Confidence in job security is slowly on the rise in the IT sector, according to a survey from recruitment firm Randstad Technologies.
In a survey of more than 2,000 UK IT employees, those admitting to a feeling they had job security increased by 2% compared to the same survey in 2009.
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Despite the slight increase, more than half still said they feel neutral or slightly insecure about their current job prospects.
Mike Beresford, managing director of Randstad Technologies, said: “IT professionals are increasingly confident about their prospects both within their current organisation and opportunities elsewhere. However, the dynamic pace of change in both the economy and specifically the IT sector is proving a double-edged sword.
“Confidence is increasing, but working in such an ever-changing sector means there is a need to remain aware of emerging technologies, because no one really knows what the sector will look like in five years’ time.
According to Beresford the nature of the IT sector means that contractor utilisation will change as clients begin to hire permanent resources due to the current economic ‘up’: “Contract requirements will again shift to niche or non-core project based solutions.”
Beresford said with an increase of new technologies the most successful IT professionals, and the ones that employers value the most, are those who can pick up new environments, development tools and languages quickly: “In such a constantly changing environment, even the best IT professionals need to up-skill by keeping abreast of new products and technologies - making sure that their skills are as up-to-date as possible.
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“The fact that so many do not see the importance of this represents a real missed opportunity for the workforce.”
According to the survey, fewer IT professionals (15%) feel pressured into working longer hours to impress management compared to 2009 (16%).
However, the number of employees “getting more done in less time” has doubled. This tactic is now active among 24% of IT workers, whereas in 2009 this figure stood at 12%.
When surveyed in 2009, 18% of respondents said they would consider learning new professional skills if it made them more employable. However, this figure dropped to 11% this year.
Beresford said job security is not just a concern for candidates, but it represents a serious risk for employers too: “First, if staff don’t feel secure in their jobs, they are more likely to look for something else. Any organisation is only as successful as the people who work there, so it’s vital that employers retain valued staff as best they can.
“Second, professional fulfilment increases productivity at work, which can bring strong economic benefits to any organisation. In order to reassure their best staff, managers should have regular appraisals with their employees to reinforce why they are a highly valued member of the team.”