Specialist telecoms talent sought despite downturn

Recruitment company, Hays Telecoms, has reported that employers are seeking specialist telecoms talent, with business and core networks, content and media, mobile and wireless, all experiencing steady recruitment activity.

High on the list of desirable skills is the demand for individuals with experience of transmission, provisioning and planning of fibre networks.

Lee Chant, managing director at Hays Telecoms, stated: “People skills and advanced technologies are being used to streamline networks and follow best practice in and around transmission of the data to make networks more productive.”

He said the key skill sets that employers are looking for in networks jobs are engineering based; knowledge of products such as LAN, WAN, Cisco and Juniper are particularly sought after while other networks (Extreme, 3Com etc) and infrastructure skills (Cat5, Cat6) are also currently sought after. There is also a requirement for internal network security jobs within companies and their firewalls. Companies are looking at their present networks to ensure they are accurately mapped; central to this enhancement is fibre optimisation and the design of the most efficient circuits to execute customer requirements and service.

“Network optimisation is very much a buzz phrase around the industry at the moment,” noted Lee. “Recruitment activity for core network jobs is also remaining resilient, as many companies seek to win provisioning, transmission and design work. The current economic conditions have also provided a good opportunity for companies to complete their design and network planning, which has led to equipment upgrades and work around network efficiencies. This has fuelled demand for specialists with experience of Juniper, Cisco, Huawei, Ciena, and more driving environments such as IP, MPLS, VPLS, ATM, Frame Relay, SDH, PDH and DWDM. “Other buoyant skill sets include TDM, VoIP, SIP, H.323, IMS, Intelligent Networks, CPE, Ethernet and Dark Fibre,” added Lee.

Linked to the core networks is the content and media side of telecoms. The race is on for companies to corner the market in the ‘quad play’ arena, namely providing the four in one home broadband, TV, telephone and mobile services. Investment in research and development has generated mobile and wireless telecoms jobs, as companies strive to gain a comparative advantage over their competitors. Mobile applications, mobile content, Symbian, J2ME, Multimedia, Broadcast, IPTV, VoD, DTV,H – DAM, EPG, Triple/quad Play are all desired skills.

“Although the sale of mobile handsets has slowed, companies are looking to invest in product development, such as mobile TV applications,” Lee explained.

Another area of growth is the field of technology to support collaboration, video conferencing and web conferencing. Knowledge of Cisco and Tandberg are proving to be the most in demand skills, as well as general IP networking experience relating to conference bridges. Employers are looking for professionals with web-based video conferencing experience, using sophisticated Telepresence technology.

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