Australian CTOs/CIOs are feeling positive about the outlook for 2016 with 77% feeling confident about the growth prospects of the Australian economy and 87% in the growth potential of their own company, according to the latest independent survey by specialist recruiter Robert Half.
- 87% of Australian CTOs and CIOs are confident about their company’s growth prospects in 2016
- 48% will expand their technology teams in the first half (Jan-June) of 2016
- Medium sized companies have highest growth expectations with 51% looking to expand their technology teams
- 93% find it challenging to find skilled IT and technology professionals today
- 87% are concerned about losing their top IT and technology performers this year
The survey also revealed that the vast majority of companies plan to increase and maintain current IT staff levels: 48% of Australian IT executives indicate that they will be creating extra permanent IT positions within the coming six months, while another 41% will be filling existing positions that open up. One in ten will not fill vacating positions nor create new ones and merely 1% plans to reduce headcount.
According to Australian CIOs/CTOs, the top reasons for increasing the number of permanent IT positions include business growth or expansion (54%), new projects/initiatives (43%), product/service expansion (38%) and IT risk and security (33%).
David Jones, Senior Managing Director Asia Pacific said the following: “The majority of businesses are confident about 2016 and have ambitious growth plans. The focus lies strongly on generating growth, which translates into new technology projects, expansion of the services offered and system implementations, etc.”
“Technology advancements are driving business change, delivering growth and innovation across multiple sectors, prompting the need for additional IT talent. There is therefore a continued demand for specialist IT roles which is set to continue in 2016,” David Jones said.
Technology professionals are in strong demand, but the search for qualified IT talent is not without challenges. More than nine in ten (93%) CTOs/CIOs say they experience difficulties in finding skilled IT and technology professionals, with data/database management (17%), software development (15%), networking (13%) and IT security roles (11%) posing the greatest challenge.
The lack of technical niche experts (37%), and a demand that is greater than the supply (31%) were cited as the primary reasons why it's challenging to find skilled IT and technology professionals today.
“There are several opportunities for IT top professionals in today’s job market and candidates with niche skills are finding themselves in demand. More and more professionals are therefore looking for new challenges, and companies understand that they have to engage in the ‘war for talent’ to find and recruit top talent,” David Jones said.
While finding and recruiting highly skilled IT employees remains a challenge, so does retaining the best and brightest with 87% of CIOs/CTOs concerned about losing their top IT talent to other job opportunities this year.
“Staff retention is a top priority for businesses today. The cost of replacing a skilled employee extends beyond the monetary aspect. Employers recognise that retaining key IT staff who have strong corporate knowledge and fit the culture of the company must be a priority if they want a competitive edge,” David Jones concluded.