Despite Chicago’s frigid temps and lack of sunshine at this time of year, there’s one area that’s looking particularly bright — information technology (IT) hiring. Seventeen percent of Chicago area chief information officers (CIOs) polled in a recent survey by Robert Half Technology, said they plan to add more staff to their IT teams in the first six months of 2015. That’s up four points compared to results from the previous survey, which measured hiring from July through December 2014. What’s more, none expects to reduce their IT staff.
Chicago IT Hiring Forecast
July – Dec.
Jan. – June
|CIOs adding more staff to IT departments||13%||17%|
|CIOs planning to hire only for open IT roles||77%||68%|
|CIOs who plan to put IT hiring plans on hold||8%||11%|
|CIOs who plan to reduce their IT staff||0%||4%|
|Don’t know future hiring plans||3%||0%|
*Numbers do not total 100 percent due to rounding.
What’s On the Horizon for Employers
Chicago tech executives are thinking positively, as many budgets have increased and execs are slightly more optimistic about their companies’ growth in these first six months of 2015. Ninety percent of Chicago CIOs surveyed said they are confident in their companies’ prospects for growth in the first half of the year, compared to 88 percent in the second half of 2014. And due to the expeditious growth in the Chicago tech market, it has become more difficult for employers to identify top IT talent. Sixty-six percent of Chicago CIOs said it’s challenging to find skilled IT professionals today, especially in the areas of software development (19 percent), security (18 percent) and networking (16 percent).
The Forecast for Job Seekers
IT hiring is taking place across multiple industries in Chicago, including manufacturing, healthcare and financial services, according to Randy Wolf, Chicago regional vice president of Robert Half Technology. Many Chicago companies are prepared to add IT staff in the first two quarters as a result of new tech investments and to help their organizations run more efficiently. In particular, Wolf notes that technology professionals with specialized skills in C#, PHP, ASP.NET, VMware and Citrix will be in high demand.
If you’re an IT professional looking for a new opportunity, this is the time to make Chicago’s robust hiring market work for you. Much of the key to a successful IT job search boils down to being diligent in your outreach and remaining positive. Despite the high level of competition for top tech roles in the Chicago area, there are myriad opportunities for those with strong skills and the desire to succeed this year. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to a Robert Half Technology recruiter in one of our three local branches and submit your current resume.
Tell us: Have you had success in the thriving Chicago IT hiring market? What’s the one piece of advice or tactic that has served you well and helped you land a job? We’d love to hear your success stories. Cheers to a prosperous 2015!