Oracle, the business software company, is launching a recruitment drive aiming to bring 1,700 new employees to the company across Europe.

Oracle, which has more than 108,000 employees across the world, said it was responding to increased demand in Europe for technologies such as cloud computing, where companies move their IT functions into remotely-hosted data centres. Europe accounts for about a third of the company’s revenues.

Silicon Valley-based Oracle might also be looking to accelerate organic growth as it has temporarily stopped considering acquisitions. The normally acquisitive company said in June that the valuations of companies had become too high for deals to make sense. Oracle has already announced plans to boost the number of sales people at its hardware division.

A number of US companies are also increasing overseas activities because they hold vast reserves of cash abroad, which is costly for them to repatriate. Oracle reports that it holds about 90 per cent of its cash outside the US.

Oracle said the 1,700 new jobs would be across all lines of its business, and for all levels of staff, from graduates to senior sales staff. True to its technology credentials, Oracle will be recruiting not just through traditional employment agencies, but also on Twitter and Facebook. The company employs 22,000 people in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, so the hiring plan would increase staff levels in the region by just under 8 per cent.

The hiring will reverse the trend seen in 2009, when Oracle cut several hundred jobs in Europe following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems and the economic downturn.

The announcement echoes a number of other IT companies who are planning to recruit in Europe. Logica, the IT services company, recently said it was looking for 1,000 new graduates in France, while its peer Capgemini has also increased its hiring of junior-level staff in the region. IT recruitment companies report that demand is high for IT skills in areas such as mobile phones, banking and cloud computing.

Oracle saw strong growth in its fiscal year to the end of June, with revenues rising 33 per cent to $35.6bn. Larry Ellison, chief executive, said at the time that the company’s core database business had seen its fastest growth for a decade.

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