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11 IT Positions You Will Struggle to Fill

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on May 2, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, hiring trends

Some of the combinations and specialists on the list will be familiar. However, you may be surprised by some of the technology positions employers are struggling to fill. We wanted to identify the demand to help hiring managers understand the current market better.

AI and data science jobs top the list, which is not shocking since these are new technologies being introduced for the first time in many companies experiencing the digital transformation.

1. Emerging Technology with Business Sense

Experts shortlist applicants with desirable skills and experience combined with emerging technologies like machine learning, data analytics, cognitive computing, Internet of Things and blockchain. The most sought-after job seekers deepen a company's bench on the technology side while understanding the importance of strong financial performance.

Technical skills are a must, but high-value candidates also have a strong business sense. Employers spent the past several years beefing up data management, analytics, and data. However, it's still hard for companies to land enough data scientists. Employers are focusing on how to use data to enhance business decision-making processes.

2. Penetration Testers with a Scientific Thought Process

Finding tech skills isn't as hard as snagging candidates who are natural problem-solvers. For instance, cybersecurity skills are needed by many employers, but a proactive mindset adds value in a field that is centered on vigilance and preparedness. This means that high-value penetration testers are hard to attract.

Any tester can find bugs, run diagnostics and go through the motions of the quality assurance process. However, it takes a special mindset to translate that into threats and risks that can be overcome. A data scientist looks for new ways to do things. This is an uncommon trait that's highly valued by employers.

3. Security Auditors with Investigative Instincts

Employers are finding it difficult to find qualified security auditors. This discipline requires expertise in cloud computing, virtualization, Linux, security, and networking. Even with all that under a candidate's belt, employers want additional soft skills. An auditor should be able to talk with programmers and make difficult determinations. Equally important, they must be able to clearly document their recommendations in layman's terms for senior management.

4. Extreme Specialization

Experts in robotics and cryptology are just two examples of extreme specialization. Cutting edge tech requires a unique skill set in a small pool of candidates. Employers often find themselves in a bidding war of salaries and benefits to attract the best candidates. Candidates can be picky in regards to positions and geographic location since these are mission-critical roles for most organizations. This makes extreme specializations one of the hardest roles to source.

5. GDPR Experts (Data Privacy)

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) strengthens data protection within the European Union and addresses the export of personal information outside Europe.

Demand for all companies seeking personal data from Europeans must meet EU’s data protection regs by May 2018. Finding candidates with this experience has been very hard for employers. This new line of service is hot right now. It's particularly hard to find women who specialize in IT audit. This can jeopardize employers with a dependence on the European markets, especially if they have a focus on diversity across their IT departments. 

It takes an entire department to fulfill these requirements, which focus on safeguarding customer and employee data and a firm's digital property. So many employers are hiring in this field that salaries are skyrocketing, with candidates enjoying a lot of bargaining power.

6. DevOps Engineers and Other Agile Developers

There has always been a need for tech specialists in DevOps. However, employers are having a hard time filling these vital roles. DevOps have the potential to save companies a lot of money. Employers use findings from this field to streamline their infrastructure. Many companies are largely unsuccessful in filling these roles. In fact, those who end up in DevOps are typically learning on the job.

The hardest part of sourcing DevOps teams is finding individuals that are agile and can stretch as the role changes and new priorities emerge.

Even when employers manage to attract candidates with unique skills, many aren't as agile as employers would like. Individuals who can concentrate on DevOps but who can also understand the need for organizations to reprioritize on the spot can do really well in this niche. Real-time feedback demands an actionable plan from those in this position, which can cause a lot of stress and burnout. 

If a candidate is business savvy, technology oriented, and agile, they can write their own ticket in this highly sought after role. Anyone can follow the steps needed to succeed on a number of projects. However, having true talent to solve problems as they are identified is a rare gift. It cannot be taught. So, a person with these traits, combined with programming skills in Python or other crucial technology, is worth their weight in gold.

It's crucial for employers to land tech workers who can learn, evolve and adapt to all the challenges that come up in this data-intensive role.

7. IT Pros Who Write Their Own Ticket

Some permanent positions are hard or impossible to fill. Many candidates prefer to consult so that they can keep their options open. Hot areas with this problem include security, data science, mobile specialists and analytics positions. Even with additional salary offers, these specialists usually stick to contracting and migrate to new employers frequently.

This is a matter of demand exceeding supply so that these technologists can continue to work as freelancers, hourly employees, and independent contractors. Employers would prefer to lock them in as company associates in the hope that this would make these pros less likely to defect.

With the US economy facing the tightest labor market in over a decade, these workers will likely keep their options open for the foreseeable future. Moving around allows these individuals to gain more variety, enjoy flexible schedules, and choose the opportunities that advance their interests and career pathing.

8. Data Scientists and Big Data

Wrangling data is a difficult task and requires a certain skill set. In order to use data to enhance business decisions, employers must be able to find and attract individuals who specialize in big data, data management, and analytics. When companies find true data scientists, they can achieve efficiency and cost savings across the enterprise.

9. Cloud-Native Experts

Enterprise cloud tech is maturing, and there is now a wide demand for native cloud specialists, which are still in short supply. This type of role involves more than migrating data and applications to the cloud. It includes adapting those processes to be efficient and to take full advantage of what the cloud has to offer.

Candidates who have mastered the new tech surrounding cloud-native also need to be grounded and have soft skills to help staff members adapt to the new applications. These candidates will be the most successful and sought after in the industry.

There is a re-engineering aspect to cloud-native specializations. This skill set has a strong focus on creating sustainable technology and human resource applications that offer services that make an organization more efficient. Most of the people currently in this field will come from large tech companies. Employers struggle to source talent that has the skill and desire to bend the new technology to the culture of traditional enterprises.

10. Infrastructure Roles at HQ

Companies are staffing up in infrastructure positions such a deep learning, IoT, and computer vision. However, it's nearly impossible to find resources to accept in-person roles that require them to be in the office every day. These candidates prefer the flexibility of remote work.

With so much data migrating to a cloud environment, it's very difficult to fill these positions because of the on-premises demands of an infrastructure role. Companies want a resource who has seen everything go wrong that can go wrong. However, consultants gain this experience by jumping from company to company for multiple implementation cycles. Those resources aren't usually interested in a nine-to-five gig that requires their presence at corporate HQ.

11. Tech Translators

Many recruiters have a hard time sourcing IT managers who can translate tech talk to the rest of the staff. This is a particular problem in cybersecurity and DevOps, positions where business culture determines professional advancement.

Need Help?

Some positions will be hard to fill if you don't have the right resources. That's where ICS can come in and assist. We have the best recruiters and talent pool that will give you plenty of choices to choose from when it's time to hire someone. ICS is great at finding both passive and active candidates. We make connections. When you have a great relationship with your talent, you make lasting connections that can be called on over and over again. Choose ICS to find the candidate you're looking for in your IT department.

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