Highly Skilled IT Workers in Demand Despite Economy

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<strong>Boston &mdash; June 9</strong><br />There has been a lot written during the past several years about the decline in IT jobs domestically. However, a new report issued by Veritude, a staffing services provider, reveals that IT workers with specific skills are in fact in high demand and there is a very limited talent pool. <br /><br />The report, &ldquo;2008 IT Hiring Trends,&rdquo; confirms that even during this challenging economy, employers recognize the need for IT employees with strategic and cultural fits. With the unemployment rate among college graduates in the U.S. at 2 percent, it has become harder to find and keep coveted talent in professional positions. <br /> <br />Among the human resources and IT professionals surveyed, more than half (53 percent) expect to increase the number of information technology staffers in 2008, while 43 percent anticipate their IT staffing will hold steady. <br /><br />In addition, very few respondents (4 percent) expect IT staffing requirements to decrease. The research also reveals that among the expected new hires, 77 percent are &ldquo;permanent&rdquo; positions, indicating future stable, long-term growth of IT departments. <br /> <br />&ldquo;Despite recent economic woes across many industries, we are finding that IT jobs are still in high demand with employers continuing to forecast steady growth of IT staffing levels,&rdquo; said Kate Donovan, senior vice president at Veritude. <br /><br />&ldquo;Many earlier advances in IT were in automating tasks and basic programming. Now employers need on-site IT professionals who can contribute at a strategic level in using IT to achieve and sustain competitive advantages.&rdquo;<br /> <br /><strong>IT Hiring Challenges</strong><br />Veritude&rsquo;s research findings show that 73 percent of companies say that candidates for IT jobs with higher-level business intelligence and enterprise solutions support are the most difficult to find. In addition, respondents indicated that the two top IT hiring challenges they face are finding qualified candidates (53 percent) and finding specific skills (40 percent).<br /> <br />&ldquo;In order to be competitive, it is critical that companies overcome the IT hiring challenges that our research has uncovered,&rdquo; said Donovan. &ldquo;In working with our clients to place IT professionals, we have found that cultural fit and flexible work conditions are often key tipping points to attracting and retaining the right candidates and becoming the employer of choice.&rdquo;<br /> <br /><strong>Recruiting Solutions and Recommendations</strong><br />Forty percent of respondents who expect to increase their IT ranks also say they will work with an outside staffing provider to meet their needs. &ldquo;IT is a hot hiring segment now, and employers routinely turn to external recruiters and staffing firms in these tight conditions,&rdquo; Donovan said.<br /> <br />The report also contains five recommendations to help hiring managers create plans to effectively address the challenges of hiring IT professionals. Many old assumptions about attracting and retaining candidates need to be challenged and new approaches taken in the current IT talent &ldquo;sellers&rdquo; market.<br /> <br /><strong>About the Survey</strong><br />Veritude conducted an online survey of mostly human resources and IT managers responsible for hiring IT workers across many industries to gain their insights into the IT hiring process. The survey was conducted and completed in May and received 122 respondents. <br />

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