IT Employment Trends for 2016

Talent supply & demand, skill gaps, and other IT industry trends from our year-end poll.

The first quarter of a new year is always a good time to consider what trends are making enough of an impact to consider making adjustments in how to hire IT talent. In 2015, our team successfully placed hundreds of highly qualified IT talent at all levels of an organization.  The amount of hiring activity provides us a unique opportunity to gather qualitative trends from both the business, as well as the candidate side.  Considering how competitive our IT category has become, we wanted to share a snapshot of these insights, but more importantly, those trends that will most likely have “staying power” well into the future.

Talent Supply and Demand – The Gap Continues to Widen

One of the most significant issues we continue to manage is the continued rise in demand to fill vacant IT positions, and the decrease in available talent.  It’s not unusual for us to work with a company that has attempted to internally recruit for several months, with no success in filling a critical position.  Hence, some companies are seeing vacancies that are as high as 30% of their IT staffing needs.  Based on January’s hiring activity, this trend will continue throughout 2016 and beyond.

Respective to the IT roles that are seeing the greatest demand
Software Development, Quality Assurance, Testing and Technical Marketing are seeing a surge as companies aggressively contend for the dominant share of wallet by building proprietary applications which set them apart from their competition.

The most effective way to fill and/or be notified of the vacancies
Proactively recruit talent vs. going through traditional job postings.  For the talent considering a move at some point during the year, reach out to recruiters such as CultureFit, and discuss the type of position you’re seeking and make sure to keep your resume up to date and on file.

Skill Set vs. Cultural Fit – Does it Matter?

Over the past decade finding professionals with a good cultural fit has gradually become criteria once categorized as “nice to have” and shifted to “must have”.  The shift has a close correlation to the issue around supply and demand, for both the hiring company and the available talent driving the need to ensure there’s a good fit before making the full-time commitment.  Regardless of who makes the decision to separate from a company, the cost of a “divorce” comes with a high price tag- with productivity and the technology taking the greatest hit – chaos, friction, and stress within the entire team, loss of productivity from the vacancy, as well as the long learning curve of on-boarding new talent, and finally the direct cost to recruit the qualified replacement. From the IT professional’s perspective, changing positions is a level of stress they simply prefer to avoid for a variety of reasons. The long-term benefits for all will continue to drive a need to establish a good cultural fit to increase the viability of a long-term and happy “marriage”.

What Skill Sets Are Seeing the Greatest Demand in 2016?

There’s never an IT position which isn’t accompanied by a list of skill sets needed to be successful in the role.  However, we’ve seen a new trend over the past couple of years to a more holistic set of skills and experience wrapped around the full-lifecycle of an application, platform, or technology hardware – from a ground-up build, through new versions and/or extensions.  Companies are also more frequently seeking out the IT professional who has had exposure to a wide variety of roles on a single project at the same organization.  The clinical experience is having significantly more weight that the person who has managed several different projects or focused on acquiring certifications against a variety of expertise. This trend may be another correlation to companies seeking candidates who have also demonstrated a good cultural fit.  The implication—they’re committed to an organization and the technology product, versus project jumping that may be motivated by self-driven purpose.

Trends can be short lived, but as we’ve outlined there are several trends that will continue to impact our hiring practices.  These insights are purely qualitative.  As we’ve done in the past, we’re launching our second quantitative survey to identify other indicators that may impact hiring criteria, and what IT professionals are seeking when considering a switch to a new organization.

Please participate in our 2016 IT Employment Trends survey!

IT Job Seekers Survey
IT Employer Survey

We encourage you or someone you might know to participate to ensure your voices are heard.  We will be sharing the results in second quarter of 2016.

Have a question? Or just want to gain a new perspective, feel free to reach out to us or any of our qualified CultureFit consultants.

Warmest Regards,

Adam Kooperman,  Principal Staffing Consultant

Dorie Isaacson,  Director of Recruiting & Principal

Eric Edelsberg,  Staffing Director & Principal


About CultureFit

We’re a full service technology staffing and recruitment firm focused on helping companies efficiently and effectively recruit and retain their highly skilled technical professionals. We are committed to providing excellent customer service. We value our clients and our talent and work to synchronize their motivations in the staffing process.