Fewer gains in IT hiring occurred than expected in the first quarter of 2014, with just 35 percent of IT leaders indicating that hiring of full-time and contingent IT workers increased in the first quarter of 2014, according to the findings of a survey from IT staffing and services firm TEKsystems.
These numbers fell short of the 47 percent and 46 percent that expected increases at the end of 2013.
The report noted this could be related to the number of IT leaders that did not receive their expected budget increases, leading to a stall in hiring efforts.
However, IT leaders are finding it increasingly difficult to hire exceptional business intelligence and security workers.
While IT leaders continue to rank programmers and developers as the most difficult IT roles to fill with outstanding talent, they are finding it much less difficult to hire architects, software engineers and project managers.
Survey results indicated IT leaders now rank security and business intelligence/big data experts among the top three most difficult positions to fill. Business analysts remain the fourth most difficult role to fill.
"Our annual IT forecast represents views for the entire year of 2014, so it's interesting to see how close reality is tracking to those expectations as we exit the first quarter," Jason Hayman, TEKsystems research manager, said in a statement. "To date, it appears that budget optimism was a little overstated, and it has impacted initial hiring.
"As IT leaders continue to see how well their IT department can satisfy their organization's business needs, it will be interesting to see how conditions continue to develop, either falling in line with or skewing further away from expectations, and how organizations will adapt to realities throughout the course of the year," he continued.
Despite the reality of more IT leaders seeing flat budgets, the number of IT leaders who are confident in their IT department's ability to satisfy business demands has increased from 66 percent at the end of 2013 to 72 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2014.
IT leaders expressing a neutral position decreased from 21 to 15 percent, while those that lack confidence in the ability to satisfy business demands have increased from 6 percent to 12 percent.
In addition, fewer IT leaders actually received budget increases. Heading into 2014, 62 percent of IT leaders expected their IT budgets to increase, yet just 47 percent now see this to be the case.
The number of leaders whose budgets stayed the same increased from 26 percent to 38 percent, while those expecting decreases remained virtually unchanged, shifting less than 3 percent, from 12 to 15 percent, the study found.