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Market Trends April 2020. What is the current impact of Covid-19 on IT Recruitment?

The social distancing measures continue to cause economic disruption on a scale we have not witnessed in recent times and we expect  businesses to be constantly adapting to the impacts of the virus over the next 6-12 months. Below are some of the current market trends for the IT sector.  Please note Spark specialises in the private sector primarily in Sydney so the below commentary relates to this:

Hiring and Talent Participation:

The impact of the social distancing measures caused a sudden pause in the market with over 90% of hiring for permanent roles put on hold in the early weeks. Executives across the board are obviously reluctant to commit to hiring FTE’s until  new ways of working have been established, and there is greater clarity in the market. As a result hiring for FTE’s has been particularly slow through March/April to date and we predict it will start to pick up after Easter now that the operating environment is clearer. That said a subdued market is to be expected over the next 3-6 months. The good news is that the IT sector will be one of the ones in demand as things start to move again.  Currently the highest demand for talent is employers with critical projects that must keep moving forward, especially  those adressing regulatory requirements.   

We are finding that talent pools have reduced during this period of uncertainty, as people seek to eliminate risk in their lives. Responses to advertised roles have dropped significantly but there is still strong talent available, especially those who were between roles.  We also expect some high-quality talent to enter the market as businesses are impacted by the economic downturn, but this is not extensive within the IT sector yet.


There are currently good levels of resilience within the contracting market. Given these roles are normally covering a specific need there is on-going demand in the short term.  As budgets for change and innovation get squeezed by the economic down-turn we expect this demand to drop but this will be countered by employers will seek to hire contractors or fixed term employees ahead of full-time employees.  From a talent perspective we have seen contract candidates become more flexible in their rates and more focused on being extended.

Our prediction is that contract IT roles will be one of the first areas to recover.

On-boarding new starters:

This is an area where a lot of employers are struggling as new team members hired in March are still in the pipeline to start their new roles, and in most cases new employees are now working remotely.  The good news is that both new employees and businesses are coping with this on the whole, with some hurdles and delays as IT facilities have been harder to establish, off the back of pressure on IT Support functions with the move to remote working.

Our prediction is that this will get much easier over the coming weeks and months as businesses have adjusted to this new way of working and IT support functions are able to get ahead of the game to prepare for new starters.

Redundancies/Standing Down

Sadly some employers are having to rescind offers at the 11th hour, in most cases this has been as a direct result of lost business due to social distancing measures or projects being put on hold. This is putting some candidates in difficult financial positions if they have already resigned. Most employers are hopeful that the new legislation will assist in some way, keeping the person on hold until they are able to re-start. This situation is one that’s ever changing, and we will continue to watch it closely and support those involved.

Market trends are rapidly evolving and we will keep you updated. If you would like to discuss anything or seek more information please contact Luke anytime,