Recruitment firm, Hays has carried out its second survey since the start of the current economic downturn. Their findings show that recruiters consider leadership skills as one of the most important attributes when hiring for their IT departments. This research is likely to encourage jobless contractors to talk up their experience of management processes and team leadership when applying for positions.

Hays commented that managerial techies are still one of the hardest groups to recruit within the IT sector. This has remained the case despite a wider pool of candidates who are less likely to negotiate about low pay rates.

Managing directors of Hays IT, James Lloyd Townshend said that pay has been “driven down because candidates are more readily available and generally have less negotiating power.”

The survey also showed that one of the main issues for employers is the ‘cultural fit’ of the candidate into their organisation. Many employers are now spending more time and money on developing the communication skills and leadership qualities of their IT management staff. This has led to 80% of the firms surveyed responding that they had confidence in their IT managers to do the job required of them. Hays reported that the 122 IT bosses that they surveyed said they were looking for business intelligence consultants and enterprise architects.

However, the latest REC Report on Jobs reported no shortage of any particular contract IT skill. This report said, “Although temporary/contract staff billings decreased for an eleventh successive month in June, the latest fall was the least marked since last September. The slower reduction in short-term appointments reflected a weaker drop in demand for temp staff.”

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