For Employers

Technology Employment Forecast

Winter/Spring 2014

West Michigan Technology Economy Looks Good

Twice each year, since 2003, Paragon Recruiting in Holland, MI, polls senior IT managers in the West Michigan market to determine what the future holds for IT staffing, outsourcing, and pay rates. Each forecast includes responses from about 100 companies.

Over 90% of both professional services and computer consulting companies in west Michigan expect to hire information technology staffers in the first half of 2014. Two-thirds of all responding companies have similar plans. However, only a third of health care companies are adding staff, fewer than in the past several years. Perhaps they had to do their hiring earlier to implement the recent increases in digital record keeping. Now their hiring can slow since the initial changes are in place.

There is increasing demand for support workers while the demand for systems people is slacking off. This could indicate that new systems were put in place earlier and now the general users need more support in using these systems. Applications staffers continue to be most desired. Mid level workers are still most needed.

Slightly more companies expect IT pay rates to increase in the next six months than did during for the past half year. More companies will be outsourcing projects; twice as many expect to do national outsourcing as did in the last forecast. Local and offshore outsourcing will be down.

Our chief recruiting officer Beth DeWilde says, “Demand for technology talent continues to surpass supply. Companies are being somewhat more flexible in considering candidates who may not have the specific technology tools originally needed, but who demonstrate the aptitude and attitude to learn and who have a strong work ethic.”

IT staff to increase, decrease, or stay the same. Back to Top

Increasing IT staff: 67%
Decreasing IT staff:   0%
Staying the same: 33%

Outsourcing Back to Top

Firms outsourcing: 47%
Outsourcing Where:
Offshore 10%
Local 55%
National 50%
(some firms outsource to multiple locations)

Hiring by Industry Back to Top

Increasing Decreasing Stay the Same
Manufacturing 57% 0% 43%
Education, Government, Non-Profit 42% 0% 58%
Professional Services 95% 0%   5%
Computer Consulting 92% 0%   8%
Healthcare 33% 0% 67%
Wholesale, Retail 75% 0% 25%


Hiring by Company Size Back to Top

Number of employees Increasing Decreasing Stay the Same
1-50 80% 0% 20%
51-100 86% 0% 14%
101-250 57% 0% 43%
251-500 40% 0% 60%
501-1000 38% 0% 62%
1000+ 81% 0% 19%

The number of IT staff changing by discipline Back to Top

Increase Decrease
Applications: 73% 0%
Systems: 25% 0%
Support: 53% 0%
(some firms indicate several disciplines)

The number of IT staff changing by level Back to Top

Increase Decrease
Senior: 28% 0%
Mid: 73% 0%
Junior: 41% 0%
(some firms indicate several levels)

IT staff pay rate to change Back to Top

Increase Decrease Stay the Same
Pay Rate: 39% 0% 61%

Anticipated use of IT interns Back to Top

Yes No
Interns 27% 73%

Hiring Trends for The last 5 years.Back to Top



If you have any questions, comments, or an interest in more detailed information, please feel free to contact us.