While there is certainly a lack of qualified candidates with skills ranging in big data to cloud to Internet of Things, those aren't necessarily the skills hiring managers are most looking for. The study found that the biggest skillset gap wasn't in any specific area or industry of tech, but rather hiring managers were looking for the right "soft skills." At the top of the list, 25 percent said they were looking for workers with expertise in certain areas, but did not specify which areas. Next on the list, 25 percent were concerned with finding a "cultural fit," which is a 10 percent increase from the last two quarters. Beyond that, 18 percent said they were looking for individuals with problem-solving skills as well as communication skills.
The best place to find tech job seekers
Landing the right candidates is one thing, but it's another to figure out the best place to find qualified candidates. The most popular source in recent years has typically been, and continues to be, the more traditional route of search and recruitment firms. And for IT workers, referrals and word of mouth are another highly popular way to land the right talent, with 20 percent saying they hired the bulk of workers through these channels in Q4.
In Q3, 17 percent of companies cited online job boards as their main source of hiring, but that increased to 19 percent in Q4. Interestingly, in Q3, 13 percent of companies said they hired the bulk of workers through social media, but that has since dropped down to 6 percent in Q4. Meanwhile, companies citing resumes submitted via the company website as the source for new hires increased from 7 percent in Q3 to 11 percent in Q4 for the IT sector.
Technology prompting more hires
Technology drives nearly every industry and, as a result, business leaders are starting to view IT in a different light. IT is no longer simply the department that handles networks, hardware and business software. It's become a cornerstone of innovation as more workers rely on technology day to day.
"Companies view technology as an investment as opposed to an expense. Technology can create efficiencies and allow businesses to scale without having to add fixed costs. Businesses know they can get an ROI through investing in technology," says Wong.
And part of that investment can be seen in an uptick in companies reporting that they don't plan to reduce their IT teams. The survey found that 64 percent of businesses report they do not have plans to change the size of their current IT teams, whether through firing or hiring employees. However, 12 percent of businesses still report that they plan to increase the size of their teams, while only 7 percent report a plan decrease; 17 percent are unsure.
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