In 2009, most of the country experienced layoffs and a depressed job market. Fortunately for those of us in Texas, and in particular the IT job market, we were one of the least affected nationwide.
In the winter of 2009, the economy started showing signs of recovery and, as a DFW IT recruiting company, our hopes were high that 2010 was going to be a much better year. Several of our clients told us in annual client reviews that they expected to begin hiring again and restart project plans that were put on hold, but the vast majority told us they were still concerned about the economy and were in a “wait and see” mode. We expected an anemic recovery with slow growth, but we were cautiously optimistic for 2010.
What have we seen this year?
The Federal Reserve’s June 9th Beige Book report for the Eleventh District (Dallas) stated, “Business conditions continued to improve,” and, “Employment levels held steady (with) reports of hiring activity.” Reports from staffing industry contacts indicate, “…demand remains strong and widespread across sectors. Orders are mostly for contract work but assignments are becoming longer in length and temp-to-hire placements continue to pick up pace.”
What we have experienced in the first half of 2010, as a staffing agency, is in line with this report. We have had a significant increase in activity with more open job requests than during the same time frame in 2009. Job offers to our candidates have gone up, several of our candidates are receiving multiple offers, and job offers are coming more quickly. In one case, a software developer was hired sight unseen and without an interview by one of our clients. He was only on the market for 3 hours!
What does this tell us?
The IT job market in North Texas is definitely becoming more active as regional economic activity improves. Companies are gradually spending and hiring again, indicating an optimistic outlook. Competition for candidates is increasing, making securing top candidates more challenging.
What does this mean to our clients?
Despite a 9.7% unemployment rate, securing the “A+” candidates still requires companies to do all the right things to streamline the hiring process and make their open positions as attractive as possible. Smart hiring managers shouldn’t hesitate in reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, and making hiring decisions. Besides a competitive salary, hiring managers need to ensure their companies offer stimulating jobs and positive work environments. They also need to have a formidable benefits package that includes health care and a 401K. With business improving, companies can’t afford to keep critical projects on hold and expect to remain competitive.