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Christchurch hunts IT talent

Close to 85 percent of employers surveyed recently by Christchurch IT recruitment agency Sourced plan to hire in the next six months to resource new projects, expand existing internal IT functions and meet greater customer demand.

Demand for software developers, testers and quality assurance personnel is expected to be especially high, the report says. “Rapid local growth resulting from unique collaborations and innovative spirit [is] ultimately opening doors and opportunities for serious development and growth,” says Sourced director Jason Bishop.

Christchurch is home to a core of export-focused startups and innovators initiating new projects, says Bishop, creating a different dynamic to other New Zealand cities.

“This dynamic differentiates Christchurch from other main IT centres. Auckland is mainly vendor-driven and Wellington has always strongly focused on servicing the public sector.”

The top 10 roles employers said they’d look to recruit were:

1. Software developer
2. Testing / quality assurance
3. Business analyst
4. Project manager / team leader
5. Software – analyst programmer
6. Web / multimedia developer
7. Architect
8. Help desk / support
9. Systems administrator
10. Web / multimedia designer

?Contract roles were expected to make up less than five percent of the hires, according to the report.

The survey showed employees were looking for variety in their work, flexible hours, access to quality technology, financial incentives and cultural fit. Employers were meeting these needs in many cases, with 63 percent saying they offered flexible hours.

The survey also showed nearly 97 percent of employers found the right cultural fit with candidates was very important and could outweigh having the right skills or experience.

“Some people talk of a skills shortage in the IT sector, but in reality we’ve got a ‘fit’ shortage. There are plenty of people with suitable skills but employers are more interested in suitable people and right now that means people who are team players. In many cases employers will invest in training these people rather than hire on skills alone.”

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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