ICT job candidates must prove their worth: Report

“Candidates have to do more to demonstrate their abilities,” according to Hudson ICT's Martin Retschko

With the ICT sector expected to perform strongly in 2012, there will be increased pressure for ICT professionals to prove their worth to potential employers, according to a report by recruitment firm Hudson.

The report, ICT Salary & Employment Insights 2012, surveyed 2333 people, comprising of 935 employers and 1398 employees across Australia and New Zealand.

The survey looked at the participants’ salary expectations and employment issues, and found that Australian employers are becoming pickier in hiring staff, opting for ‘value’ over ‘cost’.

Employers are learning that cheaper hires can be more costly, the report found, with 44 per cent of employees described as ‘not good’ in 2011. In addition, 55 per cent of hiring managers are expected to improve the quality of new hires while managing their budgets.

“There is significant demand for ICT recruits, but employers are more conservative in assessing candidates to ensure they’re getting a return from their investment,” Hudson ICT national practice director, Martin Retschko, said in a statement. “Candidates have to do more to demonstrate their abilities.”

In response, some employers are already finding ways of extracting value from new hires, including looking at more years of experience (19 per cent), specialisation in a particular field (29 per cent) and superior team fit (19 per cent).

However, Hudson recommended that businesses divert from selecting new hires based on technical qualifications and experience, and start to assess candidates’ performance, such as measuring motivational and behavioural attributes, to increase their chances of finding the right employee.

But as organisations become more selective with new hires, a skills shortage is predicted to occur and will “intensify competition for the most talented candidates” as a result, according to the report.

Forty-eight per cent of hiring managers experienced this problem, saying it was particularly hard finding the right candidates for senior strategic and managerial roles in 2011.

However, the difficulty in hiring suitable ICT staff is not the only issue plaguing organisations, with 67 per cent of employers coming under pressure in retaining their top talent even though 39 per cent of employees said they would stay upon a pay rise.

Such a salary increase may be likely for top performing workers, as the ICT industry received the highest salary increase in 201, with 27 per cent of employees seeing a pay rise of more than 10 per cent.

According to the report, in-demand skills within the ICT sector include communication and high-level corporate and commercial skills, expertise in Cloud computing and security consultancy.

Earlier this month, recruitment firm Hays also found IT skills to be the most sought-after skill by prospective employers worldwide.

Follow Diana Nguyen on Twitter: @diananguyen9

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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