Hiring Trends for IT Professionals Expected to Grow in 2011

TORONTO, ON, November 23, 2010 ― Information Technology (IT) projects related to collaboration, security and cloud computing are driving job prospects for Canadian technology professionals, according to a recent survey of Canadian business decision-makers commissioned by Sapphire and IBM. Almost half of the survey respondents now foresee an increased need for IT personnel in the near and long-term, much more favourable than in 2009. In addition, almost 50 per cent of those surveyed plan to grow their current staffing levels this quarter, while only 7 per cent expect to decrease.

"The results from the survey show employers are investing more in their workforce and are slowly taking off their ‘recession blinders'," said Sergio Mateus, President, Sapphire Canada. "Our outlook is very positive for those looking for work in the IT sector. IT has traditionally been one of the first industries to bounce back after a recession, and these results suggest demand for IT professionals is on the rise again."

In 2011, 95 per cent of respondents plan to either maintain or increase current staffing levels, with the vast majority of these resources needed for projects related to collaboration (44 per cent), security (25 per cent) and cloud computing (18 per cent).
"As the technologies converge, skills in collaboration, security and cloud are much in demand. Companies want to be on the cloud for the benefits but need to develop their strategy and understand the impact on their overall skills and resourcing," said Bob Wylie, vice-president of Datacentre, Workplace and Enterprise Services at IBM. "Finding skilled IT people for emerging technologies can be challenging and companies should be prepared to look at creative approaches to filling the gap."

Below are a few highlights from the study.

  • Hiring intentions are optimistic. A majority of respondents (95 per cent) expect their IT staffing levels to remain the same or grow in 2011.
  • The increasing demand is driven by a number of positive developments. These include: increased workload (34 per cent); the installation of new enterprise-wide applications (23 per cent); increased customer/end user support (15 per cent) and organizational growth (14 per cent).
  • Demand for permanent employees is increasing. Of the companies planning to increase IT staff, 43 per cent expect to increase permanent hires over the next 12 months. Contract resources remain in the hiring mix; 20 per cent of employers planning to hire say they will opt for contract resources and an additional 34 per cent% plan to hire a combination of contractors and permanent staff.
  • Strong need for management and business roles. Key roles identified by employers in the study include Technical Project Managers and Security Specialists. This trend indicates more new projects and a renewed need for management and business analysis. In fact, 55 per cent% of respondents are looking for business analysis skills, and 38 per cent are planning increases in business intelligence. The growth in the demand for these roles reinforces the move to a more specialized workforce with skills in business and IT.
  • Applications development skills in high demand. Sixty-six per cent of respondents expecting IT staff increases cite applications development as a skill they will be looking for i over the next 12 months. Applications that will attract the most attention include .Net (45 per cent) and Java (44 per cent).
  • Infrastructure implementation and support skills also in high demand. Sixty-three per cent of respondents indicated they will also be looking for infrastructure skills in 2011. Technical Project Managers (35 per cent), Network Architects & Specialists (34 per cent), and Server Virtualization Specialists (34 per cent) are among the Infrastructure skills that will be in high demand.

About the Sapphire IBM Canadian IT Staffing Outlook
The study is the second annual survey and covered close to 300 top-level business decision makers, from organizations of all sizes, for information regarding IT staffing trends and projections. The study was conducted between June 28, 2010 and September 6, 2010. To obtain a copy of the full report contact your account manager today.

About Sapphire Canada Sapphire Canada is the country's largest provider of IT staffing solutions, offering permanent and contract opportunities across all roles, levels and platforms. To find out what it's like to work with a staffing partner that really delivers, call 1-800-540-3594 or visit www.sapphireca.com.

About IBM For more on IBM please visit www.ibm.com/ca.

Contact information:

Leslie Plant
IBM Canada Ltd.
(W) 416-478-9840
(M) 416-526-647 laplant@ca.ibm.com