Security breaches fuel demand for IT specialists

Last month saw strong demand from UK companies for permanent and temporary IT workers, with growth rates accelerating in both cases.

The latest Report on Jobs compiled by financial information services provider Markit for KPMG and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) shows the seasonally adjusted index measuring demand for permanent IT professionals climbed to an eight-month high of 65.8 in December, from 64.3 a month earlier.

The pace of expansion was the strongest among the nine monitored sectors; the 65.8 reading compared with a still-strong 62.3 for the respective index measuring demand for all types of workers.

Growth of temp IT vacancies also accelerated to the quickest since April, with the index rising to 61.0 from 60.5 in November. Demand for temp IT staff improved at a stronger pace than that for all types of workers (59.4). By sub-sector, IT placed fifth out of nine in the demand for temp staff ‘league table’.

“In the wake of several high profile breaches, companies are investing heavily in their cyber security teams and demand for IT specialists surged in December,” said Heath Jackson, partner in the chief information officer (CIO) advisory practice at KPMG.

“This hiring boom has caused a skills shortage in the sector, with recruiters struggling to find enough candidates qualified in IT security to satisfy demand. Faced with such stiff levels of competition businesses need to rethink their recruitment strategy. As well as hiring talent to build up their in house defence capability, they need to upskill the staff they have, or risk losing them to a competitor more willing to make an investment in their careers.”


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