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Private sector hesitant to recruit public sector IT staff

Private sector hesitant to recruit public sector IT staff

79% of IT Directors think they would get better value from private sector employees

IT Directors in the private sector are reluctant to recruit staff from the public sector, reveals research by ReThink Recruitment, the business and technology staffing company.

79% of IT Directors who responded to the survey* think that private sector staff offer better value than those from the public sector.

According to ReThink Recruitment, the findings raise questions as to how realistic the Governments expectation is that private sector employers will take up the slack when public sector job cuts begin in earnest in the coming months.

ReThink Recruitment says that some public sector IT candidates particularly those who do not have recent experience in the private sector may have to review their salary expectations in order to switch to private sector roles.

Michael Bennett, Director of ReThink Recruitment, comments The Government has been suggesting that the private sector could fill the gap in the employment market following the public sector cutbacks. Yet there is an immediate concern amongst private sector employers that public sector IT employees offer less value for money.

It is clearly not going to be as easy for public sector employees to make the switch into the private sector as has been suggested.

Although staff with experience of managing very complex IT projects have transferable skills, there is a growing demand from the private sector for so-called hybrid IT staff.

ReThink Recruitment explains that hybrid staff have a strong commercial background in addition to the requisite IT skills, and that this combination is increasingly seen as essential by many private sector employers.

Michael Bennett continues: Its not enough to have just technical skills these days. Business analysts have been one of the most in-demand private sector IT roles over the last few years, and sucessful candidates for this role need all-round business skills as well as a technology background.

There is also huge demand at the moment for IT staff from the insurance sector, but these employers expect IT candidates who have extensive experience in the insurance or financial services sector. Even if a public sector candidate had the right technical skills, they would be at a distinct disadvantage competing for one of these jobs.

The research also revealed that only a tiny proportion just 5% of IT Directors think that reduced demand in the public sector will make it easier for the private sector to find high quality candidates over the next twelve months.

Says Michael Bennett: It could prove difficult for public sector IT employees to make the switch to the private sector without retraining or reviewing their salary expectations. Many may have to accept lower pay.

*This is the fourth annual survey by ReThink Recruitment looking at the staffing and budget trends of IT departments. 66 IT Directors responded to this survey from a broad cross-section of organisations, including several global companies with IT departments in excess of 250 staff.


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