By Morley Surcon (Vice President Western Canada at Eagle) and Brianne Risley (Delivery Manager at Eagle)
The following is a short summary of the IT Labour and Job Market in Calgary – supply, demand, and dynamics.
There are 3 “Trends” That Eagle has Noticed Over the Past Months:
Move Toward Greater Simplification: Companies have been working towards consolidation and standardization over the past months. This encompasses both the technology that they use as well as the business partners with which they choose to work. Organizations in Calgary have shed roles over the past year(s) and must, therefore, focus on their core business/industry. It is increasingly difficult to find “the cycles” to complete projects that they do not have the in-house skills to complete. We are seeing much less custom development work in favor of their chosen ERP’s solution and/or implementing off-the-shelf software packages with little customization. And, instead of building up their own teams, more organizations have been opting to outsource or out-task project work to 3rd parties. Additionally, many of the companies in Calgary have undergone a vendor rationalization, reducing the number of suppliers/outsourcers that they deal with on a daily basis. This represents a clear shift in the quantity and types of roles for which staffing agencies are being hired and a greater degree of simplification for the companies themselves.
M&A Project Work: In Calgary, the majority of any new project work across many sectors is attributable to mergers and acquisitions. The necessity of integrating IT departments, reporting capabilities and business processes standardization work has created a short-term ‘bump’ in contract work. Many of the projects are due to be completed early in the New Year (or before). Once finished, these companies will be shedding staff once again to remove redundancies due to overlap in roles between the two companies and freeing up the staff that were solely employed for the integration project work itself.
The Following Market “Conditions” Have Also Been Noted:
Rates: Rates for non-specialized roles have remained flat for the past 6+ months. The exception is for ERP as demand has increased, albeit often for specialized skillsets as described above. Company “rate roll-backs” have halted as the employee and contractor rationalizations have been completed.
Skills with High and Growing Demand: Eagle has noticed increased interest for contractors with the following skillsets:
- Front-End Developers
- Java Developers/Software Engineers/DevOps
- Cyber Security Consultants
- Project Managers (Agile, ERP, some Infrastructure)
- ERP (Fiori/UI5) enhancement/upgrade work
- IT Reporting – Cloud tools for data visualization – Tableau, Spotfire, Hana and related data warehousing/BI work. Predictive analytics and driving business value from data stores.
Skills with Neutral Demand:
- Network/Storage Administrators
- SaaS implementations (Sales Force, Service Now, Workday) + Traditional ERP (SAP/PS/Oracle)
Skills for Which We Have Seen a Decline in Demand:
- .NET Developers (this is the first time in 10+ years that demand for Java/Front-end skills have outstripped .NET in Calgary)
- Server Analysts/Administrators (Outsourcing companies are handling much of this demand by leveraging overseas options)
**Disclaimer: The market summary above reflects Eagle’s own experience. Please understand that this does not include interaction with 100% of the market. Eagle’s clientele tend toward the larger enterprise companies, therefore experience in Calgary’s SMB market may be substantially different.
If your experience or observations have been different, I encourage you to leave a comment so all may learn from your perspective as well!