IT Employment Trends to Watch in 2011

    Technology is one of the strongest areas for hiring this year as many IT employers expect to add more headcount in 2011 than they did in 2010. CareerBuilder’s annual IT hiring forecast reveals that two-in-five (42 percent) of IT employers plan to increase the number of full-time, permanent employees this year, the highest among all industries surveyed. This is up from 32 percent who said the same last year. CareerBuilder’s national annual IT hiring forecast was conducted among more than 170 IT employers between November 15 and December 2, 2010. 

    “The hiring outlook for IT is encouraging for 2011 as companies plan to harness technology to drive innovation and cut costs,” said Eric Presley, Chief Technology Officer for CareerBuilder. “Stronger IT hiring trends are expected this year as demand for qualified IT talent is high and some companies facing a labor shortage in the area.”

    IT Employment Trends to Watch in 2011 - slide 1

    Click through for the top IT employment trends for 2011, as predicted by CareerBuilder.

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    Fifty-six percent of IT employers, the highest among industries surveyed, are concerned that their best talent will leave their organizations once the economy improves, as heftier workloads and longer hours take their toll on worker morale. Sixty-six percent said they will increase compensation for their existing staff in 2011. While most estimate the average raise will be three percent or less, 13 percent expect the average increase will be five percent or more.

    Forty percent will provide higher initial job offers to job candidates. While most increases will likely fall within the same one to three percent range, 12 percent of employers expect to up initial job offers by five percent or more.

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    Many IT employers are facing a labor shortage, with one-third (33 percent) stating that they currently have open positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates. To help fill those labor gaps, 13 percent said they are hiring outside the U.S. for workers to work in their U.S. offices.

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    Forty-nine percent of IT employers said their company changed its business direction as a result of the recession. The majority of these employers kept their core business, but added new revenue streams. Twelve percent of those who shifted business direction reported they changed their core business altogether or expanded into areas that will eventually become their core business.

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    IT employers are turning to contract or temporary IT workers to meet increasing demands for technology expertise. Nearly half (49 percent) of IT employers are hiring contract or freelance workers in 2011, up from 47 percent in 2010. Forty-six percent of IT employers plan to hire temporary workers on a permanent basis in 2011.

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    More than one-third of IT employers (38 percent) voiced concern over worker burnout within their organizations, as heftier workloads and longer hours take their toll on worker morale. Nearly the same amount (34 percent) reported that maintaining productivity levels is one of the top staffing challenges for the new year. Twenty-two percent do not believe they can sustain current productivity levels within their organizations, which may in turn drive increased headcount.

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    Forty-four percent of IT employers stated that they will be placing a greater emphasis on social media to create a more positive brand image for their organizations in 2011. Twelve percent of IT employers plan to add jobs focused on social media in the new year.

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    From the worker’s perspective, one-quarter (25 percent) of full-time, permanent IT workers reported that they feel underemployed. Eighteen percent are actively seeking a new job. Eighty-two percent reported that, although they are not actively looking, they would change jobs in 2011 for the right opportunity. Workers aren’t necessarily focused on a bigger paycheck. Fifty-seven percent reported that affordable benefits are more important to them than salary followed by a good work culture and career advancement opportunities.

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