Survey: Companies struggling to find qualified IT professionals

Looking to hire employees to fill open IT jobs in the next few months? It may not be easy, according to a recent survey. 

IT hiring is expected to increase slightly over the next few months, according to a recent report from staffing firm Robert Half.

Of the 1,400 IT departments surveyed, 8% plan to add staff in the second quarter of this year, compared to 5% that plan to reduce the number of IT jobs. The majority (85%) expect no change.

IT leaders are also confident in their companies’ overall health, as well as their own departments’ ability to secure funding. Among the survey respondents:

  1. 87% are optimistic about their company’s growth prospects in the next three months, and
  2. 77% are at least somewhat confident their companies will invest in new IT projects in the second quarter.

While that growth and the hiring boost it brings is good news for IT, it is creating a new challenge for managers: finding qualified candidates for IT jobs. Due to increased competition in hiring, 65% of IT leaders say it’s been a challenge to find skilled IT professionals.

Who’s in highest demand right now? Respondents said they were having the hardest time finding:

  1. Network administrators (cited by 55% of respondents)
  2. Database management professionals (54%), and
  3. Desktop support staff (51%).

Compared to the other areas studied by Robert Half (accounting, finance, legal, advertising and marketing) hiring managers in IT are having the most difficulty finding employees.

Previous reports have also found demand for IT professionals to be high right now, though other research has also shown different skill sets to be in high demand — including skills in newer tech areas such as cloud computing and mobile application development.

Regardless of what skills companies are looking for, the message is clear: Companies will face a lot of competition when it’s time to fill IT jobs.

It may be wise for IT managers to look for ways to improve recruiting efforts now — and develop plans to retain current employees as new opportunities become open. Read our earlier post for more information on improving IT recruiting and retention.

Also make sure to check out our article on 87 IT and Tech Career Resources

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  • ItGuy

    From the employee side of things… I’ve been a sys admin for around 5 years, I’ve been in tech support related fields for the past 12 (hardware, software, networking duties), and when I look through the want ads for Sys Admins or related IT pro jobs, I’m blown away by the previous experience companies expect. No wonder you’re having trouble filling a position when the prerequisites involve knowledge of 10 different named brands of products, 2 or 3 different operating systems, and 5 different programming languages. Yes, there are people out there who have all that experience, but they’re probably making twice what companies are offering. Tech companies are trying to ride the wave of out of work high end IT people, and hope to snatch them up for nothing.

    I’m not one of those people I mentioned above. In the places I’ve worked, we’ve only run server 2003, hadn’t moved up to 2008, no linux/unix systems, not using whatever specific piece of software your company uses for ticket tracking, or routing or whatever. When I got my current job, I was grilled on my knowledge of SQL, which I admitted wasn’t pro level, but I understood it and could work with it. I was similarly grilled about other various fields of expertise, all of which I was honest about in my understand of, but lack of experience in. I got the job and hoped to start getting more hands on experience, but since then I’ve not once had to use any of those systems or skills on a daily or even weekly basis, because the problems are so ‘one-off’, it’s not about being an expert in something, it’s about fixing it when its broke, or modifying when it needs changes.

    Hiring managers need to work on their ability to detect talent and work ethic, and someones ability to seek out answers to a problem when they encounter something they haven’t done before, instead of hiring someone who you think is an expert in everything and will never come across a problem he or she can’t solve in 5 minutes ( I know it’s not easy to spot real talent, I’ve supervised people in the past, I’ve been duped by BS’ers in the past as well, but that’s what they should be improving *their* skills in).