The IT sector is weathering the economic climate, according to the latest IT and technology sector employment survey from Hays IT, the leading recruiting expert. The research finds employers are facing intense competition for professionals as the vast majority of permanent employees (73%) are currently considering moving jobs, for the right role.

The majority of respondents in permanent roles were optimistic, with 59% saying the recession had not affected their career in the long term. While over half (57%) did not receive a bonus in the last 12 months, of those that did, 53% received bonuses at the same or higher levels than the previous year, with a lucky 15% receiving bonuses of 15% or more of their salary.

IT professionals in full time employment are also enjoying salary increases, with over half (54%) receiving an increase in salary and 51% of them receiving a salary increase of 3% or more.

However, despite the healthy financial rewards, many permanent IT professionals feel overworked, with nearly two thirds (61%) seeing an increase in workloads in the last 12 months. Many are concerned about their future prospects, with more than half (59%) saying their current organisation does not offer any career progression opportunities, even though 61% said they received training support.

James Aldridge, Director at Hays Information Technology, comments: “Demand remains high for the best IT professionals, but some employers in the IT sector are showing a worrying complacency towards their employees, as our findings highlight that 61% of employees anticipate moving jobs within one year. Given this level of employee dissatisfaction, we would urge employers to support their employees better, particularly key staff, and make sure they receive the development they call for.”

The contract market remains attractive to IT professionals with only 6% considering moving to a permanent position as their next career move. 56% said they would take a gap of eight weeks between contract roles before they considered a permanent position. While half of contractors were only willing to consider contracts of three months or more, the current market has made 24% more willing to accept shorter contracts and 67% would accept or consider a drop in pay rate to secure their next contract.

Aldridge adds; “Despite the continued need for contract staff, the results raise some concerns for employers looking to hire permanently over the next twelve months. Many IT professionals will be looking to take advantage of the higher day rates found in contract roles and are comfortable in the knowledge that they are unlikely to experience long spells without a contract. In recent times, employers have had very high expectations of permanent candidates, looking for those that meet all of their criteria, but as more IT professionals switch to better paid contract roles they may struggle to find people to fill permanent positions if they aren’t more flexible.”

Resilient IT roles

Looking ahead, there are a number of key areas in the IT sector where candidates remain in demand;
– Developers from the visual and gaming industries
– IT professionals with knowledge of mobile payment platforms
– Business process analysts
– IT Change experts
– Data specialists