Security Staff Acquisition & Development

IT Hiring Suffers Slowdown: Job Shortage or Tech Talent Issue?

Industry pundits keep telling us the technology industry suffers from a talent shortage. Now comes word that U.S. employees added only 3,800 new IT jobs in March -- down from 9,300 in February, and down from 9,900 a year ago, the management consulting firm Janco Associates Inc. said. The warning signs don't end there.

Consider these factoids:

  • Only 19,000 IT jobs have been created since January 2016, compared to 33,900 over the same period a year ago, Janco said.
  • At that pace, employers are expected to create only 72,000 more IT jobs by the end of the year, for a year-end total of roughly 91,000, said Janco Chief Executive M. Victor Janulaitis. That compares to a total of 112,000 jobs in 2015, he said.

Those factoids emerged in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this week. Further complicating matters, Gartner says overall worldwide IT spending will fall about 0.5 percent this year. So let's see: Fewer jobs created. Less spending on IT. Should we be in panic mode? Actually, no.

MSPs: Still Hiring

Within the IT services market, the best players are still performing exceptionally well. We'll share some growth metrics during our Q2 Webcast -- while also unveiling the world's Top Vertical Market MSPs.

Still, the quest to find, hire, train and retain talent remains very challenging for many VARs and MSPs. For example, Wolf Consulting of Pittsburgh, Pa., has decided to cast a wider net beyond its local region. The company is seeking a virtual CIO and technical account manager to work closely with its clientele. Earlier today, the company's president (Lloyd Wolf) contacted me directly to make sure he could promote the position on ChannelE2E's Job Board. (Quick answer: Absolutely yes.)

Attend any MSP- or channel-oriented event, and the talent conversation pops up pretty quickly. My reaction? Perhaps the overall tech market is suffering from a hiring slowdown. But growth-oriented companies are still working overtime to find the "right" talent. And giants like IBM are swapping out legacy talent for folks who understand cloud, cognitive computing, mobile and more. (In some ways, I find the swap out/rebalancing trend offensive.)

Either way, I'm not worried about a so-called slowdown in IT hiring. Instead, it's all about matching the right talent with the right employers. And frankly, that's not an easy dance to master.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.