Big investments could spell big hiring in IT

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Banks are splurging on technology systems, which is good news if you're a techie who knows about banking.

Top of the league is St George Bank, which recently recorded an AU$1.16bn cash profit and is now said to be contemplating big dollar improvements to its commercial banking system.

It may not be the only one. IT recruiters say plenty of systems implementation work is available - it's just a matter of finding the right candidates with the right skills.

Stuart Allen, of Adaps IT Recruitment, says, "We've got to have people who tick a number of boxes. One tick is for a good understanding of the investment banking side of things. You've got to understand asset classes, trading, and then you've got to have an understanding of the systems side."

"The investment banking [experience] is the most important part. Systems can be taught and an ideal candidate would be someone who is a fund manager who doesn't really want to be a fund manager anymore and is interested in the systems side." Allen says a junior fund manager earning around AU$80k annually could shift to a systems role and earn AU$120k.

Dudley Levell, director of financial services at IT recruitment specialist Finrecruit, agrees there is also demand for quality developers with business knowledge as well as technical skills.

That said, Levell notes IT hiring has slowed markedly, with many banks focussed on 2008 headcounts. "There are not the same volumes as three months ago. While this isn't unusual for November, the slowdown has happened faster this year because of sub-prime."

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