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Hiring activity rife in public sector as appetite for digital transformation continues

Hiring activity rife in public sector as appetite for digital transformation continues

Demand hotspots span website revamps, payment gateways, digitisation of records and intranet projects

Hiring activity continues for project delivery as well as technical resources, while digital transformation remains a hot topic across the public sector, according to Hays.

In fact, multiple organisations are still looking at enterprise-wide service delivery transformations, both internally and externally, the recruitment firm said, based on a quarterly report spanning April to June 2017.

This has lead to increased demand for project managers and business analysts with previous digital project experience, such as website revamps, payment gateways and the digitisation of records and intranet projects.

Given these trends, Hays said the public sector is on the lookout for candidates with experience working in Agile environments, or at the very least with a theoretical understanding of the approach.

The report showed full-time headcount restrictions to remain in place in many departments, particularly in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Consequently, contract and non-ongoing roles are still the preferred hiring method.

Additionally, the focus on cost savings continues, also driving the fixed-term contract trend. With salary bandings set, Hays said candidates need to be flexible in their salary expectations to secure these roles.

The recruitment firm added that as technology becomes more complex, many specialist technical small to medium enterprises still request IT professionals with “excellent customer engagement skills” and hone significant focus on “cultural fit”.

Public sector demand hotspots

In terms of infrastructure and support, Hays said it continues to see high demand for systems engineers for both business as usual and new project work involving virtualisation and cloud solutions.

Generalist infrastructure engineers also remain a hotspot of demand because a strong generalist can complete varied duties in both large and small organisations, Hays said.

Messaging specialists are needed too, especially Exchange, Office365 and Skype for Business. Many messaging platforms, such as Exchange and Office, now have cloud enabled offerings and therefore highly skilled candidates with design and migration skills are required.

Trends revealed SCCM and SOE specialists are still sought for the design, configuration and deployment of Windows 10 and Server 2016 and Office 365 and Windows 10 remain in demand due to the focus on upgrades and getting the latest MS licence.

It comes as no surprise that cyber security and security analysts are in very high demand, particularly those with penetration testing skills as these niche specialist skills are in short supply.

In terms of digital and software development, Hays said front end developers are required.

“We’ve seen increasing demand for web application developers with strong front end tools, particularly JavaScript libraries and frameworks, to help improve customer and user experiences for both intranet and extranet environments,” the recruitment firm said.

Hay added that business analysts are also considered a critical role in successful projects and demand outstrips other non-technical roles.

“Organisations frequently request candidates with specific domain knowledge and experience with a particular technology or project type. Agile Project Managers and Business Analysts are also sought for projects such as website revamps, payment gateways and the digitisation of records and intranet projects.”

In looking at the private sector, the report revealed that security, system/infrastructure engineers with cloud experience with Azure and AWS and DevOps remain focus areas for employers.

Meanwhile, mobile development is growing as organisations diversify their digital strategy across multiple platforms.

“With no limit to the opportunities mobile applications can provide, it’s hard to predict when demand will plateau, particularly as new dynamics are added, such as augmented and virtual reality,” Hays said.

NoSQL databases such as MongoDB are expected to become a lot more popular, with demand for technologies surrounding cloud and big data.

As enterprises continue to move more applications and services to the cloud, on-demand integration is critical to ensure connectivity through all aspects of enterprise ecosystems.

Consequently, Hays said that strong communication and influencing skills as well as the ability to translate complex, technical jargon to business colleagues is essential.

In particular, the recruitment firm flagged Mulesoft professionals, UX designers, Dynamics CRM developers and business intelligence as hotspots of demand in the private sector.

Just last month, The IT Professionals Association (ITPA) claimed local tech firms are abusing the 457 visa system by hiring international staff for entry level IT support positions rather than local graduates.

According to the association’s director, Martin Hale, temporary work data from the government's data.gov.au website suggested there has been an unprecedented rise in 457 visas being issued to IT support workers over the past 10 years.

Hays also found that the growth rate for 457 visas granted to entry level occupations including systems administration and IT support swelled by over 480 per cent over the decade of 2005/06 - 2015/16.

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Tags azureAWSCloudMongoDBbig dataHaysMuleSoftThe IT Professionals AssociationNoSQL

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