Pay rates for IT and project management professionals fell again during 2012 but the decline slowed compared to 2011. However, the tradeoff is higher expectations of productivity, with 55pc of IT pros saying they’re expected to work additional hours for no extra money.
Those are some of the trends behind a report released today by Clarion Resourcing that includes a survey of the IT employment market which polled close to 3,000 private-sector IT and project management workers.
More than half of the respondents (55pc) said they’re expected to work longer than their contracted hours. One-fifth said they worked more than 10 additional hours per week and in 7pc of cases, people claimed to put in 16 hours more than their employment terms stipulated.
Almost one-third of IT professionals endured salary cuts last year – 31pc compared to 53pc in 2011. Despite the reductions in salary and day rates for contractors, some macro trends behind the numbers suggest that Ireland’s IT recruitment market remains buoyant, said Turlach McAlister, director with Clarion Resourcing.
Sought-after technical skills
There is strong demand from multinationals, in particular, and export-focused indigenous firms, he said. Technical skills most sought after include SAP, J2EE, e-commerce development, C# and Microsoft SharePoint.
“The skills to administer and configure a set of workflows are very much in demand, and there’s ongoing demand for database administrators,” McAlister told Siliconrepublic.com.
Technical support roles are still being sought after, which reflects the findings of a separate recruitment survey issued earlier this week by IT Alliance Group.
McAlister said many organisations are now looking for candidates with more rounded skills than pure helpdesk duties. “They’re looking for people who have the ability to engage with customers,” he said.
Other factors at work include steady supply of skills into the market from large organisations that are retrenching their IT teams. There are also signs of hiring in areas where technical jobs would previously have been offshored.
“From a strategic point of view, we’re seeing people bring services back in-house from an offshore capacity, which is very heartening … people aren’t shipping it all to a remote location,” McAlister said.
Project management roles are also in demand, but employers looking to hire full-time staff or contractors are being more discerning, and are using industry qualifications as a way to whittle down candidate shortlists.
“We would definitely have seen strong trends around certification being a requirement, be it Prince2, a PMI or PMP. When there are a number of candidates available, if it’s a 50/50 call, customers will tend to go for the person who has the badge of honour. Whichever project-management certification is being used in-house, that is the one they’ll usually go with,” McAlister said.
It seems money isn’t everything, if the survey is to be believed: 33pc of respondents said long-term career development that secures their future career progression is “marginally more important” than salary or daily contract rates.
However, more than one in four (27pc) said their current pay scales or day rates were a key reason to change jobs.
Clarion’s figures show 56pc of respondents had more than one offer on the table when they accepted their most recent role, up from 39pc in 2011.
International keynotes and local leaders will discuss Ireland’s challenges and opportunities in the global battle for talent at the Future Jobs Forum this Friday, 8 February, at The Convention Centre Dublin.