IT chiefs with CRM in demand

IT directors with expertise in customer relationship management and managing relationships with outsourcing providers are in...

IT directors with expertise in customer relationship management and managing relationships with outsourcing providers are in demand on the job market, according to Vicky Maxwell Davies, director at executive search firm Holley Maxwell, writes Ross Bentley.

Davies says the retail sector has been recruiting at the IT director-level of late. "All the major supermarkets have taken people on," she says. "Retail banking is another area where there are opportunities for the right person. These are both areas where customer service is important.

"This is a new development - up until recently if you wanted a senior IT role in a bank you had to have a banking background."

Customer loyalty schemes are also driving demand. "Retail organisations have recruited senior IT people from companies such as British Airways, who have experience in rolling out air miles schemes and the like," says Davies.

However, in the manufacturing and construction industries job prospects for IT directors are less promising. "These are sectors where technology is not so critical and therefore there are less opportunities and, in general, lower pay," says Davies.

Compared with last year, Davies says the job market for IT directors is less slow than it has been but there are still a lot of people looking out for a "plan B". "We are getting a massive response to job ads - some from IT directors that are looking to move into a more stable organisation," she says.

Davies says there are a lot of IT directors who do not plan their career. "You need to look at your CV. What story does it tell? Where are the skills gaps and what do you have to do to fill those gaps? Can you get them from your current job or will you have to move?" she asks.

Davies notes that IT directors who have moved between companies are paid significantly more than those who stay with one firm. However, part of this differential may be because those IT directors who frequently change jobs tend to be of a higher calibre.

"World-class IT directors come on board to do a job or project and when that job is done they move on to the next challenge - that is what you would hope to see from a top leader," she says.

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