IT & Telecoms
Within this changing sector, recruiters have their work cut out. However, their extra workload is most certainly not due to a lack of jobs
Susan Bor, global head of recruitment at business software and solutions firm SAP, tells Recruiter that IT is “an industry with a wealth of job opportunities”.
Bor says while ERP [enterprise resource planning] skills “remain a strong requirement” at SAP, it is also entering new areas, such as mobility, cloud, analytics and database, with recruiting on the back of the company’s “aggressive” targets particularly keen on candidates with a “drive for life-long learning”.
Alan Hartwell, vice president of technology solutions at hardware and software firm Oracle UK, adds: “While jobs have become a scarce commodity in some sectors, this is not so in technology.
“It is worth noting,” he adds, “that the technology industry is not just about developers and coding and a need for passionate, highly technical individuals”. There is also strong demand for business consultants, support staff, marketing and a lot of sales staff.
The problem for recruiters, explains James Richmond, director at technology and finance recruiter Cititec, is that the market “is becoming saturated”, and seeing sector-wide “margin degradation”.
Alastair Hacking, head of operations at Randstad Technologies, agrees with Hartwell that while the “hot skills”, such as mobile technology, API [application programming interface] and the soon-to be released HTML 5 are all very well, it’s “often the simple ‘business as usual’ requirements that have the greatest recruitment volumes”.
WAYNE SEARLE AT CABLE & WIRELESS WORLDWIDE: “AS A TELCO COMPANY, LIKE A LOT OF THE OTHERS, OUR FUTURE IS ACTUALLY IN APPLICATIONS”
But Kris England-Smith, training and development director at technology recruiter Penta Consulting, is not seeing ‘business as usual’ across the sector as a whole — as he puts it, he is experiencing development of a wider “ecosystem of telecoms & IT… [and] companies that are not in the telecoms sector are now moving into it”.
Wayne Searle, head of organisational development and talent acquisition at Cable & Wireless Worldwide, agrees with Bor and Hartwell’s comments around “an awful lot of competition for new talent”.
Alongside England-Smith, he sees his sector evolving and broadening out, and tells Recruiter: “As a telco company, like a lot of the others, our future is most definitely actually in applications.”
With funding available for tech-start ups, at Silicon Roundabout and beyond — which Richmond at Cititec says is “sticking two fingers up at the economic gloom” — Searle finds more people, the sought-after app developers in particular, keen to do part-time work and is expecting a shift in the employer-worker relationship, moving in many cases to more of an associate or partnership model.
This shift, he says, is a big ask for recruiters, explaining: “Recruiters like a very simple model… you know a customer wants these requirements, at these times and you can deliver against it.”
To do this, Searle wants agencies to more proactively and flexibly suggest solutions to his ever-changing requirements.
The IT & telecoms sector, innovative by nature, is competitive, full of roles, and no easy place to operate — recruiters who are not innovating, and merely standing still, could find themselves beginning to fall backwards.
Janine Baker Head of HR, SAS UK & Ireland
“In the UK & Ireland we’re predominantly a sales organisation. We rely very heavily on our customers coming from the financial services industry, so we look for people with that sort of domain expertise; that can be from retail banking through to the capital markets, and the government sector is another key area for us.”
Julie Copperthwaite Business unit director, Ochre House (RPO for SAS)
“There are fewer people coming on to the market and looking for jobs right now — that doesn’t mean that people won’t consider opportunities — I guess the phrase is ‘better the devil you know than the devil you don’t’, so people aren’t tending to move from where they believe they have stability and an organisation that has been loyal to them.”
Alan Hartwell Vice president of technology solutions, Oracle UK
“The technology industry in Europe is offering great opportunities for fresh talent at all levels. Oracle recently launched a recruitment drive to bring in 1,700 new staff, including the hire of hundreds of graduates to help fuel continued growth across the business. However, we’re not alone among the large technology companies looking for talent, so it’s a good time to be an in-demand employee in the IT world.”