If you are looking for a sign that an economy is recovering, keep an eye on Information Technology hiring. Recruiter Marc Tappis of Opportunity Search, Inc., who has has survived two previous recessions, has witnessed that IT tends to show recovery as an industry and niche before the rest of the economy. And he said that trend seems to be holding true as we recover from the most recent recession.
“The floodgates haven’t opened, by any means,” Tappis said, “but the need for good IT people has definitely increased. Companies need to upgrade their systems. Either they’ve broken or they’ve become obsolete during the past couple of years. They don’t have much of a choice but to upgrade, and that leads to having access to good people to address all the issues that go along with any upgrade.”
This recession is a little different, though. While companies are acknowledging that they can no longer put off IT upgrades and that they need people to perform them, they are not as willing to hire regular, full-time employees to do it. They are still under a lot of pressure to keep their headcount low, so they are turning to contractors to get the work done without adding to their staff numbers. Therefore, Tappis has noticed many more companies turning to him for contract candidates.
“I had a client that had headcount issues,” Tappis said. ”They had a hiring freeze, and for budgetary reasons, they weren’t able to add to their headcount. The way around that was to hire people on a contract basis. That didn’t increase their headcount, and they were still able to get the work done.”
So if you are a recruiter working in IT or have considered tapping into that niche, it looks like the time may be right. But you may have to go about it a little differently and offer contract staffing in order to reap the benefits of increased IT hiring. If you do, you may find the key to your own economic recovery!