Tech hiring has been growing over the last few years, and Robert Half Technology’s most recent Hiring Index points to more of the same in the second half of 2017.
Twenty-one percent of CIOs surveyed expect to add members to their teams in the second half of the year; another 64 percent foresee maintaining staff levels by only filling vacant jobs. When you consider the high number of IT professionals voluntarily changing jobs, the odds are high that 85 percent of all managers will be adding or replacing IT staff.
Combine the solid hiring climate with the challenge of finding qualified candidates in a competitive market, and it’s easy to see how hard it is to identify and hire the right candidate. In fact, the IT hiring environment has intensified as organizations compete in the market for qualified IT talent. Sixty-three percent of IT executives in our survey said it's challenging to find skilled technology professionals today.
This all demonstrates that the market is showing no signs of a slowdown: The hiring environment is active and business leaders continue to struggle to find the IT pros to fill open jobs and advance their technology initiatives.
Why is there increased IT hiring?
CIOs remain generally positive around the growth prospects for their business, as well as the demand for IT pros over the next six months. They also report an increase in the following initiatives leading to more tech hiring:
- Digital marketing (25 percent)
- Cloud or big data (24 percent)
- Mobile (18 percent)
IT security is also a top priority for CIOs through the end of the year. Twenty-two percent said they’ll focus on maintaining security of IT systems and safeguarding company information.
And it’s worth noting that there’s increased hiring across the country, not just in the typical tech hubs such as San Francisco and New York.
Retention is key in a competitive hiring environment
The most effective IT staffing strategy starts with a strong retention plan with your current staff. The focus on retention has gone up six points from the first half of the year in our survey as leaders are focusing on retaining top talent on their teams. Some immediate retention strategies include:
- Schedule regular one-on-one sessions with staff members to increase communication and address job satisfaction proactively. It’s important to recognize that IT team members have many options in the job market and will look elsewhere if their career needs aren’t being met.
- Conduct a thorough compensation analysis to ensure your salaries are competitive. Again, your staff probably has options in the marketplace, and if they feel they’re not being compensated competitively, they may move on.
How do you know if your compensation is set to maximize retention during this hiring climate? Watch our webinar for up-to-date information on where salaries are headed in 2018 and other best practices for attracting and retaining top talent:
- Know what else engages your employees beyond salary. CIOs ranked the top benefits and incentives for tech employees in another Robert Half Technology survey, including: The ability to learn and grow, the opportunity to work on interesting projects, bonus or stock options, advancement opportunities, and vacation time.
Finally, when it comes to hiring IT pros, streamline your hiring process as much as possible. CIOs said the most common barriers to landing the best IT candidates were not being able to meet salary demands, not finding enough qualified candidates and not being seen as an employer of choice.
Make sure you’re offering a competitive salary and don’t drag out the hiring process waiting for the “perfect” candidate. You may lose promising tech professionals to other firms.
Good luck in this competitive job market.
John Reed is the Senior Executive Director of Robert Half Technology. In this role, he manages operations for more than 100 Robert Half Technology locations worldwide. The firm places IT professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Prior to this role, he was a District President for Robert Half Technology, overseeing multiple branches in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Memphis and Nashville. Reed has an extensive background in both IT and staffing, including 13 years in IT product sales and 18 years in the staffing industry.