IT Worker Confidence Declined from Record High in Fourth Quarter 2014

ATLANTA, February 10, 2015
— According to the Randstad Technologies Employee Confidence Index, IT workers’ confidence declined to 57.4 in fourth quarter 2014 from 61.7, the record high, in the third quarter of 2014. Despite the decline, the Employee Confidence Index still remained above the confidence threshold of 50.0, a positive indicator that confidence levels remained high overall. The study, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Randstad Technologies, measured overall confidence levels expressed by 190 U.S. IT workers ages 18 and older. The results are indicative of survey information collected during October, November and December of 2014. 

Findings indicated there was a decline in IT workers’ macroeconomic perception, a key factor used in calculating the overall Employee Confidence Index, which measures confidence in the overall strength of the economy, as well as the belief there were more or less jobs available during the time of polling. Forty-one percent of IT workers expressed they felt the economy was getting stronger, versus 43 percent who felt so in the third quarter. Furthermore, only 32 percent felt there were more jobs available while 44 percent stated they felt there were fewer jobs available.

Despite waning confidence in the perception of available jobs, over 4 in 10 (41%) IT workers said they were likely to seek new employment opportunities over the following 12 months and more than half (52%) said they were confident in their ability to find a new job. The desire to pursue new employment opportunities is likely reflective of these workers’ expressed lack of confidence in the future of their current employer. Less than half (49%) stated they were confident in the future of their current employer, which represented a decline of 13 percentage points from the third quarter. 

“Although overall confidence levels declined this quarter, the labor market conditions for IT workers and job seekers was arguably at the healthiest levels we’ve seen in quite some time,” said Bob Dickey, Group President of Technology and Engineering at Randstad. “What should be most concerning for employers is a diminished level of confidence among the IT workforce around the future of their company. In a profession where innovation and remaining ‘cutting’ edge is fundamental to career growth, if IT workers aren’t confident their current employer holds a competitive edge, they will likely seek employment elsewhere.”

According to CIO.com, the need to keep up with ever-changing skills and technologies has also been driving more and more IT workers to seek out contract positions. As the overall global economy continues to shift more towards a contingent workforce, it is likely there will also be an increase in IT contractors during 2015. In fourth quarter 2014, it was estimated to be a $1 billion worldwide market, and experts predict it will grow to $5 billion over the next five years. 

 “There are several favorable aspects to IT contracting or project-based positions,” said Dickey. “We found that in certain instances there may be a financial incentive to work as a contingent worker. In addition, the ability to move from client to client, and project to project, not only provides flexibility but also the opportunity to keep abreast of the latest IT skills and expertise. We expect more companies will pursue a flexible workforce structure that is comprised of a mix of full-time and contract workers.” 

Q4 2014 Survey Highlights:

Confidence in the Economy Declined Slightly for IT Professionals
  • IT professionals’ confidence in the overall economy fell slightly to 41 percent, a decline of two percentage points from 43 percent in the third quarter. 
IT Workers Were Less Confident in the Future of their Current Employer
  • Less than half (49%) of IT workers expressed confidence in the future of their employer, a significant decline from 62 percent in the previous quarter. 
IT Workers Said Fewer Jobs Were Available 
  • Forty-four percent believed there were fewer jobs available, an increase from 38 percent in the third quarter. Less than one-third (32%) of IT workers felt there were more jobs available, compared to 38 percent in third quarter.
Confidence in Ability to Find New Jobs Declined Slightly
  • Fifty-two percent of IT professionals expressed confidence in their ability to find a new job over the following 12 months, which represented a decline from 56 percent in the third quarter.
Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Randstad Technologies from October 8–10, November 3–5 and December 8–10, 2014 among 3,144 adults ages 18 and older, of which 190 are employed in IT. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact kristin.mchugh@randstadusa.com.

About Randstad Technologies
Randstad Technologies has been connecting top companies around the globe with the expert technology talent and solutions that drives their success since 1984. Our deep industry expertise and full-service capabilities—Recruitment, Consulting, Projects and Outsourcing—enable organizations to be agile, productive and ahead in the field with their wide network of specialists and flexible solutions. For more information, visit www.randstadtechnologies.com

About Randstad US
Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.0 billion global provider of HR services. As the third largest staffing organization in the U.S., Randstad holds top positions in permanent placement, office and administrative, IT and accounting and finance. From professional services, commercial staffing, recruitment process outsourcing, to managed services and more, Randstad delivers a comprehensive range of temporary, temporary-to-hire, permanent placement and outsourced placement services. 

With its 5,324 employment experts, Randstad puts an average of approximately 100,000 people to work in the U.S. each week, through its network of nearly 1,000 branches and client-dedicated locations.
 
Learn more at www.randstadusa.com and access Randstad’s panoramic U.S. thought leadership knowledge center through its Workforce360 site that offers valuable insight into the latest economic indicators and HR trends shaping the world of work.