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The State of the State

Here is an up-to-the-minute snapshot of hiring in the local IT market.

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Activity is picking up. There is a distinct increase in local IT job openings. However, the process and effort involved in getting from an open position to a filled position can be quite an ordeal.

  • Companies are tapping into their personal network and doing their own recruiting. Some are very successful. However, in many cases it is not worth it. . They are spending an inordinate amount of time sifting through masses of resumes that have little to do with their opening. Two months later, the position is still open, and many (wo)man hours have been spent fruitlessly.  Clients are coming to us once they have exhausted all possibilities. It’s sort of like going through 24 hours of labor, and then finding out you need to have a C-section.
  • There are a lot of false starts. Lots of interviews, lots of changes in directions midway through the interview process, and extremely high expectations that if a job has 100 requirements, the person who will fill the job will have all of them, and more!
  • There are certainly exceptions to this rule, but the majority of super stars are working, so there is actually a lack of great candidates (quite the opposite of what you would expect). Those that are working are reticent to leave in a down market, so it’s actually quite difficult to find candidates with any sort of specialization or expertise. Defies logic, but true.

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  • Growth appears to be happening in a wider variety of industries than in the past, and is tending to be in smaller and mid-sized companies.  There has also been growth as a result of the creation or expansion of new divisions within existing, profitable companies.
  • Open positions are running the gamut from entry-level help desk support roles up to Manager/Director on the Infrastructure side, and from junior level developer/QA roles up through C-level on the development side.  Typically in a bad market, only the most difficult to fill are given to agencies. We are actually getting a much broader range of level/position types than one would expect.
  • Contract rates are getting squeezed, but permanent salaries are not being affected much.
  • Simply due to the nature of the pyramid, there are fewer slots at the top. Couple that with the fact that many companies laid off their more senior people so they could promote up less expensive/more junior staff to reduce overall expenses. The bulk of super stars on the market come from management.  As is always the case in a down market, they want to be considered for lower level roles than they have held, but companies are concerned that they will bolt the second the market picks up, so “dumbing down” a resume is not fruitful (it all comes out in the wash).

Bottom line, if you need help in hiring and value your time, call us and we’ll get you the right candidate. If you’re looking for a new job, call us and we’ll tell you everything we know about who’s hiring and who’s not, whether or not there’s a fee to us.

Stay tuned for the next market update, coming soon.

By: Janine Davis – Director of Operational Strategy at Technical Connections

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