The deepening recession in Britain and elswhere is resulting in valuable and qualified IT people coming on to the market as some companies tighten their belts, but online gambling group Betfair is doing the opposite, and using the opportunity to snap up top techies with an eye on future expansion.

Recently appointed Chief Technology Officer Tony McAllister, told Computing.co.uk this week: “We think this is a good opportunity to invest in the future from a resource and technology standpoint. The idea is to make Betfair a destination workplace and hire the best talent on the planet.

“A lot of these talented people have been put out of their jobs and my goal is to take advantage of that. Now is the best time to shop for new talent, but we will do it in a very methodical manner. I want to be much more prescriptive about the skills I am looking for," he said.

This year will see Betfair boost its mobile offering, so the firm will be on the lookout for professionals with experience in that field, as well as staff who can help with any major code rewriting for its core platform.

The company’s 350-strong team, which is already supported by a near-shore facility in Romania, will also seek to attract more international talent.

“I would like to bring much more global experience and different cultures into the business and these employees will be based across the world doing different things,” said McAllister.

“If you are going to do more in the mobile space, you need to have people in the US and Asia as that is the cutting edge of mobile technology. It is hard to manage, but the benefits far outweigh the difficulties.”

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