How to Win in a Competitive IT Hiring Environment

As we wind down one of the most dynamic years in technology, I’m thinking about new challenges in the upcoming year and how technology will continue to evolve at an incredible speed.

Robert Half Technology surveyed CIOs about their overall optimism in the first half of 2015, as well as their IT hiring plans, and the results continue to paint a very positive picture. Eighty-seven percent of CIOs surveyed indicate they will be expanding their staff or hiring to fill open positions in the first half of 2015. Considering how tight the market is for qualified technology professionals, this survey tells us it will continue to be a highly competitive market in the upcoming months. There’s no doubt this hiring projection is strongly related to the 89 percent of survey respondents who are somewhat/very confident about their companies’ growth prospects.

Strong Demand Projected for Infrastructure Roles in 2015

With that said, it’s interesting to consider the specific high demand roles that companies will be prioritizing in the coming year. 2014 has been a year with strong hiring across many technology disciplines, with particular emphasis on the software side, including high demand for web developers, software engineers, mobile developers and database developers. However, our survey indicates there will be a growing emphasis on infrastructure support roles, such as network administration, desktop support and windows administration. Companies continue to be challenged with an increasingly complex computing environment and hiring staff in these specialty areas is reflective of that.

IT Hiring Will Be Strongest in Five Cities

In my travels, I continue to see strong, broad-based demand for technical professionals across the country. However, our survey results show the five hottest markets for IT hiring in the first six months of 2015 are projected to be:

  • San Francisco
  • Houston
  • Dallas
  • Salt Lake City
  • Des Moines

This is an interesting dynamic as it reflects the diversity in demand with cities of various sizes and geographies.

How Employers Can Hire Top Candidates

Employers who find themselves recruiting in a particularly tight IT hiring environment will want to position themselves by:

  • Selling the job and company. In a competitive market, you need to have a compelling story to tell to job seekers that will make your opportunity stand out in the marketplace.
  • Being flexible in your hiring criteria. In a tight candidate market, finding potential candidates who meet all your requirements is increasingly tough. Prioritize the skills that are critical to success in the job, but be flexible on others that are ‘nice to haves.’
  • Shortening your hiring process. You want to increase the speed of making an offer to a candidate in a competitive market so he or she doesn’t accept a competing offer.
  • Researching compensation trends. Be prepared to make a competitive offer that may be higher than what you historically have offered.

It’s an exciting time to be in technology, and in 2015 we will likely continue to see strong demand and confidence in the market. As always, I welcome your comments below. Thank you.