The overall picture in the jobs market over the past year has been mixed, but demand is extremely strong in some areas and we are seeing more optimism for 2013.
The Robert Walters IT Pay and Compensation Survey reveals that:
- 53% of IT specialists received a salary increase in 2012, with a total of 20% receiving a pay rise of between 1% and 3% of their salaries;
- A relatively small proportion (18%) received an uplift of more than 10%;
- A higher proportion of IT specialists from London and the South East (56%) secured a pay rise than the Midlands (50%) and the North (47%);
- Only 34% of IT professionals received a bonus in 2012, the majority (24%) of this 34% received a payout equalling 10% or less of their salaries. As with pay rises, a higher percentage of IT workers in London and the South East (40%) secured bonuses than in the Midlands (34%) and the North (23%).
But IT professionals are slightly more optimistic for 2013:
- 57% expect a salary increase and 38% expect a bonus. They are also more hopeful about the levels of these payments, with (28%) expecting an increase of more than 7% of their salaries in 2013 (25% received a pay rise at this level in 2012);
- Similarly, 29% are predicting a bonus of 6% or more of their salaries (22% received a bonus at this level in 2013).
Sentiment is clearly improving, and this is reflective of some key trends that are driving significant growth in specific areas of the technology jobs market. Companies are looking to tap into the increased use of smartphones and the high adoption rates of mobile technology. In particular, mobile payments is a huge growth area, with developments such as Google Wallet, v.me and the Starbucks Card indicative of this trend.
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As a result, people with either mobile or contactless payments (NFC) experience are considered valuable by employers. For similar reasons, skilled app developers are also seen as key by firms. By their very nature, apps cannot hold as much information as websites – which makes people with specialist UX and UI expertise extremely sought-after.
With this being a relatively new and growing area, people with extensive and directly relevant experience are rare. Therefore, employers are more flexible when hiring for these positions than they otherwise might be.
For example, businesses are often prepared to consider individuals from financial services backgrounds and/or with digital communications experience and pay them financial services rates – programme managers are receiving daily rates of up to £800 per day.
As organisations of various types – from smaller startups to large retailers – are increasingly investing their e-commerce budgets into m-commerce, there are also a lot of interesting senior opportunities available in this area.
With businesses looking to transfer their services online, point of sale is continuing to evolve and is becoming more of a priority for organisations. As a result, many are seeking project managers with specific point of sales experience on a contract basis, with these professionals receiving daily rates of around £600.
Matt Bartley (pictured) is associate director of IT recruitment at Robert Walters.