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ITWeb TV: ‘War’ for tech talent

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
Johannesburg, 08 Apr 2024
Nicole Dodd, partner in tech and digital recruitment at REDi Recruitment, provides insight into the IT skills in demand, how easy it is to recruit for specialised tech skills, the skills drainage challenge facing SA, as well as trends in the local recruitment space. #itwebtv #REDiRecruitment #itrecruitment

Software developers, cyber security and cloud skills remain top of the list for South African employers, says Nicole Dodd, partner in tech and digital recruitment at REDi Recruitment.

Dodd was speaking to ITWeb TV about the IT skillscurrently in demand, saying it’s not impossible to find these skills locally but the challenge is retaining highly-skilled talent.

“Within the IT recruitment space, some of the skills that are in demand at the moment are developers across the board – front-end, back-end, full-stack, mobile developers – solution architects, cyber security, cloud developers, and DevOps.

“Some of the skills are readily available within our country, but to win them over is a different skill. We can find the skills, but there are a lot of preferences that candidates have and companies have to be very creative to attract them.

“We’re also seeing a big exodus of skills, we’re witnessing skills drainage and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to retain talent. When we’re having conversation with candidates, they often tell us they are also having conversations with international companies. Candidates are looking to see if companies have a global presence – global presence and earning in a different currency is very attractive.”

Last year, it was revealed that there is a rising number of skilled South African youth finding employment opportunities offshore, which is exacerbating the country’s digital skills crisis.

According to Dodd, many of international opportunities that entice candidates come from the Netherlands, the UK, Australia, Singapore and the US. “Some of these do require the individual to move overseas; sometimes they can stay in the country and work for an overseas company, earn in their currency and just work around the time zone.”

REDi Recruitment’s operations stretch across SA as well as placements throughout Africa, UK and United Arab Emirates. The company specialises in professional recruitment, both permanent and contract, within the banking, financial services, commerce and industry, IT, legal, marketing and HR sectors, primarily at the senior end of the market.

Nicole Dodd, partner in tech and digital recruitment at REDi Recruitment. [Photograph by Lesley Moyo]
Nicole Dodd, partner in tech and digital recruitment at REDi Recruitment. [Photograph by Lesley Moyo]

Dodd explained that much of the IT skills being sought are the same across the different sectors. “A lot of the bigger corporates, start-ups and fintechs…are looking for the same skills in the market, so there is a lot of competition; there’s a ‘war’ for talent. This is why we believe that we’re in a candidate-driven market. We’re seeing similar trends from different sectors.”

Commenting on which sector is looking to attract the most tech talent, she said this is across the board, with even healthcare companies looking for the best. “The banks, telcos, insurance companies, even start-ups need the best skills in the tech space.

“It’s actually across the board; there isn’t a specific industry that requires it more.”