An employment freeze has become the weapon of choice for ICT organisations tackling the economic crisis, according to research by recruitment firm, Hudson.
The latest Hudson report titled Employment expectations saw a steep decline of interest from employers with around 24 per cent looking to hire, a plunge of 20 per cent from last year. Results were sourced from about 7000 enterprise and SME companies.
In a separate survey by the same firm involving 818 ICT hiring managers, 46 per cent indicated hiring activities had ceased. Thirty per cent had redeployed staff within their business and 30 per cent would not seek replacements for leaving staff.
Redundancies were also rife with 26 per cent of respondents conceding they had scrapped positions and 23 per cent had pushed employees to take annual and long service leave.
A quarter of respondents had made cuts to contractor positions but there was a slight turn around in Q2.
“In Q1, a lot of projects were put on hold,” Hudson ICT director, Frank Wadsworth, said. “But we are seeing contractor numbers picking up due to these projects being given the green light this quarter.
“Major integration deals with certain banks along with merger and acquisition activities increased the numbers of contract staff as well.”
Comparatively, the current job crisis is nowhere near as abysmal as post-Y2K.
“Back then there was an oversupply of talent which contributed to high IT unemployment,” said Wadsworth. “Right now there is still a skills shortage around areas such as ERP, SAP, and business intelligence.”
Wadsworth was also heartened by the survey figures which showed around half of respondents were bolstering focus in keeping top workers and staff training.
“It is really encouraging to see that managers and business are valuing employees that they already have in terms of providing coaching since these people are generally doing more work compared to 12 months ago,” he said. “To ensure employees are fully engaged, they need to be valued."
NEC also announced the retrenchment of 153 Australian workers in March.