Second half RHT hiring survey
predicts jump in jobs for Denver



ocal IT hiring could see a significant boost in the next six months, according to Robert Half Technology’s latest Denver forecast.

The number of companies planning to fill open technology positions in the latter half of 2014 is up 13 percent, the poll shows, and those who plan to put hiring on hold have dropped by eight percent. RHT says more than 90 percent of local CIOs plan to add or fill vacant technology positions in the second half of 2014.

In its latest “IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trends Report,” released late last month, the tech recruiting firm says business optimism is high, with 92 percent of respondents claiming to be somewhat or very confident in growth prospects for the next six months. That’s up from 86 percent in the last RHT survey covering the first half of the year.

The survey, based on interviews with 100 chief executives, reflects a significant improvement in tech-related hiring plans. The 91 percent planning to add or fill positions is up from 79 percent in the previous survey.

“The market for IT talent in Denver is highly competitive, especially in the healthcare, financial services and real estate sectors,” says Ted Hellmuth, RHT’s Denver division director. “Companies are hiring IT professionals to help them manage high-priority projects such as mobile and web development, cloud migrations, and data intelligence.”

Despite the growing labor demand, many executives say it is still difficult to find capable IT workers; 69 percent said it is somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT talent. According to the report, skills in the greatest demand include desktop support, data/database management and wireless network management. Those polled say the most difficult skills to find are in the areas of networking (16 percent), security (14 percent) and help desk/technical support (14 percent).

While the overall hiring picture is brightening, the emphasis is more on filling open positions than expanding technology staffs. Those planning to hire for open IT roles increased 13 percent — from 66 percent in the first half of the year to 79 percent in the next six months.

Those executives planning to add new positions actually dropped slightly since the last report, from 13 percent to 12 percent. That follows a national trend that shows a 2-point decline in those planning to expand their IT staffs across the country, from 16 percent to 14 percent.

Nine percent — down from 17 percent in the previous survey — said they plan to put tech hiring on hold entirely, but none expects to reduce IT staff in the next six months.

The increased confidence in business outlook is reflected in the rising number of companies planning to invest in IT projects in the latter half of the year. Seventy-nine percent of CIOs said their firms will invest in IT projects in the next six months, compared to 61 percent in the last survey.

For the most part, the Denver survey aligns with RHT’s nationwide poll. But there are some interesting differences.

Denver executives, for instance, reported a harder time in finding skilled IT workers than the nation as a whole. While 69 percent of Denver respondents reported it is somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT talent, only 61 percent said the same in the national survey.

Denver companies also appear slightly more optimistic about growth prospects in the last half of the year. Some 92 percent of local executives were somewhat or very confident in growth prospects, compared to 89 percent nationwide. And while 79 percent of Denver CIOs said their firms will invest in IT projects in the next six months, only 71 percent said the same in the national poll.

The surveys were developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm. The company, a leading provider of IT professionals and contractors, has been tracking IT hiring activity in the U.S. since 1995.

2014 Denver IT Hiring Forecast

 July-Dec 2013Jan-June 2014July-Dec 2014
CIOs adding more staff to IT departments 12%13%12%
CIOs planning to hire only for open IT roles 69%66%79%
CIOs who plan to put IT hiring plans on hold 14%17%9%
CIOs who plan to reduce their IT staff 5%1%0%
Don't know future hiring plans 0%3%0%
*Numbers may not total 100 percent due to rounding.