Australian IT companies remain upbeat on recruitment despite the financial market bedlam, increased redundancies and worsening unemployment figures.
“Right now we are finding if there is anything happening directly, it is probably a softening of capital spending, but the services business is extremely strong,” Fujitsu Australia CEO, Rod Vawdrey, said. “We are in a net hiring mode at the moment and we have talked about this over the past few days; we can’t see that with the work we have, there will be any slowing of recruitment in the near term.”
Microsoft, Samsung, Express Data, Dimension Data, Fujitsu, Unisys and Ethan Group all confirmed to ARN they would proceed with existing recruitment plans regardless of the general economic situation.
“We’ve actually been swamped by new applications with people wanting to join. We’ve had several in the last few weeks and hired five people in the last week,” Ethan Group managing director, Andrew Rayment, said. “The regular schedule of hiring is not that high; normally it is three or four people a month.”
Unisys A/NZ human resources director, John Maley, said the service provider’s focus on government business shielded it from exposure.
“Unisys Australia is actively recruiting approximately 380 roles Australia-wide to provide services and support for the new regional ICT support services contract with the Australian Department of Defence which was announced in February. To date, we have filled more than 320 of these positions,” he said in a written response.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week announced the unemployment rate rose to 4.3 per cent from 4.1 per cent in August. The Olivier Job Index indicated online job ads slumped 3.27 per cent in September and fell 20 per cent in the past six months. The index also found permanent roles were up by two per cent; temporary and contract jobs slipped 12 per cent.
Stock markets around the world have fallen dramatically in the past month in what is being described as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Additionally, eBay, Kaz, Pioneer Electronics and HP EDS in the UK have all slashed jobs.
Analysts claim there has been a slow down or freeze in many IT projects, particularly in the banking sector, that is fuelling a loss of contract positions.
Despite these trends, Frost and Sullivan ICT director, Andrew Milroy, said banks would still need to focus on IT to retain customers.