Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Happy New Year from all at Picture More!

We hope you’ve all thawed out from the icy excesses of the winter, and yes, we do know there’s more on the way. What we want to look at today is whether the frozen job market is going to be warming up any time soon.

The Picture More blogger was in London speaking with Business Coach Jan Hildebrand last week and her opinion was that things can be slow in January and February as budgets tend to get signed off at the end of the financial year. We decided to do some quick analysis for you using government statistics which showed that, on average, the best months for new vacancies becoming available were January, February and March. Based on this evidence it looks like channelling that New Year energy into immediate job searching is a very good idea. Coming off the positive employment news today this could be a good quarter.

Statistics generally show that widespread uncertainty of any kind is bad news for the housing market, the stock market and employment. The forthcoming general election is likely to destabilise any recovery we are seeing in the first quarter and could be prolonged if we get the hung parliament that some commentators are predicting. This is another serious motivator for immediate action.

Many of Picture More’s candidates are IT professionals and many of our clients are senior IT managers who have a big say in how their teams are recruited. What profiles of staff will they be looking for in 2010? The best CIOs are business led; they are focused on company performance in terms of growth and profitability. This is a move away from the, sometimes unfair, perception of the IT Department living in its own hi-tech bubble and continually trying to justify its budget to the rest of the business. At one of Picture More’s major clients we have seen the CIO promoted to run the whole company due to his management skills, commercial acumen and knowledge of business and its systems. In 2010 IT leaders will be under increasing pressure to deliver business results for the lowest costs.

This sends a message to the modern IT professional. You need to see your role in terms of how it impacts the bottom line. How does your activity help the business to succeed? How well do you interact with the wider business? How well do you understand business concepts? Don’t be talking about technology for technology’s sake. Actually, let’s get real, of course you’ll talk about technology for technology’s sake, just don’t be doing it in an interview!

What are the 2010 trends to position yourself for? Well, you read the industry press so you probably know as well as us. In the wake of mergers and new regulations and with data centres taking up as much as 70% of IT spend we see convergence of infrastructure solutions being a boom area. Information at suggests that Infrastructure Programme Managers could have a lucrative niche in 2010. Legacy system migration, cloud security and iPhone application development will all continue to grow. We expect to see a strong flow of developer, business analyst, project management and security roles this year. Relevant industry expertise is likely to remain important to some recruiters but as things pick up, maybe post election, then we think there may be a move back towards recruiting criteria based on talent and potential, certainly for non-management positions.

We hope this is helpful. It could be an exciting year if you define your goals, define your brand and talk the business talk. Good luck!

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