By Ryan M. Sutton, Executive Director, Technology Practice Group, Robert Half Are you hiring for your technology team right now? You’re not alone. And if you are having trouble meeting your staffing goals, you’re in good company on that front, too. Research for the Demand for Skilled Talent report from Robert Half found that 69% of technology managers want to expand their teams in the first half of this year. They pointed to company growth as their biggest motivation for hiring, followed by the need to cover skill gaps in their current team. Addressing employee turnover is another main driver they cited. We also learned that a staggering 95% of tech managers are facing challenges finding skilled talent. This isn’t a new issue, but it’s a persistent one. And technology executives are clearly worried about its impacts on their organization. Leaders surveyed for the latest Executive Perspectives on Top Risks survey from Protiviti* cited the ability to attract, develop and retain top talent as a top risk for their business in 2024 — and looking ahead to 2034.
Technology managers are likely to find that competition is especially intense for professionals who can support projects in the five areas listed below. The Demand for Skilled Talent report notes that these are the top priorities for most tech teams this year:
– Systems and information security – Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and automation – Cloud initiatives – Technology modernization – Software engineering and development Also, many of the positions that employers would like to staff now or soon to help drive their technology projects forward have unemployment rates that fall well below the national average. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics featured in the Demand for Skilled Talent report, those roles include database administrators and architects, software developers, and systems analysts. Let’s take a closer look at why the areas of focus outlined above are strategic priorities for many technology managers this year — and how these priorities are shaping their needs for specialized talent that is hard to find in today’s tight labor market.
In an era where data breaches and cyber threats loom large, staying on top of system vulnerabilities and amplifying information security practices are critical defense measures for any business. Cyber incidents can be disruptive — and very costly. The latest Internet Crime Report from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) notes that potential cybercrime losses in 2023 exceeded $12.5 billion. That’s a 22% increase from 2022, and a record high. To enhance their digital defenses, many organizations are hiring data security analysts. These specialists understand all aspects of computer and network security, including firewall administration and network protocols. They can assess and mitigate risks, implement encryption protocols, conduct regular security audits, and more.
Network security administrators are also in high demand. These pros play a pivotal role in the design, implementation and maintenance of secure network architectures that help ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data transmissions. Cybersecurity professionals hired for this position might also handle tasks like managing penetration testing exercises and working with automated testing tools. Learn about other cybersecurity roles that can help cover all your IT security needs.
It’s an understatement to say that AI, including generative AI, along with machine learning and automation, are rapidly transforming how businesses operate and the way that people work. From predictive analytics to autonomous systems, organizations across industries are racing to harness the power of AI, ML and automation to drive innovation and efficiency and build a competitive advantage. Initiatives that involve these technologies and capabilities can span various teams within technology departments. Increasingly, they also involve collaboration with teams in other functions outside of the IT organization, like finance and marketing, depending on the use cases and objectives. Data scientists, machine learning engineers and software engineers are just some of the types of skilled technology professionals that a company may need to hire to support their AI projects.
Cloud computing continues to be a driving force behind digital transformation efforts. Organizations are migrating more and more of their operations to cloud environments to achieve scalability, agility and cost-efficiency. They are also developing software in the cloud to build scalable, resilient and innovative applications and accelerate transformation. Network and cloud engineers are instrumental in orchestrating transitions to cloud environments. They design and optimize cloud infrastructures, using platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud to meet performance and security requirements. Network and cloud administrators are also vital to cloud initiative success. Their responsibilities include overseeing day-to-day operations, managing user access, monitoring performance metrics and ensuring compliance with industry standards.
Legacy systems can impede agility and hinder innovation, and can’t support growing volumes of data and data-intensive technologies like AI. Technology modernization initiatives are necessary to get companies where they need to be to operate and compete in today’s dynamic digital environment. Whether a business needs to migrate legacy applications to modern frameworks, adopt microservices architecture or implement containerization technologies, the modernization journey typically requires collaboration across software engineering, infrastructure, and operations teams. Software architects, software engineers and DevOps practitioners are among the technology specialists businesses need to lean on to help them reimagine and revitalize their outdated systems.
Software lies at the heart of virtually every digital initiative, making software engineering and development roles indispensable — especially for companies undergoing transformation. From designing user interfaces to optimizing backend systems, software engineers and software developers are on the front line of bringing ideas to life, including for AI initiatives. DevOps engineers are often the key to project success because they can bridge the gap between development and operations. And by championing automation, continuous integration and deployment practices, they can help streamline development workflows and enhance software quality. Find out more about in-demand IT jobs in 2024.
Don’t let your technology organization’s strategic priorities stall out or fall short of expectations due to hiring challenges. Robert Half can help you find the specialized tech talent you need to keep your projects moving forward. We have the industry’s largest network of skilled technology professionals. We can also introduce you to the benefits of using a scalable talent model for IT, which can give you access to the right talent for every project whenever and for as long as you need the support. Contact us today to learn more.   Follow Ryan M. Sutton on LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter).   *Protiviti is a global consulting firm and Robert Half subsidiary.