Trading software programmers still in demand

T rading software maker Trayport has changed its recruitment policy because the slow process meant it was missing out on recruitment targets. Despite...

Trading software maker Trayport has changed its recruitment policy because the slow process meant it was missing out on recruitment targets.

Despite the turmoil in the financial services market, the company said competition to recruit developers is high.

The company, which makes software that allows traders and investors to trade from their terminals, has about 100 developers in the UK. Itsaid it islosing candidates to competitors during the selection process.

The company recruits developers that use C++ on a Windows platform, testers with knowledge of SQL and TCP/IP, and support staff withknowledge ofSQL Server, TCP/IP and Windows.

"We started to notice that a lot of the candidates we were interviewingwere starting to have increased interview activity outside of our own process, and in turn began to see a number of the very best candidates still receiving other offers while undertaking interviews with us," said Simon Masters, head of recruitment at Trayport.

The firm looked at some of the statistics behind this a for six month period. "We were not wholly surprised to find that after an initial screening in what is traditionally a three step interview process we were losingcandidates to other offers."

In software development the firm lost five candidates from 19 interviews after the first of what is normally a three interview process. In testing it lost seven out of 33, while in technical support from 28 interviews it lost 14 candidates.

In reaction to this trend Trayport reduced the number of interviews per candidate from threeto twoand reduced the time between the interviews.

Earlier this month,research from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and KPMG UK found that software programmers are in demand despite there being the lowest number of total job vacancies ever recorded. It said UK businesses needed more permanent staff with .net, C#, and PHP, while temporary staff with CNC programming skills are in high demand.

Chris Skinner, CEO at financial services think-tank Balatro, said the right technology skills are always in demand. "Traders and investors that are not performing will always be cut, whereas people with specific technology skills are always in demand."

He cited the recent launch of a PhD course focussed on financial services computing skills as an example of how people with the right IT skills will find job opportunities.

Masters, at Trayport, added, “Last year many companies were holding fire on the running of new IT projects in such an unstable market. As a result these companies were stalling their recruitment plans.  However at the start of 2009, stalling these projects can no longer be an effective strategy and to stand totally still will merely see a company left behind, while others move forward. 

"As a result we are beginning to see some liquidity within the technology recruitment market as a small increase in available jobs will inevitably create a more competitive market in 2009 to search out the very best talent."

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