Despite increased demand for IT staff, IT professionals have been more cautious about changing jobs at the beginning of the year than in 2010, according to research.
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The latest salary survey by recruitment firm Robert Walters suggests that general hiring activity in the IT industry last year was comparable to pre-recession levels in 2007. But IT professionals were more reluctant to change jobs at the start of 2011 than at the end of last year.
"There's less downturn in demand and more downturn in the psyche of the job hunter. Permanent staff are being more cautious," said Jason Addicott, associate director of IT recruitment at Robert Walters.
Addicott said there's also a decline in IT professionals' optimism for pay rises despite an average salary increase of between 3% and 5% in 2010 and bonus payments being up on last year's figures.
"Our IT community had the lowest expectations around pay rise or bonus payments compared to kindred sectors, such as finance. In the financial sector around 80% expected a pay rise compared to 51% of IT staff," he said.
The survey showed demand remained high for staff with C# and Java software skills as well as for business-facing IT roles. Infrastructure professionals were also sought-after as firms moved to shared services and remote servers.
"It's still a candidate-driven market but skill-sets are becoming more complex. Exact technical and commercial skill matches will win over object-oriented developers," said Addicott.