Hiring, Spending On The Mend - InformationWeek

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Hiring, Spending On The Mend

Hiring is on the upswing, according to a survey of 300 companies by online job-recruitment service Dice Inc. More than 70% of respondents plan to increase tech hiring in the next six months, compared with a year ago, when 23% said they planned to increase hiring.

Tech-job postings on Dice's site have jumped 40% since January, to about 33,000 last week, Dice president and CEO Scot Melland says. Nearly half of those positions are for consultants or contractors; an uptick in demand for these types of workers usually precedes by six to 12 months growth in full-time hiring. Dice customers that participated in the survey include large IT vendors, services firms, and recruiting companies.

More upbeat news came last week from Meta Group's 2004 Worldwide IT Benchmark Report, which is predicting a rebound in IT spending next year, to about 5% of revenue. IT spending was flat this year, with companies spending an average of 3.8% of revenue versus 3.6% in 2002.

Manufacturing and insurance are expected to have the biggest increase. They drastically cut spending over the last few years, and their investments in areas like enterprise resource planning and customer-relationship management are "frozen in time," says Howard Rubin, Meta executive VP and the report's author. Both industries will increase IT spending by about 12%.

Most of the increased spending will be on products, rather than hiring a lot of new U.S. workers, Rubin predicts. That's because 41% of companies say they're outsourcing new software development, and 90% of that work is going offshore.

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