While the economy is showing signs of recovery, CIOs and hiring managers are still cautious about adding new positions. The latest information from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that only 77,600 IT jobs have been added over the last 12 months, with some late 2013 months showing losses of a few thousand jobs.
However, there is some good news on the IT job front. This year, more companies are increasing their hiring budgets in order to bring in more skilled IT contractors.
Cautious CIOs lead to increased reliance on outsourcing
The world of technology is changing faster than ever, with everything moving toward mobile, cloud, and wireless. These rapid shifts have left many companies with aging, legacy infrastructures—and without the budgets to upgrade.
Since hiring new, full-time employees to keep up with the latest technologies represents a significant investment that’s often outside the budget, HR professionals are turning to IT contractors for help.
A recent study from IT recruiting and consulting firm Mondo, drawing on a survey of IT decision makers and data from their contract IT placement network, found that 32 percent of respondents plan to increase their contractor budgets, and 48 percent will hire more IT contractors than permanent staff over the next 12 to 18 months. OnForce, another IT contract staffing provider, says the findings are consistent with their client experiences.
Popular skill sets for IT contractors
What are CIOs and hiring managers looking for in outsourced IT? Developers and marketers are in particularly high demand, across a variety of disciplines and platforms. Nearly every type of business is looking, but those most likely to increase contract spending include the publishing, communications, media, and higher education markets.
The Mondo survey reports that 73 percent of respondents are currently using IT contractors for:
- Application development
- Web and mobile development
- Application maintenance
A further 30 percent will outsource app development, and 27 percent will contract for web and mobile development, over the next 12 to 18 months.
Fluke or emerging pattern?
Is the trend toward hiring more IT contractors permanent, or will companies go back to hiring more full-time staff once the economy stabilizes further? Factors such as an aging workforce, an increased demand for flexibility, and streamlined costs point to a pattern that is here to stay.
OnForce reports an increase in monthly applicants to its Workforce-as-a-Service from around 750 to approximately 1,000 in recent months, and that number is growing. In fact, it is expected that the number of IT contractors in the workforce will double in 2014, and outsourced IT services will remain the norm for a few years, or longer.
If you are looking for IT contract work in Silicon Valley, contact our team to learn more about employment opportunitites.