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Surge in demand for security specialists

Customers are struggling to find people with security skills handing the channel the chance to fill the gap

If the demand for jobs is anything to go by the areas where customers are feeling the pain is around cyber security with it getting harder to find people with skills in that area.

The high profile breaches, messages about the almost inevitable chances of being hit by a breach as well as the general need to show better data protection for compliance reasons have all caused a drive by firms to get hold of security expertise.

The problems landing permanent or even temporary staff with the right credentials presents the channel with the chance to fill the gap and deliver security services that customers would otherwise fail to get access to.

The evidence of just how many customers are scrambling to get their hands on security staff comes in the latest Report on Jobs, published by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

The report showed that last month saw high levels of demand for both permanent and temporary IT staff.

The number of firms looking for permanent IT staff was so strong it was the most sought after area for skills across the jobs market.

The growth of temporary IT vacancies was also buoyant, at the highest rate since April, with firms looking to bring on board expertise to help with more short-term projects.

Heath Jackson, partner in the CIO Advisory practice at KPMG, said that it was security skills in particular that were being looked for in the current market.

“In the wake of several high profile breaches, companies are investing heavily in their cyber security teams and demand for IT specialists surged in December,” he said.

“This hiring boom has caused a skills shortage in the sector, with recruiters struggling to find enough candidates qualified in IT security to satisfy demand,” he added.

The advice from KPMG was to rethink recruitment strategies in the face of such tough competition and look to upscale current staff.

There is of course the option of looking to external expertise and working with a channel partner that has the security skills already developed.

As well as providing the channel with an opportunity to plug the skills gap the surge in demand for skilled IT staff comes at a time when resellers themselves are also looking to expand.

Already this week there have been signs that resellers are in recruitment mode as they look to bring on more staff to drive the business forward in 2016.

The skills gap is likely to remain a theme for this year, particularly if the channel does continue to expand its headcount.

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