Permanent IT jobs 'returning to growth'

.NET and PHP skills in high demand

The IT jobs market is showing signs of recovery, particularly on the permanent side, according to Reed Specialist Recruitment.

Andrew Gardner, senior divisional director of the technology division of Reed Specialist Recruitment, said that the number of available permanent jobs was picking up again particularly in SMEs, as well as in the financial services sector and in software houses.

"As part of the downturn, our permanent team took a mauling, but over the last five or six months, it has started to pick up again.

"We are now looking to build our permanent teams back up to meet the demand," said Gardner.

Reed currently has a team of 25 in the permanent jobs division, and Gardner aims to recruit a further 20 in the next few months, which takes the total "slightly higher than we had before".

Furthermore, Reed said its lead time between interviews and job offers has shortened to that of before the recession.

"During the recession, we'd look forward two months [from when interviews would take place to when job offers would be made]. That timeline has definitely shortened - it's back to around four weeks," said Gardner.

In terms of the roles that are in demand, Gardner said that the company noticed a growing trend for project management and change management roles, mainly in the financial services sector, due to banks merging.

"They're [the banks] having to spend quite a lot of money to merge their systems," he said.

IT salaries are also starting to see an upward trend. According to Gardner, some clients, in a bid to finish projects quickly, are paying above-market rates to attract workers away from other contractors.

"We are probably seeing a slight increase and that's starting to go up," said Gardner.

Meanwhile, Gardner said that .NET and PHP skills were in high demand in the SME market, where smaller clients were choosing to upgrade legacy systems rather replace them with new ones.

He predicted that the forecast public sector recession will not be "quite as bad" as people are expecting.

But he added: "There's a bit of concern if there is a freeze on IT project spend over a million pounds. It will be interesting to see how they manage that."

This story, "Permanent IT jobs 'returning to growth'" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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