Tech Job Hiring Expected to Rise 5%

Technology hiring looks bright for the remainder of 2017, according to the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trends Report. Twenty-one percent of U.S. CIOs surveyed plan to add full-time technology professionals to their teams, a five-percentage-point increase from the first half of the year.

"Whether you're a recent graduate or experienced professional, it's a good time to be a job seeker in the tech industry," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "For employers, however, hiring remains a challenge in today's competitive market. Tech leaders must make recruiting and retention a priority to attract and secure top talent."

Hiring Plans & Challenges
Twenty-one percent of CIOs surveyed expect to add members to their teams in the second half of the year; another 64 percent foresee maintaining staff levels by only filling vacant roles. An active hiring environment has intensified competition for IT talent: 63 percent of IT executives said it's somewhat or very challenging to find skilled technology professionals today.

New Business Generates Hiring
When asked about the greatest contributing factor to IT hiring in their area, nearly one-third of respondents (31 percent) cited a growing number of businesses opening up in their market.

The top five cities where CIOs report IT job growth sparked by new businesses include:

  1. New York
  2. Dallas
  3. Salt Lake City
  4. Houston
  5. Los Angeles

According to CIOs, an increase in the following initiatives is also leading to tech hiring: 

  • Digital marketing (25 percent)
  • Cloud or big data (24 percent) 
  • Mobile (18 percent) 

Tech Skills in Demand 
According to IT executives, the skills in greatest demand within their department include: 

  1. Database management (53 percent)
  2. Windows administration (53 percent)
  3. Desktop support (52 percent)
  4. Network administration (51 percent) 
  5. Wireless network management (51 percent)

Top Concerns 
When asked to name their top priority for the next six months, nearly one-quarter of CIOs (23 percent) said they'll be focused on upgrading existing systems for business efficiency. Other priorities include:  

  • Maintaining security of IT systems and safeguarding company information (22 percent)
  • Staff retention (21 percent)
  • Helping grow the business (19 percent)
  • Innovation and investing in new technologies (15 percent) 

"Keeping up with systems upgrades so business operations can run effectively is top of mind for CIOs," Reed added. "And with today's current atmosphere around security, it's understandable that tech leaders are concerned about safeguarding company data. Professionals with skills that mirror these priorities will continue to be in high demand."

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm. To ensure that companies from all segments were represented in the study, the sample was stratified by number of employees. Robert Half Technology has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.