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7 hiring trends for 2017

Ann Bednarz | Dec. 12, 2016
Tech hiring is stable, but wages are becoming stagnant

Hiring is a challenge for CIOs, and it won’t get much easier in the coming year, particularly for IT departments that are trying to fill key security and networking roles.

Two staffing and recruiting firms that specialize in IT – Robert Half Technology and TEKsystems – each released research this week that offers a glimpse of what’s expected on the hiring front in 2017. Here are some highlights from their respective reports.

1. Don’t expect widespread salary gains

A majority of IT leaders – 63% – expect overall 2017 IT salaries to stay the same compared to 2016 rates, and 1% expect salaries to decrease in the coming year. Just 36% of IT leaders say they plan to increase overall IT salaries in 2017, according to TEKsystems’ annual IT Forecast.

“This is quite low, and could stand in the way of companies trying to attract IT talent,” TEKsystems says of the lackluster number of companies planning overall raises. “Given the competitiveness of the IT labor market, it is important for companies to evaluate the compensation packages they offer IT talent. Many organizations are relying on rate cards from several years ago, and the IT segment is suffering a degree of wage stagnation.”

2. Some skills are more likely to elicit raises

While most CIOs aren’t planning department-wide salary boosts, a greater number of tech leaders will be giving raises to certain in-demand roles, TEKsystems reports. The most common skill sets that will be rewarded with salary increases are programmers and developers (50% of CIOs say they expect to increase salaries for these roles); software engineers (cited by 47%); security (45%); and cloud (43%).

3. IT headcount expanding for some, but not most

Most CIOs plan to be in hiring mode next year – but only a fraction of those CIOs are actually adding new positions: 16% plan to add more staff to their IT departments in the first half of 2017, and 69% plan to hire only for open IT roles, according to Robert Half Technology’s IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trends Report. Among the remainder, 12% plan to put IT hiring plans on hold, and 2% plan to reduce IT staff.

4. Contingent IT staff increasing

IT leaders report that in 2016, 80% of their IT team members are full-time staffers and 20% are contingent workers. Looking ahead to 2017, CIOs are predicting a slight shift in the ratio of full-time staff (76%) to contingent workers (24%), TEKsystems reports.

“Continuing on the note of cautious optimism and increased investment in technology, hiring expectations for both full-time roles and contingent staff have increased steadily since 2015,” TEKsystems reports. “The percentage of full-time versus contingent staff remains consistent over the same time period, with a slight rebalancing back toward contingent staff."


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