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Law firms claim mounting evidence of Web developer shortage as fees rise rapidly



Dotcoms may be the flavour of the day everywhere bar the stock market - but some IT directors are having a nightmarish time when recruiting Web developers,...



Dotcoms may be the flavour of the day everywhere bar the stock market - but some IT directors are having a nightmarish time when recruiting Web developers, writes Pravin Jeyaraj.

Delegates at a recent gathering of law firm IT directors said they were frustrated because potential candidates were either too expensive or unwilling to toe the corporate line.

Brian Collins, IT director for Clifford Chance, said, "We're are finding it hard to find Web developers. And what do we need for a good online relationship? Web developers."

Johnathan Drake, IT manager for Field Fisher Waterhouse, added that one applicant had turned up late, wore jeans and demanded £8,000 more than the company had expected.

Brian Birkhead, managing director of database marketing firm Macon Consulting, said IT directors should not overreact over a minority. But he conceded, "I do hear echoes of people who are beginning to step on the gas in terms of fees and some seem to feel they can charge the earth."

Emmanuel Ohajah, managing director of Web strategy consulting at Hyena, even disagreed there was a skills shortage, instead blaming companies for not recruiting in the right way.

He said, "Once you start outsourcing [Web development] something's going to get lost. It's up to companies to stand over people and make sure it gets done - I don't like it but I respect it."

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