Organizations are beginning to hire to accomplish the value-add projects necessary to get ready for recovery. With major cost-cutting in the past, now is the time to rebuild. Focus on projects that promise to bring real value, restore cuts that need to be restored and eliminate projects that failed to add value.
The hiring outlook for 2010 is cautiously optimistic. Budget cuts and layoffs have been the norm for the past two years. The IT industry and businesses of all sizes have been reeling from the impact. In 2009, unemployment rose substantially across all sectors of the economy, with the unemployment rate easing only in the fourth quarter.
“As one IT executive explained: We have been flat for the last two years with little capital expenditure, and we have to make it up this next year as our infrastructure is falling to pieces. We cut too much, too long.” (Computer Economics quarterly report)
We understand that everyone is shorthanded. Everyone has cut deeply. Everyone must begin to catch up with the technological advances that bring revenue and value to the organization. The gold rush for talent will begin and accelerate at a rate like we haven’t seen since the late 90s.
Some organizations are growing, even in this environment, and can no longer afford to restrain hiring. At the 75th percentile, companies plan to increase IT staff by 5% in the coming year. As one executive put it: “Our firm is continuing to grow despite recent economic problems, which has stretched resources; we are now having to hire.”
Is it now time for technology executives and managers to start hiring?
I believe it is, and the ones who start now will get the opportunity to mine for great talent. Once everyone starts hiring, the price for great talent will escalate, and the golden talent in the mine will quickly become depleted.
Cautious yet determined managers will begin to at least mine for talent now, utilizing the proven contractor method as a way of identifying good talent that can be then enticed to become regular members of the team. Contract-to-hire models will again be used to “try before buying.”
How are you preparing for the Gold Rush?