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IT skills in hot demand, particularly in the Cloud and Big Data sectors

Julia Talevski and Hafizah Osman | June 28, 2013
But it's a complex market with a lot of variations.

Due to the tough economic environment, a lot of companies have scaled back their HR departments, but Express Data has increased its resources in that area.

"It's paid dividends. We have a dedicated internal recruitment team and they have a deep understanding of our culture and needs of our customers so they can identify people that are going to be a fit for the organisation, Gage said.

Hudson's Retschko said businesses should focus on long-term human resource planning and hiring the right talent upfront.

"It's also about taking time to understand the makeup of your workforce, having options for people to develop their career in-house, and ensuring you have the right leaders with the right people skills and approach to developing staff," he said.

Kiandra IT has graced BRW's 50 Best Places to Work list, and managing director, Cameron Brookes, said its recognition came down to focusing on company culture.

"We have a generous training and development initiative and our industry evolves so quickly that we need to stay at the forefront," Brookes said. "We provide lots of little perks but, ultimately, its about the environment employees come into."

Brookes said building a culture of talent and high-performers attracts other like-minded individuals. "They're surrounded by pretty smart and passionate people and they're in an environment where they can express themselves, learn and contribute."

Kiandra is hiring within its software development and infrastructure team, mostly business analyst roles, project managers and .net developers. But getting the right staff isn't easy, Brookes said. The company had used 457 visas to get the right skills.

Back to the beginning
The Federal Government is trying to remedy the skills shortage through spending $6.5 million in the next four years on its new Digital Careers program to encourage more students to pursue an ICT career.

This recognises that Australia faces a widening gap between demand for ICT skills and the supply of qualified workers.

In the past decade 100,000 jobs have been created in Australia, 12,000 in the past year. But the number of students studying IT at university has halved in that same period, according to the Australian Computer Society.

"Even though there's 10,000 jobs a year created in IT, there are only 4500 students studying IT at university, and not all of them graduate. IT at university has a very high attrition rate, people find it boring, too hard or it's not taught in the right way," ACS' Redman said.


How to be a best employer


IT distributor, Express Data, has collected a few AON Hewitt Best Employer awards. How did it achieve this? The first step to gain accreditation is through reaching an engagement score benchmark of 65 per cent or higher in an employee opinion survey. Next is completing a people practises inventory and final stage involves AON Hewitt validating the data and information through an audit process.


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