RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – If there’s a recession on the horizon, companies with 100 or more information technology employees in the Triangle don’t expect it. In fact, demand for tech talent is so high that more opportunities beckon for contractors as well as full-time staff.

According to a new survey, executives at 70 percent of these firms are in fact planning to hire more workers focused on technology heading into 2020.

And among those same firms 98 percent are “confident” about growth in coming months.

But they have a problem: More than 70 percent say finding and hiring talent is “challenging.”

So reports talent management firm Robert Half.

With unemployment at around 4 percent and millions of open jobs across the US, the Robert Half news is not a complete surprise. After all, there were more than 30,000 open IT jobs across North Carolina in October, according to business group NC Technology Association.

Of those open jobs, nearly 13,000 were in the Triangle.

However, the IT job hiring plan outlook does run counter to a recent report forecasting slower economic growth for 2020 and continuing fallout from the trade war, especially US vs. China.

How to cope?

To help deal with technology challenges and opportunties, 97 percent say they will be hiring information technology talent on a project basis.

Hiring contractors and consultants are seen as solutions to the tech shortage. The top five reasons to use temporary help are:

  • When there’s a sudden vacancy 62%
  • Consultants are part of our hiring strategy 55%
  • When a skill does not exist internally 51%
  • For especially busy times 45%
  • For unplanned, time-sensitive projects 35%

(Survey participants were allowed to pick multiple reasons.)

Tech challenges

Mounting concerns about cybersecurity and capitalizing on such opportunities as cloud computing, however, are reflected in executives’ top concerns as well as needs for staff.

Top needed skills:

1. Cybersecurity
2. Cloud computing
3. Web development/design
4. Virtualization
5. (tie) Business intelligence; DevOps; Cloud architecture

This list differs slighty from an “immediate” needs in the infographic included with this post which lists “business intelligence” as No. 1.

And the execs’ top concerns:

1. Maintaining security of IT systems
2. Investing in new technologies
3. (tie) Cloud projects/initiatives; Innovation or helping grow the business

Information security job openings topped 3,000 in October, according to NC TECH.

The survey was based on responses from executives at 100 firms with 100 or more tech-focused workers.

State of Raleigh IT job market. (Robert Half graphic)