IT Workforce Trends

Ted was recently speaking with a member that is in charge of development for a large organization.  Six months ago, the company was struggling through budget cuts, and trying to determine what they could live without.  Of course, personnel cuts were not off the table.  Today, however, this VP says that the organization is incredibly busy.  It seems to him that they have chosen to take a time of relative calm to push as many IT projects through the pipeline as possible.  They are running at full capacity just to keep up.

The trend is interesting – this combined with an interesting article that came across my desk via Twitter today raises some interesting points.  It seems as though IT is still running strong, and in general the IT workforce hasn’t taken the unemployment hit that many other specialties have.

This article talks about 5 IT recruitment trends, all of which run counter to the general sentiment of job market news today.  In sum, the article discusses the following:

  1. The IT asset replacement cycle, in general, does not appear to have stopped.  This means that IT demand is still there, and IT staff is still critical.
  2. The project flow has not decreased.  If projects have been cancelled, they may have been ones that wouldn’t have made it through the queue anyway.  Again, this means the demand for IT resources doesn’t drop.
  3. Smaller companies are snatching up good IT talent that has been laid off.  For those expecting to find the talent when business picks back up, the market may be tight for those hiring.
  4. IT leaders are using these hard times to show how they can deliver value to the organization.  For many companies, this means that the resources that are around will need to work harder for leaders to meet their goals.
  5. Contractors (staff augmenters) are taking a hit, while full-time resources are learning to be adaptive.  This could lead to a stronger, more agile organization in the long run.

The points above are paraphrased from the article written by By Stuart Packham of, posted on ZDNet News: May 27, 2009