It’s a chain reaction. Scientists are constantly figuring out cheaper and more effective ways to produce computer hardware. (Remember Moore's Law.) And thanks to this ever improving state of affairs, computers are used for more and more tasks. Little surprise that U.S. computer purchases haven’t seen a single year of decline in the last 30 years. This in turn has led to ever-increasing numbers of IT folks needed to sustain, develop and support this effort, which in turn has propelled huge demand for IT staffing services.
Over the last 12 years, IT employment is up 30 percent, compared with just 0.8 percent for total employment. And the way IT job listings are growing, it looks like growth of some degree at least will continue. But supply of talent is going to be an issue U.S. production of computer science graduates has been falling the last few years, so suppliers and buyers of staffing services had better look for creative ways to find these personnel.
So don’t rely on traditional contingent worker arrangements alone. There’s a host of arrangements out there, including statement of work consultants and independent contractors. And there is a small but growing interest in online staffing offerings like Elance and Odesk.
The good thing is that the lack of IT talent is a global problem. And we have some of the world’s best minds trying to find answers to these issues. The bad part is that in the meantime, everyone is fighting over these people who are greatly in demand. Staffing firms generally benefit from a shortage, as hiring companies turn to them as resources for help. So we’re bullish on IT staffing, but as I say recruiting is going to be a challenge for everyone.