Eight IT Talent Trends to Watch for 2016
By Frank Myeroff
What’s in store for the New Year when it comes to IT talent? Here are eight talent trends that are shaping the IT workforce in 2016.
- Internet of Things (IOT). Talk about a technology revolution! IOT is emerging as the next technology mega-trend across the business spectrum. This means a job boom for developers, coders, and hardware professionals. However, to land a job in IOT, organizations want candidates with specific technology skill sets and experience. Consequently, an IOT talent shortage is expected.
- New C-level title. Chief privacy officer (CPO) is a senior-level executive title and position that was created as a result of consumer concerns over the use of personal information, including medical data and financial information. Organizations have had to rethink IT security due to recent breaches. According to InfoWorld, while most organizations already have a CSO (chief security officer) and/or a CISO (chief information security officer), there’s a need for a CPO, a dedicated privacy advocate responsible for keeping personal information safe.
- Gen Z will enter the workforce in greater numbers in May. Generation Z, those born between 1994 and 2004 (although there’s been no general agreement on exact years), are the most digitally connected generation yet. They have no concept about life before the Internet, mobile devices, digital games, or iTunes. Therefore, they are tech savvy and even more entrepreneurial than Millennials. They will choose career opportunities that provide quick advancement and work-life balance over salary and want mentors to help them achieve their goals.
- Big data becomes even bigger data. Big data is increasing the need for a new breed of engineers who specialize in massive databases. While the skills required aren’t necessarily new, there is a significant amount of knowledge needed in the areas of math and scientific analysis. Typical high-level skills expected for a position in this field include data analysis, data warehousing, data transformation, and data collection.
- Longer hiring process continues. According to the Wall Street Journal, in the US, the time it takes to fill a job is lengthening. In April 2015, the average job was vacant for 27.3 days before being filled. This nearly doubles the 15.3 days it took prior to 2009. The long hiring process can be attributed to having fewer qualified candidates for job openings as well as the increased number of background screening and drug tests ordered. WSJ also cites that the many portals and databases used to source and find candidates have become more entailed. While better hires are coming out of the process, it’s moving slowly.
- Hybrid IT talent in demand. The IT hybrid employee is on the rise. They are considered a generalist and a specialist all in one. A generalist tends to be someone who knows quite a few technologies, but only at an average level. A specialist knows only one or two, but at an expert level. A hybrid knows about a great many things at an advanced level and can adapt to any type of project. With a hybrid employee, employers are basically getting two people in one.
- Project work and consultant roles are abundant. Project work and consulting roles are most likely to remain abundant through 2016 and beyond. Increasing business demands are prompting many companies to invest in new technologies, along with upgrades and migration projects around tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Candidates who have knowledge of both new and legacy business systems are highly sought after by employers.
- Hottest industries hiring IT. The following industries are the top industries that will be hiring more IT professionals in 2016: healthcare, financial services, managed services, mobile technologies, telecommunications, and hospitality.
Frank Myeroff is president of Direct Consulting Associates of Cleveland, OH.