Tech Hiring Priorities for 2017

Robert Half Technology recently came up with its report on the status of hiring in 2017. Findings indicated that the year will continue to be stable in terms of hiring activity, with security and system upgrades forming a major chunk of the hiring action in the first half. The report, titled the “IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trends” report, surveyed more than 2500 CIOs from 25 US markets.

The findings highlight that only about a 16% of US CIOs planned to grow their technology teams in the first half of the year. On a positive, about 69% stated that they would be hiring for existing open IT roles. 12% of the surveyed CIOs mentioned that there would be a hiring freeze, while a meagre 2% stated plans of downsizing their IT staff. The CIOs were questioned about their hiring plans for then next 6 months.

This hiring outlook is in line with business priorities for the year, with security and data protection emerging as the key concerns and action areas for CIOs. A significant 30% of the respondents mentioned this to be their number 1 priority agenda. 22% mentioned “Upgrading existing systems for business efficiency” as priority, making it the number 2 agenda on CIOs’ minds. 17% indicated that it was important to help grow the business, while a close 16% stated that they were looking out to foster innovation and invest in new technologies. Number 5 on the priority list came to be “Retaining staff”, with a mere 15% giving their nod for this. Looking at these areas of intervention, it is obvious that hiring efforts too shall mirror these.

Security and data protection is giving CIOs sleepless nights, and they are keen to bridge the security gaps at an organizational level. In accordance, when questioned about what skills would be expected to see a hiring surge going ahead, 44% of the CIOs stated database management skills, 42% talked about desktop support personnel, 42% mentioned network administration roles, while 41% expressed the need for cybersecurity talent.

Interestingly, CIOs claimed that finding the right IT talent proved to be “somewhat” or “very” challenging in today’s tough times. This is evident from the fact that 61% of the respondents claimed so. Especially for cybersecurity, there seems to a huge gap between talent supply and demand with respect to full time employees. The way ahead may lie in availing the services of skilled and specialized contractors. CIOs’ opinions about dire talent shortage are in stark contradiction to the fact that only 15% of these very CIOs said that they are focused on retaining staff.

This article was originally published on Read IT Quik

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