According to a new report by the staffing specialists at Robert Half Technology, IT is one of the fastest-growing industries in much of the country. Some of the most in-demand positions are…
- Data scientist.
- Network security administrator.
- Software developer.
- Web designer.
As the report notes, salaries are on the rise because of an overwhelming need for top tech talent. While the report may have had larger companies and their prospective employees in mind, it offers takeaways for small IT business owners and IT contractors, too.
Let's take a look at some top IT hiring trends and how you can take advantage of them to staff your own business or land more gigs.
Trend #1: Project-Based Work Will Continue to Be Plentiful
Almost every business needs IT help, but many don't need a full-time employee for it. Business owners often just need someone to solve a particular problem. That's great news for IT contractors, who will likely have their pick of projects in 2017.
If you're a small-business owner, you can take advantage of these short-terms projects to land more work for your business. If you need to beef up your ranks to keep up with demand, be aware that many potential workers may prefer to work for you on a contract basis. Read "4 Steps to Hiring IT Contractors / Freelancers Who Make Your Life Easier" for some pointers before you hire.
Trend #2: It's a Job Seekers' Market
It's worth repeating: people with tech skills are in high demand. That means if you need to bring on a new team member or IT contractor, you don't have the luxury of interviewing everyone under the sun until you find your "dream" candidate. If you find someone who has most of the skills you're seeking, including those all-important soft skills, be prepared to move quickly to make an offer.
If you can't hire quickly, you may lose good candidates to employers who can. If you need help finding the right job candidates, check out "5 Secrets to Writing a Job Description that Attracts Top Talent."
Trend #3: Potential Clients Will Want Proof of Success
While it's true that tech workers are in high demand, potential clients or employers will still want to make sure you have the technical chops before they hire your firm or book you for a project. So get ready to humble-brag about the amazing work you do.
Create an online resume where you can spotlight samples of your work. Be sure to:
- Clearly explain the project.
- If relevant, detail what the problem was and how you solved it.
- Keep the resume up to date so clients know your skill set is current and you're consistently landing clients.
This goes for both IT contractors and owners of small IT businesses.
Trend #4: Tech Salaries Will Vary Based on Locale
Salary negotiation can be stressful for business owners, but for potential employees, it can be downright gut churning. Employers don't want to feel like they are overpaying, but no one wants to think they got shortchanged by not asking for enough money upfront.
There are plenty of salary guides that can give both sides an idea of the going rate for a particular industry. However, keep in mind that salary ranges vary based on a variety of factors, including…
- Job title.
If you want to make sure your salary expectations are in line with the city where you live, check out the 2017 Salary Guide for Technology Professionals [PDF] from Robert Half. The guide lists salaries by job title, but if you jump to page 14, you can get a sense of how much your city deviates from the national average. It's especially useful if you're moving from one area to another or hiring a remote worker in a different area than you.
Small IT business owners can also tap into the guide to ensure that they are offering job candidates a competitive salary.
Trend #5: It's Not Just about Money – Culture Matters
Sure, showering tech talent with buckets of cash is one way to get their attention. But when it comes to hiring and retaining the best IT talent, prospective hires also consider…
- Flexible work schedules.
- Career development opportunities.
- The opportunity to work at an innovative / creative company.
- Perks, like free snacks, an in-house yoga instructor, or a company climbing wall.
Let's say your tech startup can't afford to pay as much as some of your competitors. However, you offer a flexible schedule, the ability to work from home one day a week, and up to $1,500 annually that employees can use for professional development. Those benefits may be more appealing to many candidates than simply earning a higher salary. And adding a vintage arcade game to the break room probably won't hurt.
Want more tips on hiring tech employees? Check out "Beyond Salary: The Real Cost of Hiring an Employee."