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IT hiring trends in 2013 indicate a growing demand for temporary and project-based employees, which is reshaping how companies recruit and hire IT labor. Chicago-based Fieldglass provides software and services to help businesses including GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Rio Tinto, Salesforce, and Verizon procure and manage their contract workforce. Fieldglass, which added 100 employees in 2012 and is on pace to match that this year, is well acquainted with the challenges of recruiting IT employees to support its operation and business strategy. Fieldglass’ Chief Technology Officer Sean Chou shared his insights on the company’s strategy for local IT workforce recruitment, development and the ongoing IT hiring trends.
Finding the right talent. Fieldglass recently expanded its recruitment beyond STEM degrees1 to consider candidates with a general aptitude and willingness to be trained in a professional services software firm. This strategy reflects the more integral role that technology plays in business operations. The company trains new hires in-house but has considered partnering with an educational institution to develop a curriculum for potential candidates. For IT placements, Fieldglass is more interested in specific infrastructure training experience than a bachelor’s degree. Its major recruitment channels include internal employer referrals and external networks such as LinkedIn.
Being strategic about the use of permanent hires vs. contract labor. Most of Fieldglass’ professional service and “core” IT positions are full-time employees or offshore services. This approach enables Fieldglass to build and retain intellectual capital within the organization. The company relies on contract labor either for high-end, very specialized projects or for short-term needs such as data cleaning, for which the labor is more commoditized.
Extracting value from staffing companies. Much like many professional services firms and larger companies, Fieldglass does not have a year-round need for certain positions. When one-time projects requiring specialized help arise, a staffing company can provide access to a pool of employees that collectively have a wider range of “off-the-shelf” skills that don’t require additional training investment—a valuable advantage for specific tasks such as user experience testing.
These are just a few of the IT hiring trends in 2013. If you have any insights or would like to share your companies strategy, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
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Illustration by Dieter Braun