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8 hot IT hiring trends — and 8 going cold

Paul Heltzel | Sept. 19, 2017
Recruiting and retaining tech talent remains IT’s biggest challenge today. Here’s how companies are coping — and what’s cooling off when it comes to IT staffing.

That said, they may also be some of the most aggressive in hiring, Payscale notes, which lends itself to job jumping, for better pay and opportunities, rather than attrition.

But across all industries job tenure is down slightly, from 4.6 years to 4.2 years in 2017, says Dan Schawbel, research director of WorkplaceTrends, an HR-focused research firm. “On average, if you start a job, you’ll last there for four years,” Schawbel says. “Which is not very long. Twenty-two percent of employees are planning to change jobs this year.”


Hot: Upskilling

In employee surveys, job candidates report that one of the most desirable job benefits is the ability to pursue professional development on company time.

A report by the Execu Search Group shows more than half of the respondents considered the chance for professional development as their No. 1 reason to accept a job. Nearly 60 percent said “access to projects to help keep their skills up-to-date” would help retain employees at their current jobs.

“Employees want to feel the company is investing in them now, but they also want to feel the company is investing in their future,” says Sarah Lahav, CEO of IT service management software maker SysAid. “Offering continuing education or professional courses are very important as they stay with the employee even if the employee leaves the company.”


Cold: Hiring from outside of the company

Positions in security and data science are increasingly difficult to fill, and despite demand the skills gap isn’t going away soon.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, “for analytics-enabled roles, employers typically require three to five years of job experience and a college degree. But the pool of people with the education, interest, and experience can be tight relative to demand, so it's good to think of several strategies that could get you the talent you want. “

Research firm Gartner recommends using competitions like hackathons to uncover talent, and developing versatility in existing hires.

“Versatilists are the equivalent of multifaceted actors in a theatrical repertory company, according to advice from a Gartner report. “They play different roles in multiple productions at once, bringing superior performance to each production regardless of whether they play lead, supporting or backstage roles.”


Hot: Importing talent from Silicon Valley

What the Show is to baseball, Silicon Valley is to IT. But recent trends suggest innovation and tech hubs sprouting around the country are giving the Bay Area a run for its money.

“After adjusting for cost of living in San Francisco, cities like Austin, Melbourne, Seattle, and Toronto are increasingly attractive spots for tech workers to grow their careers,” according to’s 2017 State of Global Tech Salaries. “In Austin, the average salary for a software engineer on Hired is $110K. But this is the equivalent to making $198K in San Francisco when you consider the cost of living difference between the two cities.”


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