Early 2016 IT Staffing Trends


After finally getting over my New Year’s hangover, I’d like share some early hiring trends and observations about IT staffing so far in 2016:

It’s taking longer to hire.

It seems like employers in the past year or two have been more careful in their hiring practices.  Whether that means adding extra rounds of interviews, comparing/contrasting more candidates, or getting more people involved in the interview process to make a final decision; the overall hiring process just seems longer nowadays.  A lot of our clients are also using more behavioral or personality testing before an offer is presented to make sure they have the right cultural fit to go along with the technical aspect of the job.  Back in the “good old days” a good candidate could be hired in a couple of weeks, but now that has turned into a couple of months at least.

Contract to hire still remains very popular.

This “trend” started in 2014-2015 and continues to spill over into 2016 with no signs of stopping anytime soon.shutterstock_300507608  The “try before you buy” technique is becoming more of the common interest of companies and even candidates alike.  While that can limit the overall candidate pool, it appears that companies are being more cautious with budget and making sure they get the right fit.  Managers are still focused on the long term rather than just thinking of a particular project.  Typically the norm is a 3-6 month contract to hire scenario to make sure both parties are satisfied with the actual work, the cultural fit, and the commute or relocation process if that ultimately plays a factor.


Employers want more face to face time.

One would think that with all the modern day technology at our grasps we could do any IT work anywhere at any time.  While that might be true, it appears a lot of employers are becoming stricter as it pertains to on-site vs. remote work and physically meeting candidates first before hiring.  It starts with on-site interviews being more common again as many employers have been burned by the old “bait and switch” technique that some third party staffing companies unfortunately use. This is when someone provides a different candidate on-site then who did the initial phone interview.  Again this ties to the “try before you buy” mentality of the past few years and they want to see employees produce on-site first before allowing them to work in the confines of their own home.  Unfortunately sometimes all it takes is one bad remote interview or remote employee to spoil it for the rest.

As you can see, the trends of 2016 so far hold steady to the ones of 2014-2015.  While there are a ton of well-qualified applicants out there, it’s ultimately still an employer market.  Be patient, be open and be flexible in your job search.  Good luck and cheers to a happy and healthy 2016!

Looking for work? Submit your resume to our experienced IT Recruiters to find your next opportunity.


About Craig Farley

Craig Farley spent the last 9 years as a Technical Resource Manager, staffing IT and EDI professionals nationwide, with a focus on the Midwest and West Coast territories. His industry experience as a senior technical recruiter is unmatched, and he has worked with candidates in full lifecycle recruiting for contract, contract to hire and direct hire positions through a variety of industries and technologies.

With all of this experience, Craig has transitioned to Director of Business Development for the Midwest Territory. He brings with him his technical recruiting knowledge and is ready to assist our clients in finding the perfect match for their technical needs. Craig is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. In his spare time he enjoys sports, working out, music and writing.

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