Interest rates are up, the economy is slowing down, and recession fears abound. So where does that leave the future of IT hiring as 2023 launches?
Better than expected, according to many sources.
The IT Industry: Unemployment Down, Tech Budgets Up
Despite economic uncertainty and significant tech layoffs in the headlines, according to CompTIA the outlook in IT is promising. Earlier this month, they recorded the 25th straight month of added tech jobs. The latest Tech Jobs Report found that tech unemployment is at 1.8%, down from 2% the month before. Further analysis, and likely no surprise, reveals that 30% of new tech job postings are in emerging fields, such as artificial intelligence.
Tech jobs are also secure in established industries such as healthcare, aerospace, finance, and consulting, according to the DICE Tech Job Report. Companies continue to need tech talent to serve their innovation plans and digital transformation goals, not to mention maintain their basic business operations.
“We are cautiously optimistic for what’s ahead in 2023,” said Paragon’s VP of Sales, Greg Lagan. “We have some clients who have slowed hiring, but we have others aggressively pursuing new initiatives.”
In a 2023 State of IT report by SWZD, 51% of companies surveyed plan to increase their tech spending, with only 6% of companies planning to decrease their tech budgets.
“Our plan is to continue to focus on what we can control – our quality, speed and service, for example –not the short-term outlook of the market,” Lagan added.
Last quarter Paragon significantly outperformed industry standards, filling 1 job for every 2.5 interviews and averaging 13 days to fill on contract positions. An achievement, Lagan attributes to an increased focus on training and collaboration between the recruiting and account management teams.
What About the Talent?
For a period of time, it seemed the talent had the upper hand – especially in IT. While that still may be true for certain skill sets, Paragon is noticing clients being more selective. As suggested in DICE’s 2022 Tech Sentiment Survey, tech workers are looking for freedom in their positions, with 60% ranking fully remote work as their top priority.
What some might find more surprising, however, is that 85% of survey respondents ranked company culture as the most important consideration when choosing a specific company. This is one reason why Paragon continues to offer its IT Leadership Forum in Minnesota, Nebraska and Arizona, and why the Technology Association of Iowa recently started offering its own version of the Forum.
The demand for experienced tech workers in all sectors has enabled these professionals to be more specific in their job goals, whether they want short-term placements that allow for flexibility, the freedom to live where they want or a specific company culture.
There are plenty of unknowns as 2023 unfolds. What is known is that tech still dominates in many different fields and quality tech talent remains at a premium.
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