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Trending in Technology: A Glimpse into the Job Market

We sat down with Brian Carey of WinterWyman’s Technology division to get a feel for the talent pool and what’s trending in the hiring market. Brian shares his observations, experiences and recommendations, and what he’s anticipating in the coming months.

What is the overall health of the technology industry in New England and New York?

Both markets are very strong for contract and permanent hiring. We are seeing growth in almost every industry and working in several including academia, software, travel and marketing companies. The tech talent needs of these companies are at the highest we’ve seen. Everyone is hiring in technology – even companies who are laying-off in other areas are hiring tech professionals.

Because the market is so candidate-driven, hiring companies can’t find people or can’t find them fast enough. We are spending time educating clients on making the interview and hiring process efficient and candidate-focused. They need to be flexible – if not, they are not going to attract the right talent, they won’t fill their jobs or at the very best, they will but it will take a long time.

What skills and roles are in the highest demand?

DevOps Engineers, Cloud Engineers, Business Intelligence and Software Development professionals are in high demand. Almost everyone is moving to the cloud so whether its AWS or Azure, companies are looking for all Engineers to have some cloud experience. Java, C# and JavaScript are the hottest programming languages. With the evolution of JavaScript being used as both a server-side and client-side language, it has become more popular in recent years.

What are your predictions for salary changes in your areas? 

Companies have been paying more for harder-to-find skill sets. Software Development and DevOps are among those roles. Project Managers and Systems Engineers, for example, are still well compensated but aren’t driving the same rates.

What are your clients doing well to get candidates to accept their offers?

I would say that offering true flexibility in work-life balance is helping clients win their top choice candidates. A traditional 9-5 role in the office is not appealing to many technology professionals. They want the opportunity to work remotely, at least a few days a week. Candidates care less about ping pong and free beer and more about flexibility. Hiring companies willing to be open in this area are definitely attracting the best candidates.

I’m also seeing more and more companies willing to look outside of the geographic area and pay relocation costs. In the past, we saw this more commonly with manager level roles, but now it’s happening with individual contributors as well.

Being flexible (as well as speedy and efficient) during the interview process is crucial, too. My most successful clients use Skype and Webex to help close the gap when in-person interviews present scheduling challenges. Interviewing remotely is a great way to move the process along and show a tech professional you are flexible.

What are hiring companies doing to get in the way of making the best hire?

When a company isn’t using the latest and greatest technology, or is using an outdated or legacy platform, it’s very difficult to attract candidates. Candidates want the opportunity to grow and expand their skills.

Another issue we commonly see is the company taking too long to make their hiring decision. Our candidates are going off the market in a matter of days; hiring companies need to move quickly with the people they like as they will have four or five offers during a week.

What are the trends with temp and temp-to-perm talent in your industry?

We see technology professionals who actively seek contracting roles as a lifestyle choice, and we can accommodate them. We also see folks who ultimately want a permanent position but are willing to take project work until the right thing comes along. Given the strength of the market, candidates are able to wait to find the opportunity that is right for them.

What are candidates looking for?

Candidates want an improvement to their commute time, remote work or flexible hours. They are seeking a fair work-life balance. They also want updated technology that makes the opportunity exciting.

How is social media affecting recruiting in your industry?

I primarily see our candidates using social media to do research. They want to understand the company’s reputation, their culture and any interesting details. While I don’t see social media really affecting too much of their decision-making process at this point, it is becoming more important to them.

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