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The Recruiter is a blog for workers in technology and professional markets to learn about hot fields and hiring trends from your friends at Yoh.
Yoh is one of the largest providers of talent and outsourcing services to customers in the United States. With over 374 million USD in total sales, Yoh operates from more than 75 locations and provides long- and short-term temporary and direct placement of technology and professional personnel, as well as managed staffing services, for the information technology, scientific, engineering, health care and telecommunications communities. For more information, visit Yoh is part of Yoh Services LLC, a Day & Zimmermann Company.

Our Team

Editor: Bill L.
Writers: Amy D., Anna M., Connie V., Roseanne D.



November 13, 2008

Straight Talk for Discouraged Job Seekers

Thanks again to Marianne McGee of InformationWeek for her great write-up on the Yoh Index a few days ago. We’ve been following the comments readers have been posting on the InformationWeek blog, and each one brings up a really strong argument and shows just how this economic downturn is affecting individuals. Simply stated, the job market today is not as strong and rosy as it was the same time last year. The most recent Index and the announcement that jobless claims hit a seven-year high are a clear indication of that.

So what does all this mean for you, the job seeker? Well, it means a few things. The first is to be realistic. If you’re looking for a new job, understand that you may not get it today, or even tomorrow. And make sure you’re qualified for the position you’re seeking. If you’ve only got three years of the necessary experience, but are applying for a job requiring five, keep in mind that you may be setting yourself back. Look for jobs that are a right fit for you and your skills, and be patient.

No telling how long this storm will last, but hopefully 2009 will bring with it some good news and stability.

Posted by Bill L.

November 11, 2008

Tech Wages Slide, But Is Anyone Surprised?

The Q3 Yoh Index of Technology Wages, a quarterly report that measures changes in employee demand and supply of technology talent worldwide, has indicated that wages for technology professionals appear to be on a steady decline. With more than a six percent drop, technology wages are at the lowest level since the beginning of 2006.

Marianne McGee at InformationWeek posted an interesting analysis of the most recent Index, including a great observation about the economy's role in the decrease. Yes, the stock market disaster had a definite impact, but other factors are involved, such as the rise of the lower-paid young worker and increases in off-shoring.

Let’s be honest – nobody should be surprised by this bad news, after the dismal month of October and factors described above. The real question is, what are normal, everyday IT professionals doing to stay above water in these difficult times?

Posted by Amy D.

August 21, 2008

Tech Wages Show Promise After Disappointing Q1

After turbulent times in the first quarter of the year, tech wages have leveled out and even increased slightly moving into July, according to the Q2 Yoh Index of Technology Wages, which we just released this morning. The growth wasn’t robust, but it’s a far cry from the black whole others have predicted, and it could be indicative of continued increases in the second half of the year.

For those of you looking for openings, here’s some of the positions that we found have been in the most demand: biostatisticians, civil engineers, Java developers, and SAP® consultants.

Posted by Jim L.

May 21, 2008

Tech Wages Drop After All-Time Highs in 2007

After hitting all-time highs in 2007, tech wages drop in the first quarter of 2008. So says the Q1 Yoh Index of Technology Wages, which we released just yesterday. First quarter wages for tech professionals dropped both year-over-year, and in comparison to those recorded in the final months of 2007, doing little, I’m sure, to boost your confidence in the economy.

And while this report does seem to paint a bleak picture, all hope is not lost. We’re still seeing pockets of strength in the tech sector, especially in SAP, Oracle, security and product development, and software and hardware engineering. Plus, the wage drop in March was not as severe as in earlier months, so hopefully that’s an indication that wages are once again on the rise.

Posted by Jim L.

March 20, 2008

Why a recession won’t affect the job market

Penelope Trunk over at The Brazen Careerist put together a pretty interesting post the other day about how our currently unstable economy is affecting the job market—or not.

Penelope argues that the state of today’s job market is not so much a function of economic indicators as it is of demographic trends. This is nothing we haven’t discussed before.  Baby boomers’ mass exodus from the workforce is resulting in a major shortage of employees that Gen X and Y are incapable to fill. (Penelope attributes this to Gen X’s focus on family and Gen Y’s fascination with entrepreneurship that lead them to contribute fewer hours of work per person than the boomers.)

Whether the economy enters a recession or not, as long as boomers continue to retire, demand for younger workers will be high. This is true even for sectors such as finance, real estate and manufacturing that are often hit hardest by economic downturns.

We’d like to add another area in which we expect to see high demand: technology. As we recently reported, the Q4 Yoh Index of Technology Wages revealed all-time high wages in the tech sector before gradually slowing at the end of 2007, and showed a continuing trend of year-over-year growth. And opportunities in engineering, Java, SAP®, project management, security and customer-related projects continue to be plentiful.

So don’t let talk of a recession scare you (when it comes to jobs, at least) -   retiring baby boomers will guarantee demand. But it’s up to you to sharpen your skills, maintain your credentials and make yourself an ideal and indispensable candidate.

Posted by Christy H.

February 22, 2008

Tech wages drop after record-breaking high

The Q4 Yoh Index of Technology Wages, released just a few days ago, shows two very interesting things that happened toward the end of 2007.  Wages reached an all-time high in October ($32.39), but then quickly slowed in November and December, which could be a sign that the economy’s sluggishness is starting to affect wages and the job market.

Some of the jobs that stayed hot throughout the dip include biostatisticians, civil engineers, clinical research associates, Java developers and SAP® consultants.

Posted by Jim L.

November 08, 2007

Silicon Valley or bust

Actually, make that Silicon Valley won’t bust. For all of you shivering in your boots that the current start-up boom is doomed to fail a lá year 2000, put those fears aside. WSJ reporter Rebecca Buckman says this cycle will eventually turn down again, but it won’t have the same crushing economic impact the dot-com crash did.

Why the relative optimism? Well, the conspicuous consumption of the 90s is less du rigueur now, so companies are requesting and using less venture capital. Plus, the start-up marketplace is cheaper. Equipment is more affordable, many software apps are open-source and it’s easier to offshore jobs.

That means fewer investors and less money are tied up in tech start-ups’ fates. And that will be a blessing when (not if) the market goes south, because the shift won’t take so many dollar signs with it.

Now let’s look at what this macro view means for your micro working world. While not the runaway trains of the 90s, Silicon Valley companies are still hiring and growing at a strong clip, which can create excellent job opps for IT pros who fit the bill.

I did some regional breakdowns for in-demand skills based on the latest Yoh Index, and I think my Silicon Valley segment will give you some helpful insight. Let me know what else you’d like to know about this market, and I’ll do my best to get the answer!

Posted by Jim L.

October 25, 2007

Wages continue climbing in Q3

The Q3 Yoh Index of Technology Wages, released today, says hourly pay for highly skilled technology professionals rose nearly 6 percent in the third quarter of 2007, when compared to the same period in 2006. The salaries also slightly trail all-time highs set in the first quarter of this year.

These numbers are good, but what do they mean? Essentially, demand is still sky-high. If you have the right skill sets, experience and certifications in hot markets such as SAP, business intelligence, .NET, Java and project management, you’ve got solid opportunities in front of you.

Same goes for biostatisticians, clinical researchers, civil engineers and several other jobs most in demand nationwide. (See the full report for details.)

However, while the IT job outlook looks positive into 2008, keep your eye on the talent pipeline. Tech industries need to develop incentives for students to seek degrees in math, computer science and engineering.

That way, related fields can avoid a significant loss of IT skills and qualified professionals, and perhaps even stem the current talent shortage.

That’s it for now on Q3. Want to be first on the list to find out about next quarter’s wages? Then subscribe online!

Posted by Jim L.

October 18, 2007

The IT law of supply and demand

I don’t know if there are any economists reading The Recruiter, but if you’re out there, I think you’ll enjoy this article from Techdirt.

In a nutshell, author Tim Lee says basing IT shortage figures only on the number of available jobs is misguided. Rather, the focus should be on jobs at a particular price range. Here’s his Econ 101 summary:

If the number of jobs exceeds the number of workers at a given wage, wages will get bid up and some employers will choose to let some non-essential jobs go unfilled. Conversely, if there are more workers than jobs, wages will fall, causing some firms to expand more aggressively than they would have at the higher wage. The number of jobs isn't fixed, it varies depending on how high salaries are.”

The real-world data supports his point—just look out for the Q3 2007 Yoh Index of Technology Wages which will be released next week.

So, if we’re following Tim’s analysis, rising wages means available jobs outnumber available workers. The result is the industry talent shortage, something we’ve often discussed here.

For extra credit, read the original BusinessWeek piece that fired up Tim’s brain cells. We’ll tackle the immigration debate in another post, once everyone recovers from having to remember basic economics!

Posted by Anna M.

October 04, 2007

Show me the comparative money

No more peering over the cubicle to catch a glimpse of your coworkers' paychecks. (Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. ...) Now you can find out how your pay stacks up against your colleagues' wages in your city or region, thanks to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

OK, you can't track it person by person, but the BLS Wages by Area and Occupation site can help you follow salary trends for your industry and location. I found the Metropolitan Area Wage Data particularly useful in narrowing down my state and profession. A couple of clicks, and voila! Instant income info.

Now, let's say you’ve reached the top earning potential in your market. Want to follow the $$$? The site also generates top-paying markets for your specialty. (But don’t forget to factor in cost of living increases, average commute time and overall quality of life issues before packing up your house.)

And if you're looking for specific tech wage data, you're in luck: In the next few weeks we'll be releasing the Q3 Yoh Index of Technology Wages, which will break down IT salaries across numerous sectors and regions. Stay tuned!

Posted by Christy H.