Companies up in arms as Brazilian government plans direct recruitment of IT staff

Some 350 professionals will be hired to work on digital transformation projects under four-year contracts; sector believes the best way to get access to talent is via tech suppliers.

Technology companies are not happy about the Brazilian government's plans to directly hire IT specialists to support digital transformation initiatives in the federal government.

Through the Digital Economy Secretariat, the Ministry of Economy plans to hire 350 professionals to boost central government's digital transformation expertise, across seven areas of specialism.

The jobs should be advertised before year-end. The Brazilian government will be looking for specialists in user experience (UX), software development, project management, IT infrastructure, data science, information security and data protection, as well as business process analysis.

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It is expected that the new staff will be hired under four-year contracts, which may be extended in case the professional is required for longer to deliver a project.

In a statement, the Federation of Associations of Information Technology Companies (Assespro), which represents over 2500 technology companies operating in Brazil, said the government competing for IT expertise is "harmful" to the sector, which is already undergoing a crisis in terms of access to talent.

According to Assespro, the best approach would be to hire contractors through technology companies - the approach used so far - rather than the government recruiting its own digital transformation staff.

The news that the Brazilian government is planning on doing its own recruitment of technology specialists follows a series of decisions that were not welcomed by sector companies, such as the renegotiation of contracts, which saw companies including Microsoft reducing prices by over 22%. Assespro said it will send a letter to the government outlining the sector's views on the matter.

"It would be important for the government to promote a more open, direct and continuous dialogue with companies in the sector, aiming at building more efficient public procurement and hiring policies for Brazil", said the national president at Assespro, Italo Nogueira.