For those of us who have been around for a few years, we’ve seen some highs and lows in the tech sector over the last couple of decades; and correspondingly we’ve also witnessed wild fluctuations in demand for IT staff and salaries.
In the post dotcom/Y2K/911 tech wreck of 2001, demand and rates dropped so precipitously there were recruiters counselling grown men who were crying down the phone because the job market was so bad.
Thankfully those times are long behind us and the last half dozen years or so have been a touch unusual; calamity free, with a gradual and consistent build in demand accompanied by a commensurate increase in the cost of hiring talent.
Much of this increase in demand has been met by the influx of highly skilled and educated labour predominantly from India; and thankfully this has been accompanied by a change in attitudes towards this cohort from the majority of our sector.
It has been interesting to observe a solid yet orderly uplift in the price of tech contract rates and permanent salaries over the last 5 years. If we compare this with the non-tech employment market, where salary growth has been moribund, we see a stark contrast. Along with the rest of the world, Australian businesses have been automating rapidly, investing billions in technology to stay competitive and improve customer experience. The transition towards a digitised economy has left much of the work force with devalued skill sets whilst the converse is true in the tech sector. Thus the disparity in wages growth.
This increasing cost of hiring tech talent has been a source of frustration for many employers and conversely a delight to job hunters. On balance, I feel that demand outstripping supply is great news for the Australian economy. As many low skilled roles have become automated, it’s great to see that so many of the highly skilled roles are staying on shore – long may this trend continue. Interestingly, I’ve sensed that the speed of salary increases we saw at the end of 2018 has begun to wane and whilst prices are still on the increase, momentum is starting to ebb.
Our Salary Snapshot has just been released and reflects our interactions with hundreds of customers and candidates over the last quarter; the document highlights the current contract and permanent rates for over 40 IT roles.
We’ve seen that the rates for many roles have remained fairly stagnant (Business Analysts, Project Managers, Product Owners, Web Developers, Systems Engineers) whilst other roles have seen notable increases (Architects, Security Engineers, Network Engineers, Cloud Engineers). Interestingly we’ve seen a widening of the gap between Java Developers and .Net Developers, with the former commanding a premium.
I’m expecting the tech sector to continue to outperform the general economy in terms of salary increases for the medium term but with an election imminent and both major parties identifying wages growth as a major issue and the tech sector having had a great recent run, I would expect the gap between the 2 to narrow significantly.
If you’d like a copy of our Salary Snapshot, please Link in with me and shoot me a message and I’d be glad to supply you with one.
Feel free to jump in with your thoughts and comments below.