IT Employment

IT hiring outlook improves: Think financial services if job hunting

IT job hunters may want to focus their efforts on the insurance and financial services sector, according to a new report.

Chief information officers say the information technology hiring picture is improving for the second quarter and job hunters may want to focus their efforts on the insurance and financial services sector, according to a survey by Robert Half Technology.

Robert Half, a hiring firm, surveyed more than 1,400 CIOs across companies with more than 100 employees. The upshot: 9 percent of CIOs plan to hire more IT workers and 4 percent plan cuts. That net 5 percent gain is up from the first quarter and year-ago outlook.

Bottom line: The IT hiring picture is improving somewhat, but the bulk of companies plan no hiring changes.

However, what really caught my eye were the industries doing the hiring. Simply put, if you're looking for IT work start pitching financial services companies-the finance, insurance, and real estate sector. Here's the money chart from Robert Half's technology report:

Among the key findings:

* 80 percent of technology executives are confident about their companies' growth prospects in the second quarter.

* Recruitment and retention are becoming worrisome with 31 percent of CIOs saying they are worried about losing top performers.

* 15 percent of CIOs say that networking workers were the hardest to find, followed by security with 12 percent. 64 percent of CIOs said that network administration was the skill most in demand.

Source: IT hiring outlook improves: Think financial services if job hunting

11 comments
Pezgun
Pezgun

It's that 18% "None / no challenging area" group that wasn't mentioned that gets my attention. There's still plenty of competition out there. If you are trying to break-in to a new area, you might consider temping in the target area (yes, through an agency) for a while to build your portfolio. That might also allow you to bring in your previous experience if it's closely related, tools etc. when you go for a full time permanent position.

ITSalesStaff
ITSalesStaff

The sales staff behind this technology have been left off both charts, however these individuals are both knowledgable on the products/services AND articulate enough to sell them. My personal experience has been that its much harder to find these top performers than it is to find many of the other "most difficult to find" individuals above...

ssmlmz
ssmlmz

It would be nice if targeting an industry or sector was an effective job hunting strategy, however, the sad fact is this. Your resume will never get past the HR screener's 60 second test if you do not already have experience in that industry or sector.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

I work in the financial sector, and in the last 6 months, we've increased our infrastructure staff by 25%, and have doubled the number of application developers. Most of these people didn't have industry specific experience (most of the developers did not, and 1/2 of the infrastructure people we brought in had no experience in the sector, either). However, they did have the skill set and personality matches we were looking for in new hires. Granted, we may very well be the exception to the rule; but like I always say, the only job you're guaranteed not to get is the one for which you don't apply.

david.walker2
david.walker2

In the chart "IT Functional Areas - Q2 2010", what is the difference between "Software development" and "Applications development"? Or should I be asking Robert Half?

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...as part of their pitch, I got an advance copy of their salary guide, and I did actually ask this very question. Software developers were people that created 'gui' style programs. Something you could install on an individual client PC, for instance. Think the people that design SAP desktop software. Application developers were people that focused on web-specific/-enabled development. Think the people that create the custom SAP client portals during the engagement. In the salary guide, they list different skill sets for both; though as you'd imagine, there is a high degree of overlap. Personally, I think it is splitting hairs, but that's just me.

i_scream
i_scream

Financial Services, Real Estate, and Insurance. The same three industries that put us into this economic tailspin. I'n SO glad they're doing so much better than everyone else. That's just wonderful.

sid351
sid351

It seems as if the downturn has gone full circle, and is begining to pick up where it first started to drop off. When you think about it, that really does make sense doesn't it.

T.Walpole
T.Walpole

Yes it makes sense. Companies in the Real Estate and Finance industries have already cut to the bone, or even down into the bone, to stay ahead of the crisis. Now that things are less uncertain, they need to add heads to meet expected demand. Be careful about bloated companies in "safe" industries that have yet to or are only recently started to feel the effects of the recession and haven't yet reduced staff levels. They are very likely feeling pressure to reduce overhead and cut heads, especially if their competitors have already done so. If interviewing with a company in such an industry (or in any industry for that matter), ask in the interview if they have had significant headcount reductions over the past three years, then research their competitors' downsizing moves to try to determine whether the company might be feeling such pressure. You don't want to be the new guy in a situation where headcount reductions are on the horizon.

mitkwi
mitkwi

I would argue that healthcare will have some of the largest IT growth in any industry over the next five years thanks to the stimulus package signed into legislation last year. Hospitals and physicians will be eligible for incentives based on the implementation of electronic health records and some related tools. I'm already seeing a big spike in the need for IT work, and IT consulting organizations probably won't be able to keep up. My advice to anyone looking for an IT position or considering a move in the future is to get caught up on HITECH/ARRA, HIPAA, etc. and be prepared to jump into a market that will need your expertise soon.

T.Walpole
T.Walpole

It's probably a safe bet that staff levels will rise on the provider and public sector side of the health care equation, but if you are on the health insurer side what's happening in Washington now is a little scary and unsettling. You'd be less vilified working for a tobacco company.

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