Weekly Roundup: IT Hiring Rises Nationally, and Demand in Detroit and Tennessee

Dice News RoundupIn the latest quarterly Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index survey, 7 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said they plan to expand their IT departments, and 3 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 4 percent projected increase. Eighty-seven percent are confident in their companies’ growth prospects in the next three months, a 7 point increase from last quarter. Forty eight percent said it’s challenging to find skilled professionals today, up 5 points from the previous quarter.

TopProspect ran the numbers to see who’d switched jobs in the last two years. Among the findings: Twitter hired nearly 11 employees for every one lost; Facebook and Zynga averaged about eight new hires for every defection, while LinkedIn clocked in at +7.5 and Groupon at +3.9. Other big names fared less well: Intuit hired 1.2 for every one lost, the same ratio as Google. Meanwhile others are bleeding talent: eBay hired 0.8 people for every person who left, Microsoft got just 0.4 and Yahoo 0.3 (not surprising, given Yahoo laid off hundreds at Christmas time.)

Research concludes that over 1,161 technology related jobs are available in the Middle Tennessee area, up 26 percent from the first quarter. The highest number of openings are in enterprise health care technology companies. Core industries doing the hiring also include government, startups and professional services, with developers most in demand.

Two new studies of IT employment in the metro Detroit area indicate optimism for the IT job sector there. The Anderson Economic Group of East Lansing found that Metro Detroit finished in the top five against other regional economies. It also found that technology positions make up 13.7 percent of all jobs in the Detroit area. That compares with a national average of 9.3 percent. Another report, produced by the University Research Corridor — a consortium of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University — says information and communication technology is an up-and-coming industry in the state. The report says IT employs about 135,000 workers, or 3.5 percent of the state’s workforce. And the jobs pay an average salary of $64,000, about $20,000 higher than the private sector average.

Bing Gordon, a partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, says that when hiring, he likes in-person meetings for chemistry and references for truth. He asks prospective employees about their learning practices, their heroes, their reading habits and hobbies, and the personal arc they see for their careers. He also expects new hires to get going “really fast.”

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