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New survey finds war for talent hotting up in the IT sector

The specialist IT recruitment consultancy also found a gap between resourcing capacity and expected activity in its survey of over 1500 director level professionals.

Pay increases reported in light of rising skills gaps

Figures in the seventh annual survey highlight that salaries have continued their upward trend after a challenging period during the global recession. The majority of directors (65%)  reported salaries grew in the last twelve months, with a further 95% reporting contractor rates had either increased or remained stable during this time. This rise in pay looks set to continue throughout 2014, with 27% of those surveyed predicting contractor rate rises and 69% expecting to increase permanent salaries.

As the competition for talent continues to increase in a limited pool of specialist skills, this trend is to be expected. With staff retention remaining a critical concern – 66% of respondents stated this was a significant concern - salary increases look set to continue over the coming months.

Gaps between workload and current resources identified

The results of the report also identified a clear gap between predicted workload over the next year and the capacity of current resources. The majority of those surveyed (77%) expect to see an increase in workload over the next twelve months. While this remains on par with 2013 figures, the stark comparison between this and budget forecasts suggests IT departments are set to continue working in a & lsquo;more for less’ environment. With only 47% expecting a rise in budgets, it’s perhaps unsurprising that 52% of directors do not feel they have the capacity to increase output with current staffing levels. 

This has also led to a rise in the number of organisations offshoring work, with those expecting to utilise this resource rising from 21% in 2013, to 35%.

Michael Bennett, Managing Director at ReThink Recruitment commented:

“The results of this year’s research have built on the promising figures returned in the last edition and give plenty of cause for optimism for IT departments in 2014. This follows on from the positive findings from the KPMG/Markit Tech Monitor report that revealed the UK tech sector recorded its best growth performance for almost a decade in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Initial signs suggest stability is returning to the market, but there is clearly some way to go yet before full confidence returns. IT directors face growing competition for talent which is driving salary increases across the board. Recruitment within this arena also looks set to be highly active with 49% of those surveyed planning to increase headcount, mirroring recent reports from KPMG and Markit, which will be further exacerbated by the gap between demand and resources identified in our survey.

In an industry where talented specialists are always in high demand, it will certainly prove challenging for many directors to keep their top performers and, indeed, attract new experts. While the UK economy continues to show signs of positivity, it seems the IT arena still has a number of challenges to contend with. The next year, then, looks set to be extremely busy for IT professionals.”



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