Survey Finds 'Gig Economy' Brings New Challenge to Recruiting IT Pros

The results indicated constant battle against turnover affects the bottom line, but the instability also hinders overall productivity and innovation.

it jobs and appirio

More than one-third of human resources budgets are dedicated specifically to recruiting and retaining technical talent.

Still, at least 25 percent of projects are abandoned altogether because of IT capacity limitations, and projects that are eventually finished are delayed an average of five months, according to a survey on the IT job market.

The survey shows the strain being put on businesses looking for top talent and the overall competitiveness in the IT jobs sector.

The survey also revealed some significant trends about the rise of what's called "the gig-based economy," in which highly skilled professionals seek short-term, but highly compensated assignments or "gigs" rather than permanent, full-time jobs.

Corporate executives are concerned that the growth of the gig-based economy will further complicate their efforts to find and retain highly skilled IT professionals.

The survey, conducted by Appirio and Wakefield Research, is based on a poll of 400 respondents, including 200 U.S. and U.K. C-level executives at companies with 500 or more employees, and 200 U.S. and U.K. IT staff at companies with 500 or more employees.

The results indicated that constant battles against turnover affect the bottom line, but the instability also hinders overall productivity and innovation.

In response to this challenge, leading companies are turning to enterprise crowd sourcing as a way to access talent on demand and modernize their workforce. Nearly 70 percent of enterprises are implementing crowd sourcing in some capacity, according to survey results.

This includes supplementing internal expertise, scaling resources and giving employees the ability to work whenever and wherever they choose.

The top three criteria IT staff look at when evaluating new job opportunities are a well-resourced IT department, up-to-date technology and flexibility.

In addition, the survey revealed the vast majority (84 percent) of C-suite respondents believe that the economy will shift toward gig-based over full-time work by 2050, and a whopping 90 percent of C-level executives said they agree that recruiting and retaining technology talent is a top business challenge.

More than half of IT staff have already worked in the gig economy in some manner, yet C-level executives believe just 28 percent of their employees work gigs.

While the C-suite admits that finding top talent is a significant barrier to business growth, they see the shift toward gig-based work as a threat instead of an opportunity, with 80 percent of executives responding that they believe the gig economy is a distraction to full-time workers.

At the midyear point, most aspects of IT employment appear to remain strong, with the U.S. IT industry adding 70,500 new jobs in the first half of 2015, employing nearly 5 million people at midyear, according to an analysis of labor data released at the end of August by IT industry association CompTIA.

Most facets of IT employment show strength, with the largest gains during the first half of 2015 recorded in IT services (up 2.4 percent) and software (up 1.5 percent), according to CompTIA. Tech manufacturing grew slightly under 1 percent, mirroring the growth rate for the telecommunications and Internet services sector (0.9 percent).