Interview : Wendy McDougall – 9-20 Recruitment

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wendy mcdougallWendy McDougall is owner of the award winning IT recruitment specialist 9-20 Recruitment and the online IT community 9-20 network.

With over 10 years in the recruitment industry and the bulk of that time being spent within IT recruitment, Wendy is at the forefront of the industry in Scotland.

9-20 Recruitment set’s itself apart from its competitors, through it’s unique service offering ‘Assured Delivery’ by guaranteeing ALL positions filled. If after a certain time the placement does not work out 9-20 will happily refill the position. A brave guarantee but one that clearly demonstrates the integrity and commitment of the 9-20 ethos to ‘find people for jobs, not CVs for vacancies’.

9-20 network the online IT community where members can sign up and create searchable profiles, manage their job status and ‘connect to progess’ with the largest network of IT professionals in Scotland.

So, whether you are an IT Graduate or Executive, contact 9-20 recruitment and become part of Scotland’s largest technology community.

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The IT industry is famous for having the quickest changes (e.g. your PC is ‘old news’ once its 6 months old) of all the industries. Have you seen a shift in the type of careers that your clients are seeking since you first set up 9-20 in 2004?

Definitely. The area of the market that particularly springs to mind is that of IT Sales and Digital Marketing skills. Rather than your more traditional form of staff our clients are now looking for those with experience of product related sales as well as a technical expertise. Those candidates who can demonstrate an expertise of Web 2.0 skills and inside sales with an ability to carry out marketing campaigns online and WebEx demonstrations will be in particularly high demand.

Further to the last question, have you noticed an increase in candidates from more design led IT roles coming through your door? For example, more web designers, search marketers etc?

As this section of the market continues to grow, we are seeing an increased number of suitably experienced candidates which we may not have seen in the past. Noticeably though I’d still say that generally the Scottish market is still perhaps lagging a little bit behind that of down south, in terms of skills available on the market at present. Those candidates who seem to be making the greatest headway are those who are continually keeping their skills up to speed and focussing on the latest technology tools such as ASP.net, AJAX, Open source CMS systems and of course SEO Skills.

We all hear on the news that the current climate is having a direct impact on employment in general. Is this consistent in the IT sector and what tips do you have for people looking to gain employment in IT to give them a competitive advantage?

This isn’t evident throughout the whole industry but there are some area’s where this is more noticeable than others. From the recent Scottish Technology Industry survey which we have just completed in partnership with Scotland IS it’s clear that the amount of senior positions for 45k plus have noticeably decreased, unfortunately along with the amount of graduate and Project/Business Analyst roles. We’ve also noticed a reduction in the rates clients are willing to pay for contractors as well.

Certain areas of the market are thriving however, one of which I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear is the digital sector.

Finally, we are seeing a shift towards more and more e-commerce websites since mid-2008 probably due to them being a cheaper alternative to a physical high street shop. What are your predictions for the IT market in 2009 in terms of web based IT vacancies?

I think it was clear that as more of us become increasingly ‘techy savvy’ the amount of these websites was always going to grow, but with the condition of the market just now I think we will see a great deal more growth than any of us expected.

As it is the responsibility of marketing to direct the audience to these sites I believe the more traditional type of marketing staff who are not keeping themselves up to date with the online market will find it increasingly difficult to find work.

One interesting statistic we found from the Technology survey this year was that 45% of respondents said they expected Software and Web Development to have the highest level of demand in 2009.

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