Candidates with the required technical skills are not hard to come by, but those with expertise in technology and an interest in business are a rarity, according to Neil Kellar, the director of IT and business services at the UK National Lottery operator, Camelot.
Kellar heads up an IT department of 125 that was highly commended in the Best IT Department category of last year's Computing/BCS UK IT Industry Awards.
In an exclusive interview with Computing, Kellar said that the firm is always on the lookout for aspiring architects and security experts.
Although many within the IT industry in the UK believe there is a shortage of the right candidates with the requisite technical skills, Kellar believes that it is an "additional layer" on top of the expertise in technology that is missing.
"If I was looking for straightforward technical skills then no there is no shortage, but when I'm looking for people with the obsessiveness that's needed in this business to understand the consumer, the good causes [that the Camelot Group contributes to], and the scale of the business, then yes [there is a gap]," he said.
"People in the interview need to bring this all to life and understand the impact it has," he added.
Kellar said that for certain positions within the IT department, candidates need to go through a rigorous interview process that does not purely concentrate on the technical aspects of the job.
"It's more than just about the technical skills. Interviewees go through a framework of technical interviews as well as psychometric testing. We use commercial people that sit within our business to interview potential managers. They're tested at a business level, not just from a technology perspective," he said.
Kellar believes that Camelot constantly faces a fight to get hold of the highest calibre staff as it competes with firms that are based in the centre of London.
"We compete with the city firms for any of the top security professionals and experts in SAP - which is what all of our back-office systems and supply chain are based on," he said.
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