Hiring levels in the information and technology sector across New Zealand are expected to remain steady until yearend, with 41 per cent of hiring managers indicating their hiring levels will stay the same.

Recruitment consultancy Robert Walters says the major reasons that will impact hiring - positively or negatively - in the sector include business growth, acquisitions and finding the right staff.

While nearly half (47 per cent) said salaries will remain the same for IT staff, 52 per cent of hiring managers said there will be wage increases for their staff in the next six months.

The figures were taken from the latest Robert Walters New Zealand Hiring Intentions Survey which interviewed 650 hiring managers from a range of industries including IT about their recruitment strategies for the remainder of 2014.

Auckland: Busier than usual

In Auckland, the report finds the first half of the year was busier than usual for IT staff recruitment. Robert Walters says this was true even in January, which is traditionally the quietest month of the year.

Read more:Wanted: project managers

"As confidence in the market increased, we saw the market improve steadily," according to the report. The contract market, in particular, increased activities due to the start of new projects and a shortage of talent in the permanent space.

As organisations expanded into new markets, recruitment at the senior level improved significantly with demand for roles in operations, architecture, technical leads and program management. "Many of these roles had been made redundant during the downturn," notes Robert Walters.

In the next six months, the recruitment firm predicts hiring managers in Auckland may struggle to find PMs and BAs in the contract space as new roles are filled.As organisations expanded into new markets, recruitment at the senior level improved significantly with demand for roles in operations, architecture, technical leads and program management.

Other in-demand skills are Windows 7 upgrade engineers and those qualified in SQL server and reporting, as organisations deploy BI programs. Those with .Net development skills that are client-facing and SAP testers for SAP implementation projects will also be highly sought after.

Budget and elections impact hiring in the Capital

Robert Walters says the market for Wellington job seekers in the IT business change and program/project delivery space was "patchy" in the first six months of the year.

There was strong demand from the government for senior business analysts with particular strengths in process improvement and process mapping, as a result of the continued enterprise-wide transformation programs that were being implemented.

Read more:More CIO and CTO roles in Christchurch

Business analysts with business case development were also in high demand as these roles drive efficiency and improve services.

Other areas of the market, it says, were slower due to tight budgets and caution in the lead-up to the election. It says the announcement of the national election date on September 20 affected mainly hands-on technical areas such as development, testing and core infrastructure.

The date was earlier than expected and affected the ability of the agencies to successfully deliver new projects before the election, says Robert Walters.

Over the next six months, public sector hiring managers will be looking for "highly capable and business-focused" business analysts, program managers, project managers and business change managers as the public sector moves forward with projects in the new financial year.

The public sector, it says, has a strong focus on getting value for money. "This means business cases have to stand up to higher levels of scrutiny and projects have to deliver on the benefits promised," says Robert Walters.

Robert Walters notes technology companies are expected to win more business through the government's outsourcing model, and will be seeking technical program and project managers and systems analysts.

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz

Sign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.

Join us on Facebook.

Read more:CEOs: 'Lack of skilled staff is biggest threat to growth'