The January Hays Quarterly Forecast released yesterday lists the hottest IT jobs for 2008 with a definite upswing in permanent vacancies.
Hays IT director, Peter Noblet, said the new year has arrived with the usual increase in vacancies as organizations determine the staff they require for the next 12 months.
"With the first quarter of the year the traditional time that candidates reassess their career, the majority of vacancies are the result of staff departures, although new jobs are still being created due to additional headcount requirements or the restructuring of roles internally," he said.
"Employers are moving quickly once they identify a candidate they wish to offer a role to, particularly since good candidates will continue to receive multiple offers of employment."
The areas of strongest demand in IT include help-desk positions with Noblet claiming candidates are offered job within hours of an interview.
VMWare and systems management server skills are also in higher demand than usual.
Nobelt said candidates with experience administering Lotus Notes and network engineers (including VOIP and security) are in short supply, particularly as VOIP has improved as a product and security has become a bigger issue.
James Turner, an advisor at research firm IBRS, said skills shortages will continue to worsen in coming years particularly after the year 2011 when those born in 1946 turn 65.
"The first tide of baby-boomers reaching 65 years of age in the next few years will lead to a mass exodus from the workplace," Turner said.
"The employment market will steadily shrink and their numbers will be insufficiently replaced by Generation Y or those born after 1992."
Turner said organizations need to act now by implementing an action plan which delivers ongoing knowledge sharing between mature workers and Generation Y to ensure the hard-earned knowledge of the last 50 years isn't lost from a lack of mentoring and succession planning.
A more extensive review of hotspots for each market sector, along with hiring intentions, salaries and candidate attraction, is contained in the Hays Quarterly Forecast, available at www.hays.com.au