CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff

The Bureau of Labor Statistics paints a dark picture of the IT job market, but there's a bright spot -- CIOs are hiring more skilled IT contractors.

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Mon, December 02, 2013

CIO — The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data reveals that over the last 12 months, only 77,600 IT jobs were added, as CIOs and hiring managers remain cautious about the slow economic recovery, says Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, a management consulting firm that specializes in IT.

According to the BLS data, September's IT jobs number was adjusted down from a gain of 2,500 jobs to a loss of 3,600 jobs. At the same time, the number of jobs reported as gained in October was only 5,200. But amid these dismal numbers, Janulaitis says, there's a bright spot  companies are increasing thier budgets for hiring skilled IT contractors.

IT contractors

CIOs Reluctant to Hire, Eager to Contract

"Based on my recent interviews of 84 CIOs over the last two weeks, we see that CIOs have become more cautious," Janulaitis says. While more than two-thirds of CIOs interviewed say their aging, legacy infrastructure is making it difficult to implement new technologies, budgets simply aren't available to do so, he says.

"They all need larger budgets and staff to deal with this but are reluctant to hire new, full-time employees," Janulaitis says.

That's where IT contractors come in, according to IT recruiting, staffing and consulting firm Mondo. A recent survey of more than 200 IT decision makers in combination with data from Mondo's network of contract IT placements reveals that 48 percent of respondents plan to hire more IT contractors than full-time staff in the next year to 18 months, and 32 percent expect to increase their annual budget for hiring IT contract workers, says Laura McGarrity, Mondo's vice president of marketing.

"Budgets for contract spending are increasing, especially in the media, communications, publishing and higher-ed markets," McGarrity says.

"What we see from our clients is they are using those budgets to invest in IT contractors skilled at maximizing and squeezing additional value out of their existing technology platforms. They need Web developers, application developers, and mobile development professionals, and also a lot of that spend is being pushed toward marketing," she says.

According to the Mondo survey, 73 percent of survey respondents currently use contractors for application development, Web and mobile development, application hosting and application maintenance.

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