What to Expect for IT Staffing in 2016
The question on the minds of hiring managers and job seekers alike seems to be what to expect for IT staffing this year.
Although there is some uncertainty about economic growth estimates around the globe, the expectations for hiring in the IT sector have been on the rise. The growth of information technology jobs is especially strong in the U.S., where companies are competing for qualified applicants amid a widening skills gap. Demand for talent in the information security, programming, cybersecurity, data science, software engineering and other IT specialty roles continues to outpace supply. With tech growth leading the current wave of business expansion, companies are finding it difficult to fill the highly specialized positions created by new technologies.
Here is some interesting data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
- IT staffing in the U.S. is expected to grow 6% in 2016, representing $28.9 billion in revenue.
- The number of computer science graduates in the U.S. still fell short of demand by an estimated 14% in 2014 (the most recent published statistics).
- The H-1B visa program that allows foreign workers in specialty occupations to work in the U.S. is currently capped at 65,000 applicants, limiting the supply of skilled IT workers from abroad.
- The BLS recently projected 12.5% growth in overall IT employment through 2024.
- Unemployment in the IT industry as a whole is currently below 2%, compared to the national average of just over 5%.
While the BLS predicts growth in IT staffing to be around 6% in 2016, industry professionals project an even higher demand. Thanks to the dual effects of organic growth and the retirement of an aging workforce, some segments such as education and healthcare technology expect to see growth as high as 15%.
How to Secure the Right IT Talent
With this indisputable gap between the demand for IT workers and the limited supply of qualified job candidates, there comes opportunity. Recruiting firms specializing in certain high-demand segments and skill sets are in a perfect position to help companies identify the right information technology candidates to meet hiring needs. Far more than a general recruiting firm, a specialty IT recruiting organization has the advantage of knowing the industry and the high-tech skills that are in demand right now.
With all of the specialized segments within Information Technology, organizations looking to hire the most qualified IT talent would do well to engage a firm whose recruiters thoroughly understand technology. The fields of information security, cybersecurity, cloud computing, software development and other highly skilled tech positions demand IT recruiters who speak the language.