It’s been a while (actually four years!) since we held an Industry Insights event into Careers in IT and boy have things changed since then. With more and more large organisations moving to Geelong and constant advances in Technology, we thought it was a good time to hear from some of the heavy hitters in the Geelong IT sector to check in about employment opportunities. Yesterday, we were lucky to be joined by representatives from Viatek, Hays Recruitment and Deakin eSolutions to learn about what’s going on around town in the IT sector.
Hays are a specialist recruitment firm based on Pakington St. They have 12 staff and are focused on the South West of Victoria region. They operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.
James is the manager of Hays Recruitment here in Geelong. He has recruited exclusively in IT for the last five years for roles based in Geelong and regional Victoria. James regularly works with large organisations such as TAC, WorkSafe, NDIA, GMHBA, Deakin, CoGG, Barwon Health as well as a multitude of companies in the private sector. James recruits for roles ranging from entry level positions to Chief Information Officers. Organisations tend to engage Hays because they need to find someone quickly, they need a specific skillset or they have tried to recruit the position themselves without success. James can look at over 30 resumes a day, places about 100 permanent roles each year and manages about 350 temp staff at any given time.
On a day-to-day basis, eSolutions works to support 60,000 students and 10,000 staff with basic IT problems, utilise opportunities to grow efficiencies through technology and manage the cultural and business change that results when large-scale, strategic IT projects are implemented.
Hayley has worked at Deakin for just over 15 years with almost eight of those years with the eSolutions team. Amazingly, her career at Deakin started when she was recruited on graduation to lecture in social research methods. Hayley’s first job in IT was an entry level role on the Service Desk. Given her skills and qualifications, she quickly progressed to more senior roles, but Hayley credits having started in an entry level role as one of the reasons for her success later on as a team leader and Manager. One of Hayley’s current roles is as Major Incident Manager and guess what is keeping her busy these days? No surprises, it’s moving student learning fully online and helping staff get set up to work from home!
Viatek specialises in providing businesses with a range of print and copier solutions. There are 30 staff working across offices in Western Victoria, covering administration, sales and a service team. Viatek also have an IT business in Geelong which provides a range of Managed IT, IT project work and cloud solutions to businesses that aren’t large enough to employ an IT Manager.
Drew has a strong business and management background and has recently revamped several of the teams at Viatek.
Here are some tips from the panel to help with tailoring your job application to the IT industry.
- Research – Research the company, the hiring manager, the type of work they do, the type of skills they need
- Personalise – If anyone ever sends an application addressed “Dear Hiring Manager” after this session, well, we’ll all be very disappointed with you!!
- Give them a call – Ask meaningful questions. Think about if I were to start this job tomorrow, what would I need to know? Hint: asking about the salary is not on that list! Use this opportunity to show your passion for the role and the organisation to make sure that your names makes it on to the shortlist.
- Be realistic – You don’t have to match every criteria on the job description, but be upfront about where your skills gaps are and how you will overcome them
- Work on your sales pitch – Some graduates are uploading videos to their LinkedIn profile with a pitch about why they want this job / to work for that company. You don’t necessarily have to be in that league, but hone your cover letter so that employers want to read your resume.
- Follow-up – Researching and applying are the two hard parts! Make sure you follow up to show your interest and gain valuable feedback
- Working With Children’s Check – Get one! Now! So many IT roles now have this a requirement (think working in schools, working in the disability sector etc), so make yourself ready for an immediate start by having this check already done.
Here are some of the qualities that employers are looking for.
- Being creative, an innovative thinker and a fast learner are critical skills to helping any organisation stay on top of worldwide changes and adapt to constant digital disruption
- Demonstrating self-progression and self-taught learning is critical in such a fast-paced industry and a great way to keep industry currency during periods of unemployment.
- Flexibility is essential, the ability to undertake several roles and to learn different skills quickly is very valuable.
Here are some of the panels’ thoughts about the future job opportunities in the region. With larger organisations moving to Geelong, this has brought IT jobs to the region that simply weren’t needed in Geelong five years ago. What an exciting time to be working in IT?! Here are some of the areas that the panel identified as being in demand;
- Compliance & Governance – Did you know that every Government department has to keep their paperwork for LIFE, like life, life! Some departments have entire rooms full of paper that need to be scanned and stored electronically in order to meet this requirement.
- Business Intelligence – Everyone wants to be able to use their data better which is seeing growth in roles using SSIS, SSAS, Tableau and developing dashboards.
- Security – More and more organisations are engaged dedicated IT security roles
- Cloud – AWS experience highly regarded
Finally a word about networking. James recommended joining the networking group Geelong Young Professionals. Here is a link to their events page so you can keep up to date. https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/geelong-young-professionals-6839265061
All of our panelists recommended keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and engaging. Did you know that in the US LinkedIn has almost replaced resumes! Start using LinkedIn to follow organisations, follow people and engage with companies you would like to work with.
For help with your resume or interview techniques, come along to our free monthly series of workshops at the Skills and Jobs Centre at Westfield, Geelong or book a one-on-one appointment with a Careers Counsellor by calling 5225 0700.
Follow the Skills and Jobs Centre on Facebook for information about further Industry Insights panels in 2020.