4 Trends Every IT Hiring Manager Needs to Know

By Dave Willmer (Send Email)
Posted Sep 25, 2009


At 10 percent unemployment, the job market remains a major topic of conversation around the country. Yet there are some emerging employment trends that may not have gained much attention but are valuable for executives to understand.

The market is not as one sided as you might think -- employees still have some say in their destinies.

Robert Half International and CareerBuilder recently issued the 2009 Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report, which provides an overview of the current hiring environment, as well as a glimpse of what the post-recession staffing landscape will look like. There are four key findings CIOs must be aware of:

1. Hiring Is Hard

With so many people in the job market, it would seem that employers would have the upper hand and find recruitment to be quick and easy. However, managers surveyed said it takes them from 4.5 to 14.4 weeks to fill a vacancy, depending on the position-the same amount of time as last year. A shortage of qualified applicants was noted as the top hiring challenge. While organizations may receive an overwhelming number of responses to any job ads they post, an average of 44 percent of resumes are from unqualified candidates.

To attract the right applicants, firms should take a diversified approach to recruitment. Referrals can be a useful tool for learning of qualified candidates, so managers should spread the word about job openings to their employees and outside networks. Job ads placed in industry publications and on targeted websites also may yield applications from the right professionals. In addition, it might be beneficial to partner with a recruiter. These individuals can use their extensive local networks to identify skilled individuals who are not currently job hunting but who might be open to leaving for a good opportunity, as well as help you narrow down the list of potential hires.

2. Employers Are Mixing It Up

When it comes to hiring, companies aren't necessarily focusing exclusively on full-time additions. While 53 percent of managers said they plan to recruit full-time staff in the next 12 months, 40 percent said they intend to bring in contract, temporary of project professionals. About the same percentage said they will hire part-time workers. (Multiple responses were allowed.)

This varied approach allows organizations some flexibility, which is ideal during uncertain times. Firms can quickly adjust staffing levels to accommodate new demands by using interim professionals, while protecting core full-time and part-time staff from layoffs should those demands subside.

3. Workers Are Waiting to Change Jobs

Even if you aren't hiring, personnel issues should be a high priority. While 9 out of 10 workers said they are satisfied with their current work situations, nearly half (45 percent) said they plan to change employers, careers or industries when the economy recovers. If you are not taking steps to ensure your best employees remain with your firm when they're presented with other opportunities, now is the time.

Managers and workers surveyed agreed that providing more money is the top method for retaining employees. In fact, 28 percent of workers said they plan to ask their bosses for a raise or promotion once the recovery is under way. Better benefits and perks are also valuable retention tools.

4. Tech Will Be Key in a Turnaround

CIOs will be pleasantly surprised to learn that IT is expected to be a top area for change in the coming years. When managers were asked which departments will add positions first when there's an economic turnaround, technology ranked first. Workers also believe IT investments will increase once business conditions improve. When asked which perks they expect their employers to provide or enhance when the economy gets better, technology upgrades came in first.

While no one can predict when the business climate will accelerate and to what degree, companies that stay on top of trends and make the right adjustments will have a competitive advantage when things turn around. They'll be in a stronger position to attract and retain talent and adjust personnel levels and budgets quickly to meet demands.

Dave Willmer is executive director of Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals for initiatives ranging from e-business development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. The company has more than 100 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.rht.com.

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Article courtesy of CIO Update

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