Midyear hiring forecast in IT

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Online consultantBy Eric Presley, chief technology officer, CareerBuilder

While the nation’s economy continues to strengthen and businesses strive to become more efficient, a large task is placed on IT workers to stay ahead of the game and bring the best technology to the workplace. IT workers have been in steady demand, and 51 percent of IT employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the remainder of 2013, according to a recent CareerBuilder and Sologig.com national survey.

More than 100 IT hiring managers and human resource professionals were surveyed about their hiring plans for IT positions in the back half of the year. While plans for hiring full-time, permanent staff are expected to trend down slightly from that of 2012, temporary and contract hiring was reported to increase 18 percentage points over last year.

In the wake of the recession, IT employers continue to cautiously add permanent headcount, relying more on temporary workers to help meet their growing technological demands. The data shows an encouraging increase in projected temporary positions, many of which can lead to permanent employment, as 40 percent of IT employers plan to transition temporary workers to full-time status.

Looking forward to the next six months of the year, the study shows there will be a continued boost in temporary and part-time hiring activity, while demand for full-time positions will taper off slightly from last year:

  • 51 percent of IT employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, down slightly from 55 percent last year
  • 21 percent plan to hire part-time employees, up from 18 percent last year
  • 46 percent plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 28 percent last year

Hot roles in IT
IT employers are placing an emphasis on roles involving newer technologies, big data, social media and financial services. As tablets and mobile devices continue to grow in popularity, IT workers with mobile technology skills will be needed to create sites that are friendly to smaller screens. Data storage is also an industry that has rapidly changed since the spread of cloud technology, and workers will be needed to create and add storage space for businesses and individuals. Beyond these emerging roles, IT workers are needed to help businesses manage their access to big data, especially that which is gleaned from social media and customer profiles. In the back half of the year, IT employers plan to hire in the following areas:

Hiring in metropolitan and rural areas
IT job creation continues in both big cities and outlying towns. Of IT employers who are hiring in the second half of 2013, 89 percent said they will be recruiting for positions in large metropolitan areas while 28 percent will be hiring in non-metropolitan, rural areas — similar to last year.

Hiring in Q3 2013
In the short-term, 37 percent of IT employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the third quarter, down from 41 percent last year. Ten percent expect to downsize staffs while 48 percent anticipate no changes to headcount and 1 percent is undecided.

Though hiring plans in IT have decelerated compared to 2012, the industry continues to hire at an impressive rate and workers with the most up-to-date certifications and skills will have strong chances of finding employment. Pursuing temporary or contract work can also lead to a permanent, full-time position with a company. The remainder of 2013 looks optimistic for those seeking work in the IT field.

Eric Presley is the chief technology officer at CareerBuilder.com, where he is responsible for overseeing strategic technology initiatives and the execution of technology infrastructure.

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