Seattle IT Hiring: It’s Raining Tech

Seattle is well-known for its plentiful amounts of rain, but more recently, Seattle is experiencing a flood of a different form – a surge in the demand for top tech talent.

According to a recent survey by Robert Half Technology, there’s good news for Seattle information technology (IT) professionals in the first half of the year: Twenty-three percent of Seattle area chief information officers (CIOs) polled said they plan to add more staff to their IT teams in the first six months of 2015. That’s up seven points compared to results from the previous survey, which measured hiring from July through December 2014. What’s more, only three percent expect to reduce their IT staff.


Seattle IT Hiring Forecast                                                             July – Dec.      Jan. – June

                                                                                                              2014    2015

CIOs adding more staff to IT departments



CIOs planning to hire only for open IT roles



CIOs who plan to put IT hiring plans on hold



CIOs who plan to reduce their IT staff



Don’t know future hiring plans




What’s On the Horizon for Employers

Seattle CIOs are feeling positive about their companies’ growth in these first six months of 2015. Ninety percent of Seattle CIOs surveyed said they are confident in their companies’ prospects for growth in the first half of the year. As a result of the rapid growth in the Seattle tech market, it’s become increasingly difficult for employers to locate and hire top IT talent. Sixty-five percent of Seattle CIOs said it’s challenging to find skilled IT professionals today, especially in the areas of networking (17 percent), software development (17 percent) and applications development (15 percent).

When the right talent match is identified, the process needs to move quickly. “We’re seeing clients hire a candidate after the first phone screen, which is extraordinary, but very indicative of Seattle’s fast-paced IT hiring market,” said Refawne Acarregui, branch manager of Robert Half Technology in Seattle. “If employers don’t move quickly, they risk losing out on top talent.”


The Forecast for Job Seekers

IT hiring activity is strongest within the professional services sector, according to Sara Eide, Seattle regional vice president of Robert Half Technology. “But we’re also seeing demand in nontraditional areas such as education, where organizations are moving toward digital platforms,” said Eide. Those with expertise in web development, Java, ASP.NET and all areas of infrastructure – from help desk, to desktop support, systems and networking – continue to be in high demand.

“Within web development, there’s a significant amount of demand for JavaScript skills,” said Acarregui. “Employers are looking for professionals with skills in specific libraries. For example, they may be looking for a front-end web developer with Angular JS, Node, Knockout and/or jQuery expertise.”


Setting Yourself Apart

What’s the one thing that can help set you apart from your competition? According to Acarregui, it’s your passion for IT. “It’s very easy to tell when a candidate is passionate about technology and what they do; they live it every day at work, as well as outside of work – creating web pages, apps or programs in their spare time; being involved in meetups; doing pro-bono tech projects; enrolling in programs to improve their coding skills. All of these things show initiative and a true enthusiasm for technology.”

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 Seattle area, there are myriad opportunities for those with strong skills and the desire to succeed. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to a Robert Half Technology recruiter in our Seattle or Bellevue branch and submit your current resume.

Tell us: Have you had success in the thriving Seattle 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.