IT skills shortage a global issue says recruitment firm Hays

IT programming has been included in recruitment firm Hays’ list of global skills shortages, with particular demand for Java, .NET and C++

A lack of IT talent is a global issue, according to recruitment group Hays Information Technology. 

The recruitment specialist has compiled a list of top ten skills that are lacking globally, with IT pinpointed as one of the top "hard skills" in demand.

Hays said candidates with knowledge of Java, .NET and C++, as well as IT skills specific to individual industries, are particularly hard to come by.

Andy Bristow, business director at Hays Information Technology, said there is a lack in both "soft" and "hard" skills: “Hard IT skills are more about infrastructure and installing - the technical guys that are clear about what they offer, which is top draw IT skills. Soft skills tend to be focused on end user needs and behavior and how technology effects or improves a business.”

Bristow said finding a candidate that has a mix of soft and hard skills can be difficult, but they are definitely in demand: “People that tend to have both of these sets of skills are further on in their career and have moved through several roles already. These types of candidates might have started in a technical role and have had time to filter through and pick up soft management skills along the way,” he explained.

Both government and UK companies have a role to play in encouraging more junior developers into the market, said Bristow.

“Outsourcing work means there is less of a demand for junior developers. Those that do have these skills are demanding higher salaries, so outsourcing seems like a more attractive option," said Bristow. 

"However, this has been changing recently and more companies are looking for projects to be developed in house, and in the UK. 

"It’s just about finding the right candidate to fill this role.”

Bristow said if more students knew there were such opportunities in UK companies, they might be more inclined to take a programme developers course with the prospect of a job at the end of it.

He explained that companies can benefit from recruiting junior developers, as their salaries are much lower than more experienced candidates.

“Companies cannot continue to keep giving out high salaries, nor can they keep increasing current employees’ wages, so they need to start attracting younger juniors instead,” he said.

Charles Logan, director at Hays, said financial, IT and green skills top the list of skills in demand globally.

“We operate in 32 countries and these skills are the ones that our clients globally say are in most demand. For anyone considering their career options in our globalised economy, these are the skills to focus on.” 

Other skills to make Hay’s global short list were languages, healthcare, team management and leadership, research and development, and procurement and negotiation.

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