By Maximilian Clarke

IT recruiters remain ‘relatively upbeat’ about the outlook for 2012 jobs, with high demand for specific roles such as system developers and project managers.

Feedback from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Technology Sector Group verifies the findings of a separate KPMG study which shows growth of demand for both permanent and contract staff in the IT sector.

One area of concern for recruiters and employers has been the lack of suitable candidates for specific roles. The need to build an effective skills pipeline in the technology sector and to address current mismatches was one of the themes of the meeting. As part of this, REC Technology will be working closely with E-Skills, the sector skills council for IT and technology.

Speaking at the meeting, Peter Hounsome from E-Skills underlined the importance of generating regular data on skills in the sector. Peter also confirmed that E-Skills is “keen to build on previous collaborations and to work closely with REC Technology in order to track mismatches in supply and demand for IT staff."

Discussions at the meeting also covered current policy campaigns on key issues for IT recruiters such as IR35, Intra-Company Transfers (ICTs), security vetting for IT contractors and AWR implementation. The other key area of focus was the latest social media trends and what these can mean in practice for recruitment.

“I was pleased to hear from many of our members that they are looking forward to 2012 with confidence about the IT jobs market," said Jeff Brooks, Chair of REC Technology. "The recruitment sector has always been good at adapting to external developments. Social media is the latest change to manage and has already resulted in specialised recruiters reinventing the way they build their brand and build relationships with clients and candidates. We will continue to provide regular updates on how latest social media trends and technology can be used to maximum advantage by agencies.

“With regards to current policy campaigns, the ongoing input from front-line recruiters is driving our messages to Government. As well as continuing to influence the agenda on issues such as IR35, we will take stock of how the recently implemented Agency Worker Regulations are impacting on the technology sector.

"The feedback is positive so far and there are some interesting trends emerging in terms of some agencies seeing the 'Swedish Derogation' model as a good way of attracting and retaining highly-skilled workers."

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