IT professionals are hot

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Australian IT recruiters report a rush of hiring as investment banks seek to enhance their technology systems.

"We've seen a marked increase in demand for technologists," says Sam Vargas, a consultant in the technology division of recruitment firm Robert Walters. "Banks are trying to become a lot more competitive in terms of their trading platforms and are looking to integrate trading and wealth management platforms. Most are adding staff."

Steve Hutchinson, a director at Sydney-based technology recruiter Price Barnett, says IT recruitment in the country is up 100% on last year. "A vast number of banks are undertaking projects in Australia," he says. "We're seeing demand across all asset classes, from foreign exchange to credit derivatives."

Both recruiters say demand is predominantly for Java and C# programmers, and that financial product knowledge commands a premium. Candidates with international experience are also sought after. "We had a client a few weeks ago who said they would wait for the right candidate to come from the UK, as long as they had experience of working on equity derivative systems," says Vargas.

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