For Employers

Technology Employment Forecast

Summer/Fall 2014

Software Application Developers in High Demand

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.

Just over half of West Michigan companies expect to hire information technology professionals in the next six months. Retail/wholesale companies lead the way with 88% hiring new IT staff. Only one company plans to decrease staff. For the first time in three years the number of companies keeping staffing the same has gone up, but so has the percent that will be outsourcing some projects. Are companies waiting to see how the mid-term elections play out this fall?

Applications staffers are twice as likely to be added as either systems or support staff. All experience levels are needed about evenly, or perhaps with few professionals considering job changes the hiring companies are willing consider applicants with less experience but the potential for growth.

Our chief recruiting officer Beth DeWilde says, “I’m being asked to find more project managers who are responsible for driving applications development projects. These would be mid and senior level staff who are familiar with Agile methodology and may have PMP certification. These are often people who have been developers in the past and have evolved to more of a project management role. This need may reflect the growing demand for technologies that streamline business processes.”

Forecast Results

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

Increasing IT staff: 54%
Decreasing IT staff:   1%
Staying the same: 45%

Outsourcing Back to Top

Firms outsourcing: 53%
Outsourcing Where:
Offshore 10%
Local 73%
National 41%
(some firms outsource to multiple locations)

Hiring by Industry Back to Top

Increasing Decreasing Stay the Same
Manufacturing 48% 3% 48%
Education, Government, Non-Profit 50% 0% 50%
Professional Services 45% 0%  55%
Computer Consulting 80% 0%   20%
Healthcare 40% 0% 60%
Wholesale, Retail 88% 0% 13%


Hiring by Company Size Back to Top

Number of employees Increasing Decreasing Stay the Same
1-50 59% 0% 41%
51-100 50% 0% 50%
101-250 46% 0% 54%
251-500 29% 0% 71%
501-1000 40% 7% 63%
1000+ 78% 0% 22%

The number of IT staff changing by discipline Back to Top

Increase Decrease
Applications: 80% 0%
Systems: 32% 100%
Support: 34% 100%
(some firms indicate several disciplines)

The number of IT staff changing by level Back to Top

Increase Decrease
Senior: 44% 0%
Mid: 52% 100%
Junior: 41% 100%
(some firms indicate several levels)

IT staff pay rate to change Back to Top

Increase Decrease Stay the Same
Pay Rate: 43% 0% 57%

Anticipated use of IT interns Back to Top

Yes No
Interns 28% 72%

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.