Phoenix-area technology hiring is on the rise for the second half of 2017, according to the IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report from Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Twenty-two percent of CIOs say they plan to add full-time technology professionals to their teams, up eight points from the previous report in December, and an additional 53 percent expect to maintain staff levels by filling vacant roles. In addition to hiring plans, the report also highlights skills in demand, CIOs’ top concerns and factors contributing to local hiring growth.
“Tech company expansions and relocations are contributing to hiring,” said Kathleen French, metro market manager for Robert Half Technology in Phoenix. “The most highly sought-after professionals are in the Windows administration, network and database management arenas. Digital marketing and big data initiatives are also causing companies to add to their teams.” Noting that local companies are getting the green light on more and more technology projects for their organizations — especially in data analytics, mobile strategies and security — she adds, “Companies increasingly recognize that investments made in technology can pay off significantly in terms of making the company more efficient, productive and reactive to consumer needs.”
The report underscores the fact that an active hiring environment is contributing to a competitive market for IT talent, as 64 percent of Phoenix hiring leaders say it’s somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals in today’s market. Says French, “As companies implement new technologies, customer- and end-user-facing roles also remain critical. We’re seeing demand from our clients for network and windows support roles. In these areas, we expect to see greater demand than there are job candidates, which makes it tough for organizations to add to their ranks.” Pointing to the supply/demand imbalance in some IT specialties, she says an additional challenge to filling an open position is the fact that “many hiring managers are being very selective and only interested in applicants who possess all the skills and attributes they’re seeking.”
As a sector overall, IT generally fares better than others — tech jobs continually beat the national unemployment average and the hiring environment for tech talent remains highly competitive. French sees strong activity in the employment market right now, and observes, “Technology professionals are feeling more secure about their job prospects and showing more willingness to jump ship and try out new opportunities. Smart organizations are boosting their retention efforts to avoid losing strong performers. While they spend time trying to grow their talent, they also have to pay close attention to the team they’ve built.”
Phoenix’s Talent Pool
“Phoenix is quickly becoming the new Silicon Valley and is considered one of the top cities for tech jobs,” says French. “Although the hiring market is extremely competitive, there is a very strong pool of candidates moving here due to the lower cost of living and the high demand of tech jobs. That said, candidates are coming to the table with multiple job offers and are often choosing the ones with the best opportunities for growth. Companies that take too long to hire will lose out on the best talent.”
Tech Hiring in Phoenix
|What’s Driving Hiring in Phoenix?|
|More businesses moving to the area is the main driver of tech hiring growth||29%|
|Increased big data initiatives||27%|
|Increased digital marketing initiatives||23%|
|Increased mobile initiatives||17%|
|Innovation and helping to grow the businesses||28%|
|Technology innovation and investing in new technologies||22%|
|Upgrading existing systems for business efficiency||18%|
|Maintaining security of IT systems and safeguarding company information||16%|
|Skills in Demand|
|Wireless network management||55%|
Source: Robert Half Technology. The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm. To ensure that companies from all segments were represented in the study, the sample was stratified by number of employees. Robert Half Technology has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.
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