Finding New IT Work Is Getting A Lot Tougher - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // IT Strategy
Commentary
12/10/2008
10:50 AM
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Finding New IT Work Is Getting A Lot Tougher

Is your IT organization hiring? If so, you'll likely be getting a flood of resumés soon. A new report says that there's been a pretty recent sharp decline in hiring plans by IT organizations for the next six months.

Is your IT organization hiring? If so, you'll likely be getting a flood of resumés soon. A new report says that there's been a pretty recent sharp decline in hiring plans by IT organizations for the next six months.A survey conducted in November of 1,000 recruiters and hiring managers by IT staffing and job-board company Dice found that 7 in 10 respondents expect to curtail hiring technology professionals till at least mid-2009.

That's a pretty steep decline from Dice's last survey in June, when things weren't exactly looking too rosy for IT hiring either. Back then, 53% of respondents expected cutbacks in new hires of full-time, contract, and other IT talent.

"The economic climate was having an impact back in June, but now the impact is bigger," says Dice senior VP and chief marketing officer Tom Silver in an interview with InformationWeek.

Still, it's not all gloom and doom for techies. National unemployment rates among computer-related professionals are around a comparatively low 3%, while the overall unemployment rate in November for all U.S. workers hit a 15-year high of 6.7% last month, Silver points out.

"Back around 2003 in the tech-led downturn, computer-related unemployment hit about 6.5% while the average unemployment rate was about 6%," he says. "Tech led unemployment last time, but fortunately not this time."

And while overall IT hiring plans aren't exactly robust, there are indeed some hot spots in the current IT job market, he says. That includes the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore market, where there continues to be heavy demand for tech pros with government security clearance. "D.C. and Baltimore is the biggest market right now," he says.

On the other hand, not too surprisingly, one of the worse IT job markets right now for new jobs is the New York City metro area, which has been hit hard by layoffs in the financial world.

As for skill sets, IT hiring managers are still looking for "people with great skills in certain special areas," Silver says. That includes IT pros with virtualization expertise as well as those with CRM experience, he says.

Virtualization technologies are hot because companies are looking to run their operations more efficiently, while CRM is in demand because "companies are trying to keep current customers happy since finding new ones isn't easy these days," he says.

What kind of IT talent is still hot at your company these days?

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