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Jobs shock as talent makes a bolt for it

Posted February 23, 2010 by Peoplebank Australia

Appeared in: The Australian
Author: Jennifer Foreshew
Date: February 23rd, 2010

Information technology recruiters are predicting a round of musical chairs this year after employees sat tight during the financial crisis. Dissatisfaction over job losses, salary freezes and slashed or axed bonuses has eroded loyalty, according to employment experts.

Employers will have their work cut out keeping talent this year.

As major projects such as the national broadband network gain traction, there are fears also of a skills shortage in some specialties.

According to executive search specialist Debra Kwasnicki, retention will be a critical issue.

“I have never known a time in my 15 years in recruiting where there have been so many unhappy people in jobs,” Ms Kwasnicki said.

“The music hasn’t been playing, so the chairs haven’t been moving around and an awful lot of people are saying as soon as the market picks up I’m out of here. It will get back to how good an employer you are.”

Peoplebank chief operating officer Peter Acheson also expects turbulence.

“When you start to see a pick-up in employment demand, employees have long memories and those who don’t feel they were treated well, or have stayed with their current employer because the market was a bit tough, will start to shop around,” Mr Acheson said.

Dominos Pizza Enterprises chief information officer Barry Wiech is seeing the supply of good developers starting to dry up.

“I think that is going to put pressure on budgets and so on for projects with higher salaries,” he said. “Projects that get funded now may actually get put on hold to . . . until resources become available to fill those projects.”

Department of Immigration and Citizenship chief information officer Bob Correll is expecting the tight overall resourcing environment to be a challenge.

DIAC will hire at least 10 graduates this year and five APS apprenticeships, and beyond that will be influenced by the scale of the work program.

“We still have key areas where we see recruitment needs and skill shortage needs,” Mr Correll said.

DIAC is tracking towards its final release in June of the $600 million Systems for People program that has been running for more than four years.

“We have got 1100 to 1200-odd people and that will come down to in the order of 800,” he said.

The department will be looking to hire a host of technical specialists.

Posted February 23, 2010 by Peoplebank Australia