If you’re boosting your IT staffing this year, you’re not alone: more than one in five small companies and nearly 40% of large companies are increasing IT staff in 2019.
For good reason, too. Organizations of all sizes are facing the kinds of information technology challenges that, left unmet, can threaten an enterprise’s ability to survive.
The IT skills now in demand
Consider the top two 2019 IT challenges shown above — keeping infrastructure up to date and upgrading outdated software.
While these technology challenges can mean many things and require a wide diversity of IT talent to address, overall demand in 2019 is greatest by far for cybersecurity skills, followed by expertise in infrastructure hardware, end-user hardware, networking solutions, and software deployment.
If you’re seeking people with AI tech/management, cloud architecture, or database solutions skills, you’ll face the headwinds of large company demand. Mid-size firms, meanwhile, need people with DevOps and data analysis skills.
Where the IT talent is
So getting — and keeping — the IT expertise your business needs forces you to compete with, well, everyone.
This includes the service providers (cloud platform, consulting, telecom) that employ about a third of all tech workers, the software and hardware companies attracting some 8% of all tech workers, and the large corporations that pay median tech salaries as much as 50% higher than small outfits.
Given the intensity of competition for certain IT skillsets, you probably don’t want to risk hitting the pause button and thus delaying mission-critical infrastructure, software, and cybersecurity initiatives.
Knowing your IT staffing needs: four steps
But finding the IT talent you need takes its own kind of expertise and experience — as well as relationships with many types of IT professionals in a field that’s changing very fast.
To ensure you’ve got the right sort of help getting the IT expertise your business needs, begin with these four steps to understand…
- Precisely what IT skills and qualifications your enterprise requires — and for how long;
- The kinds of credentials and certifications your IT staff should have;
- The types of IT hires you want — ranging from permanent staff to contract-to-hire and consultants/contractors (now currently comprising almost 36% of the workforce and expected to constitute a majority within ten years); and
- How much time you have to find, screen, and bring aboard new IT talent without blowing project schedules.
In my next post, I’ll describe Step 5 — what to look for in an IT staffing agency.