U.S. technology companies plan to add headcount over the next 12 months though they remain concerned about the continuing lack of available tech talent, according to the second annual National Survey of Technology, Policy and Strategic Issues by the Technology Councils of North America and the Arizona Technology Council.
The report indicates that about two-thirds of the 1,700-plus C-level executives surveyed will hire new staff over the next 12 months. Small companies (74 percent) and medium firms (72 percent) were the most optimistic about hiring.
The Tech Talent Shortage
Despite the hiring plans, 69 percent of executives see a shortage in the quantity and quality of tech talent available. Twenty five percent describe the shortage as “significant.” In the Midwest and West, 72 percent said there is a shortage, while the Northeast (67 percent) and South (65 percent) were slightly lower.
Growing business confidence and increasing expenditures were two other pieces of good news in the data. The survey revealed an improving sentiment about overall business conditions — at 56.4 on a 100-point scale compared to 46.3 a year ago. Additionally, 59 percent of the executives are planning to invest in new products or business lines over the next six months, with small (65 percent) and medium companies (62 percent) again leading the way. About 50 percent of the companies plan to increase expenditures on marketing, advertising and technology.
According to 44 percent of survey’s respondents, a general lack of confidence or economic paralysis are the biggest threats to business activity. Government regulation came in second at 42 percent. Fears about lower margins or a downward pressure on pricing increased from 22 percent in 2012 to 38 percent this year, placing it third on the list of concerns. One half of the medium and large companies were most concerned about margin and price issues.