Change in the air as jobs recover

There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful if you are looking for a new job. And if you are an IT director whose staff are not...

There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful if you are looking for a new job. And if you are an IT director whose staff are not happy, it is high time to sort out the problems if you are to hang on to the key members of your team.

These are the key messages from the latest survey of job trends for Computer Weekly, which shows IT recruitment advertising at its highest level for 18 months. This follows last week's Computer Weekly IT spending survey, which showed steady growth in the rate of IT spending.

So far salaries have lagged behind growth in recruitment activity, with advertised pay rises running substantially below the rate of inflation, but IT budget holders should not count on that continuing indefinitely.

Chief information officers, even if they are polishing their own CVs ready for the next move, must ensure now that they have the right skills balance in their teams. They need to put some golden handcuffs on key staff and look towards the opportunity to freshen up the team with new recruits.

It is not simply about offering more money. It is about luring professionals with exciting projects that make a real difference to everyday working life and future career prospects.

That in turn means training and career development, supplementing IT skills with business skills and creating a genuine team ethos.

IT professionals will move to and stay in a purposeful, positive, well-run department, and those that cannot cut the mustard in a well-motivated team will get the message and move on.

IT that really counts

IT is too often portrayed as just number crunching or a tool for businesses to build the bottom line, but one of the best results of the current e-government drive is the proliferation of IT projects that can make a real difference to people's lives.

The social care systems developed by Gloucestershire Council and East Sussex council, which is highlighted in our Smart Projects article in the recruitment section, is a prime example of the best that public sector IT can offer. It clearly demonstrates how IT can produce positive outcomes in people's personal and their business lives.

It is projects like this which can make the public sector an increasingly attractive career choice for IT professionals.

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