Hays IT general manager Peter Noblet told ZDNet Australia after the release of his company's quarterly employment forecast this morning he cannot get enough skilled IT candidates.
"We're seeing heavy demand really, in all areas of IT," Noblet said. "Demand is exceeding supply." New projects and implementations are creating the opportunities -- about half contract and half permanent, he said.
The recruiter said well-credentialled workers were leaving their jobs to test their market value and even those without employment were playing hard-to-get.
"This time last year, you'd be able to get a candidate an offer," he said, "and that would be the only offer they got. Now, they're getting two or three or four offers. Candidates are very picky at the moment - and why wouldn't you be?"
Noblet said he particularly wanted Java, .NET and VoIP specialists. "New technologies in these areas have meant that demand is exceeding supply for candidates with strong technical development skills".
Demand is also high for project managers with solid IT or telecommunications qualifications and track record.
The recruiter reckons the shortage of qualified candidates means companies must look to supplementary, non-financial benefits to improve their attractiveness.
"Because of the skills shortage, we're having to talk to our clients more and more, saying: 'What are you actually offering this person? It's not just a job is it? You're going to have to offer more than that'," Noblet said. Additional benefits could include training, career development or a good work environment.
He said industry certifications were only attractive to employers if a candidate also had concrete experience.