Many chief information officers are feeling positive about information technology hiring in the second half of 2014, according to the most recent Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report. In fact, the IT sector continues to fare better than other sectors, with low unemployment for experienced IT professionals in many markets. Professionals with skills in applications development, data analytics and networking are in especially high demand.
According to the national report, 90 percent of CIOs plan to hire – either to expand or fill vacant positions – in the second half of 2014. Fourteen percent of CIOs surveyed plan to expand their IT teams, while 76 percent plan to hire only for open IT roles. Eight percent intend to put IT hiring plans on hold and one percent expect to reduce their IT staffing levels in the last six months of the year.
Other findings from the report include:
- Sixty-one percent of CIOs surveyed said it is somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals today. Highly skilled IT professionals in applications development, networking and security are the most challenging functional areas in which to recruit.
- Eighty-nine percent of CIOs reported being somewhat or very confident in their companies’ prospects for growth in the last six months of 2014.
- Seventy-one percent of CIOs said they were somewhat or very confident that their firms would invest in IT projects in the second half of 2014. Most of those investments will be in hardware upgrades (44 percent) and software upgrades (21 percent).
The outlook for the IT sector in Milwaukee is encouraging, as well. Our recruiters are seeing high demand for web developers and PC techs, in particular. Candidates with expertise in .NET, SharePoint and Office 365 are highly sought after.
Hiring activity is the strongest in the manufacturing and banking industries. We’re seeing more employers allocate a portion of their budget to expanding their infrastructure. Projects such as website refreshes and software migrations are driving much of the tech hiring we’re seeing locally.
Milwaukee employers are increasingly looking for candidates who have strong soft skills, including excellent written and verbal communication, as well as the ability to present in front of a group. They are also looking for candidates with exceptional analytical skills, including the ability to review data and identify trends.
Candidates with the right skills and experience can sometimes be hard to find, so hiring managers need to act quickly and make sure they are offering competitive pay when they find top talent. In addition, perks and other retention strategies have never been more important. Once the right candidates are hired, employers need to ensure their employees remain happy so they’re not lured away by the competition.