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2014: a buyers’ market for skilled, experienced IT professionals

This article was originally published on Technology.Info.
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Employers can’t afford to hang around when it comes to hiring the top talent with the most sought-after skills, warns recruitment firm Robert Half

For IT professionals with the right skills, 2014 is looking like a buyers’ market when it comes to job opportunities: salaries are rising and those candidates with the most sought-after skills are receiving multiple job offers, according to a new report from recruitment firm Robert Half.

In fact, the report warns, employers must be careful not to spend too long weighing up the pros and cons of a potential hire: those looking to secure the industry’s top talent “are finding that lengthy interview rounds are prompting their top choices to accept competing offers.”

The findings of the Robert Half Technology 2014 Salary Guide echo another recent


from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), which estimates that employment in the UK IT industry grew 5.5 percent between 2009 and 2012, more than three times the UK average.

The biggest salary increases for

IT professionals

, meanwhile, are for roles that demand specific experience in big data analytics; ecommerce and mobile; and IT security. Salaries for all those roles will rise year-on-year by 4 percent or more in 2014, outpacing the average UK salary rise rate of 2.5 percent, says Robert Half’s report.

This buoyancy in the


jobs market, says the firm, is being driven by two key areas of business need. First, organisations are looking to enhance employee productivity by updating desktop and business applications. Second, they’re investing in customer-facing initiatives to provide a more dynamic online experience. According to e-skills, the UK’s Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology, around half of firms blame IT skills gaps for delays in developing new products or services, and thereby hindering further plans for growth.

“Technology is a key element in the recovery of the UK economy, whether it’s supporting new propositions or helping to

improve business operations

,” said Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half Technology. “Companies will use technology to grow their businesses as we emerge from the economic downturn: candidates with a strong sense of commerciality and business acumen as well as technical skills are increasingly called on to manage product development lifecycles and deliver business solutions.”

When it comes to specific job roles, the positions offering salaries that will rise 4 percent or more between 2013 and 2014 are: database/business intelligence developer; web designer; information security manager; information security officer; mobile applications developer.

The best-paid role overall, naturally, is

chief information officer

, offering average remuneration of between £120,500 and £230,000 across the UK as a whole, and ranging from £155,500 to over £297,000 in London. CIO salaries will rise 2.3 percent year-on-year in 2014, says Robert Half.

Chief information security officers

(CISOs) in the UK can expect to command a salary between £75,000 and £134,500 (up 3.5 percent year-on-year) and chief architects will be paid between £78,750 and £143,500 (up 2.4 percent).

The Robert Half Technology 2014 Salary Guide covers a wide range roles, geographies and industry sectors and is now available for