The Changing IT Landscape & The Year Ahead

The IT & tech market is changing in a post-pandemic world.  Emanate Technology’s Victorian-based Director, Chris Claydon, deep-dives into what we can expect for the year ahead.

The employment market has shifted since the pandemic, so what can we expect from the tech job market in Australia? Emanate Technology’s Queensland-based Associate Director, Ben Wright, shares his insights for the year ahead.

Many employers and jobseekers in the IT and tech sectors will have noticed that the pandemic caused a lot of upheaval in the past year throughout Australia. For most industries, this has been a difficult time but at Emanate Technology, we’ve kept our jobseekers and employers up to date with the latest industry trends so that they can add value to those they work with.

Throughout the pandemic and continued lockdowns, there have been industries that haven’t made it through unscathed. While the macro effects of the pandemic on the tech industry are still being felt, the IT sector in Australia – and Victoria especially – has remained buoyant for the past 12 months.

The IT Skills Shortage

Market confidence is stronger than it ever has been and at Emanate Technology, we’re excited about this! The positive news is that despite the lockdown pressures, Australia has managed to (largely) ride out the pandemic which has paved the way for larger IT transformation projects to take off.

With these projects being fuelled by the consumer confidence the IT sector has had overall, the only concern is that these huge projects have meant that the demand for skilled IT workers is still under the spotlight. The skills shortage in our sector hasn’t escaped our notice – we are feeling it as much as our employers are. It’s been well-publicised and the fact that there has been an increase in intention to move roles means that the shortage is highlighted further.

At Emanate Technology, we’re seeing an increase in demand across most IT specialties including Cloud, Infrastructure, Cyber, Analytics and Project Services. There has been an increase in competition for certain skillsets, too, and the pandemic has made this more of a challenge. This isn’t just seen in the IT sector, however, as we can see the competition for the best talent is being felt in Financial Services, E-Commerce, Government, Health, Telcos, Professional Services and others.

The pandemic saw many of our skilled IT and tech workers in Australia head back to their home countries. This obvious decline in highly skilled workers has meant that the pool of suitable jobseekers for specific roles has shrunk exponentially. This hasn’t stopped the IT industry from attracting people who are still available, however. The merging of financial and analytical verticals has seen candidates move toward roles that are more focused in IT, particularly from those sectors.

A Changing Workplace

Companies across the sector are moving to a more efficient way of working, which means that the expectations are that workers need to have some experience with Agile. Every industry is moving toward a more virtual environment of working, and candidates are expected to present well here.

In Infrastructure and Engineering, jobseekers are expected to have experience with most of the tools in the tech stack. So far, the demand for highly skilled workers hasn’t eased. What has eased, however, is the ‘nice to have’ skill demand from employers with the must-have skills remaining in place.

The biggest priority for employers looking for skilled workers has been cultural alignment. Getting used to people working remotely instead of in an office and implementing hybrid working is changing the IT workplace. The question of workplace flexibility is coming up early in hiring conversations as more jobseekers are leaning towards working at home as a benefit rather than an essential due to lockdowns.

Employers embracing this will see that hybrid working is our new normal and is a standard expectation today. The team dynamic and communication are as important as ever for employers, and hybrid working is expected to continue long after the pandemic has burnt out.

With the demand for skilled workers, the attractive remuneration packages and exciting job opportunities on offer have increased. For some time before the pandemic started, salaries were stagnant. In the past 6-12 months, however, the demand for skilled workers has meant that rates have increased to match. At Emanate Technology, we haven’t seen any other reasons for a salary difference where usually these are driven by diversity factors such as gender.

The Year Ahead

In 2022/23, clients should be considering their Employer Value Proposition (EVP). The competition for highly skilled workers is not going away, which means that the market will remain candidate-driven going forward. Highly skilled roles are going to be at a premium and until the influx of skilled migrants goes back up to pre-pandemic levels – which may take 18+ months – existing jobseekers will be spoilt for choice. Placement outcomes will continue to be dictated by workplace flexibility and remuneration packages.

Benefits such as condensed working weeks and flexibility will be sought after by highly skilled candidates. With so much choice in the market, Corporate Social Responsibility will also be a consideration for jobseekers, so roles with companies that have a considerable social purpose will be preferred.

At Emanate Technology, we are keen to discuss the current trends and observations seen with both jobseekers and employers. Get in touch today!