public sector organisations completed the online survey.

By Niall Byrne