Skills shortage helps UNISYS People post $15 million profit

Skills shortage helps UNISYS People post $15 million profit

IT recruitment company UNISYS People is gloating over its first-year profit of $15 million, posted despite the serious scepticism of industry commentators and because of the massive skills shortages facing the global IT industry.

According to chief executive officer Monty Sachdev, the apparent avalanche of dire issues that must be conquered, such as the millennium bug, euro conversion and, closer to home, the looming GST, has successfully propelled UNISYS People into the competitive recruitment and service industries.

However, the short-term nature of these battles is no cause for complacency for those searching for skilled workers, as, according to Sachdev, these apparent catastrophes are only a prelude to "a much greater demand (for skilled workers) arising form several other major IT initiatives like systems integration, e-commerce, eNet, ERP and decision support systems".

It is the inherent nature of the IT industry to create a dynamism difficult to respond to in terms of resource allocation, and Sachdev has found that breaking into the virgin pool of Asian talent has kept UNISYS competitive.

"Initially companies were resistant to recruitment from Asia but they are opening up to the possibilities now," claims Sachdev. The change in attitude comes, according to Sachdev, from a lack of monetary incentives from Australian companies, resulting in traditional American and European resources choosing to accept more lucrative offers.

UNISYS People has rapidly tapped into the potentially alternate Asian skill set and the increased flexibility of Australian companies by planning in the next couple of years to double its current 10 per cent ratio of international recruitment, based mainly in Asia. "Overseas recruitment involves replicating your business internationally," says Sachdev, who is planning an official expansion into key Asian markets in the near future.

This move, and of course that $15 million, has silenced many sceptics who believed that a spin off company from a giant multinational would find it impossible to discard its solutions provider background and transform into a recruitment agency, especially when matched with small local partner Quaser Professionals. Sachdev attributes this unexpected success to UNISYS People's ability to anticipate and follow market demands and trends and a willingness to take constructive risks.

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