Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 Job Forecast, Part 2

Beantown Web presents a series of Special Reports on the prospects for work for Web technology professionals in 2008.

  • Part 1 focuses on big-picture hiring trends for 2008
  • Part 2 focuses on non-entry level skills in demand in 2008
  • Part 3 focuses on information technology skills in demand for 2008
  • Part 4 focuses on non-technical skills in demand for 2008

Part 2

" . . . it will be a solid start to the year when it comes to hiring in the United States," according to the

Chairman & CEO of Manpower Inc.

Of the U.S. employers surveyed by Manpower, nearly twice as many expect to add to their payrolls (22%) as to reduce staff levels (12%) during the first quarter of 2008.

" . . . hiring plans are relatively stable from three months ago and just slightly softer compared to last year at this time," according to the President of Manpower North America. "You might say that employers are getting one less latte a week -- but they are still going to the coffee shop regularly."

Results are based on interviews with more than 14,000 public and private employers in 460 market areas across the U.S. Among survey participants, those in Northeast are least optimistic.

While the hiring trend in the Northeast has a downward bias, it remains positive.

If you have the IT Skill Sets that Manpower Professional is currently experiencing a demand for, feel free to contact them at one of their Massachusetts offices:

  • Boston
  • Southborough

Access a press release from Manpower for details of their survey summarizing projected hiring plans by U.S. employers in the first quarter of 2008.

Part 3 of this 2008 Job Forecast will focus on IT skills in demand in 2008.

Leadership Skills in Demand

“The shortage of skilled executives who are being groomed to succeed existing ones is real and it may threaten the ability of many firms to achieve their long-term strategic objectives,” according to a representative of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

According to an online survey of 526 executives, the five most significant future challenges facing companies regardless of size, location or industry were:

  1. Succession Planning
  2. Recruiting and Selecting Talented Employees
  3. Engaging and Retaining Talented Employees
  4. Providing Leaders with Skills to be Successful
  5. Rising Health Care Costs

A press release is available for review from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).


If you are seeking a new opportunity in 2008, organizations will likely respond to your inquiry if you can demonstrate that you are a talented employee. While talent means different things to different people, consistent, above-average work results will help you stand out from your peers and potential competition.

In addition, demonstrating that you have leadership potential and can move up in the organization can open doors in organizations that are concerned about developing future leaders.

It is no coincidence that business leaders are gravitating toward business books that focus on developing talent and leadership. The current BusinessWeek Best Seller List is populated by books written by experts who provide answers to help solve the five challenges listed above.

Reading books that business executives read can help give you an edge in the next interview. If you are looking for guidance in developing your business skills, check out upcoming Beantown Web issues that will offer reviews of BusinessWeek Best Sellers, starting with Launching a Leadership Revolution.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2008 Job Forecast, Part 1

Beantown Web presents a series of Special Reports on the prospects for work for Web technology professionals in 2008.

  • Part 1 focuses on big-picture hiring trends for 2008
  • Part 2 focuses on non-entry level skills in demand in 2008
  • Part 3 focuses on information technology skills in demand for 2008
  • Part 4 focuses on non-technical skills in demand for 2008

Part 1 surveyed more than 3,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals about their hiring plans for the first quarter of 2008.

On average, nearly one out of three employers (32 percent) plan to increase their number of full-time, permanent employees in 2008. Only eight percent plan to decrease staff levels in 2008.

Hiring By Industry

Some industries are expected to create jobs at a faster rate than other industries. In particular, above average job creation is expected in the following industries (percentage of employers expected to add full-time, permanent employees in 2008):

  • Information Technology (45 percent)
  • Professional and Business Services (45 percent)
  • Transportation and Utilities (37 percent)
  • Financial Services (34 percent)

Eight Major Trends

Here are eight trends you can use to your advantage when exploring work opportunities in 2008:

  1. Bigger Paychecks
  2. More Flexible Work Arrangements
  3. Screening Candidates Via the Internet
  4. Rehiring Retirees
  5. Diversity Recruitment
  6. Freelance or Contract Hiring
  7. More Comprehensive Healthcare Benefits and Special Perks
  8. Career Advancement

You can learn more about these trends by accessing a press release from Then, identify the three trends that you feel you can use to your personal advantage when exploring opportunities in the New Year and develop strategies to capitalize on these trends.


Once again, the information technology sector is expected to lead the way in creating new jobs in 2008. Workers with the most in-demand technology skills are expected to have less trouble securing work in the New Year regardless of which way the economy turns.

Beantown Web will highlight the most in-demand technology skills for 2008 in future parts of this 2008 Job Forecast Special Report.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Crunchies 2007


The 2007 Crunchies is the first annual competition and award ceremony to recognize and celebrate the most compelling start ups, Internet and technology innovations of the year.

Best of all, you get to choose who wins!

More than 82,000 nominations were placed for thousands of individual start ups. The top start ups in each of twenty categories have made it to the final vote.

Massachusetts Crunchies

Only two Massachusetts companies made the final cut -- only two!

Best clean start-up:

Most likely to make the world a better place:

The Finalists

Here are 20 award categories with five nominees in each category:

The last day to vote is Thursday, January 10.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

2008 Salary Guide

"Companies are investing in a range of technology initiatives, including Web 2.0 development . . .", according to Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology (RHT).

RHT publishes a Hiring Index and Skills Report, a quarterly technology analysis based on interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs randomly selected from U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.

Hiring Projections

Nationally, CIOs project a 10% positive differential in hiring during the first quarter:

  • increase staff (13%)
  • decrease staff (3%)

In the Boston metro area, CIOs predict a more moderate 4% positive differential in hiring during the first quarter:

  • increase staff (7%)
  • decrease staff (3%)

IT Skills in Demand

According to the report, the following Web development (Web 2.0) skills are in-demand by CIOs:

  • database management (Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server) (59%)
  • .NET development (27%)

Nearly 20 percent of IT department growth can be accounted for with these skill sets:

  • Internet/intranet development (11%)
  • Data/database management (8%)

Landing a Job

Katherine Spencer Lee offers the following four suggestions for those looking for a job in information technology:

  • broaden your focus -- smaller companies offer greater hiring potential
  • make finding a job a full-time job -- anything less and you are not maximizing your potential opportunities
  • network, network, network -- it works
  • raise your standards -- quality work gets noticed, mediocre work gets ignored

You can review the details of her advice in a recent Computerworld article. While the article is dated the advice is dead on.

2008 Salary Guide

RHT also publishes a 2008 Salary Guide. “There is strong demand for skilled developers with solid technical skills as well as the ability to solve business problems,” according to Lee in a press release announcing the Guide.

You can obtain a free copy of the Robert Half Technology 2008 Salary Guide by clicking the link below.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New England Economy: December

Two reports offer two different perspectives on the economy. Two recommendations remain crystal clear.

CEO Economic Outlook Survey

The CEO Economic Outlook Index is a quarterly report that indicates how CEOs believe the economy will perform in the six months ahead. The Index combines the responses of more than 100 CEOs in the following three areas:

  • projected sales
  • capital spending
  • employment
The recently released fourth quarter survey results reveal the CEOs' belief in the underlying strength of the U.S. economy and the performance of their individual companies. In brief, CEOs expect the following over the next six months:
  • increase in sales (70%)
  • increase in employment (33%)

Hudson Employment Index

The Hudson Employment Index , however, paints a dramatically different picture. This Index measures the U.S. workforce's overall confidence in the employment market.

This national index just reached a record low.

The Boston Index mirrors the national sentiment as worker confidence reached new lows. Basically, one in five Beantown workers expect staff cuts at their companies in the coming months.

The good news is that information technology (IT) workers are more confident than average workers. IT workers expect fewer job cuts and greater hiring activity than the general economy.

Bottom Line

So, what do executives know that front line workers don't?

Even as the economy slows, executives have one secret weapon: they understand the value of networking.

According to ExecuNet's Executive Job Market Intelligence Report, higher level positions are filled primarily via networking.

In addition, executive recruiters also find qualified candidates via online research.

So, as we bring one year to a close and begin planning for a new one, consider developing a game plan to increase your professional network and improve your online presence. Nearly 75% of the opportunities you receive will likely come from one of these two sources.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Boston Market -- December

Two recent reports reveal a slowing economy in New England.

New England Economic Partnership

Employment in New England is forecast to grow at an annual average rate of less than one percent over the next few years.

"Robust national and global demand for technology-based products and services supplied by Massachusetts is expected to partly offset the housing slump’s drag on the state’s economy," according to a press release (doc) is available from the New England Economic Partnership. A summary is archived at The Boston Herald.

Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series

Job vacancies that are advertised online across the U.S. are up nearly 10% year over year. However, online advertising is flat to slightly negative year-over-year in the New England region. So, the job market is relatively sluggish compared to other parts of the country.

Nationally, there were 2.65 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force in November. However, Massachusetts remains one of the top five job markets (4.18 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force in November).

The top three occupations with a significant number of ads posted online include the following:
  • healthcare practitioners
  • technical workers
  • management positions

Wages average above $44 an hour for management positions and about $30 an hour for healthcare practitioners and technicians, according to a press release issued by The Conference Board. A detailed (pdf) version is also available.

Web Technology Opportunities

Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston have been updated for December and appear in the right-hand column.

Average Salaries in Boston have also been updated for December.

Networking & Training Opportunities

Two Web-related opportunities recommended for December include the following:

Remaining seats are expected to fill up fast. If you register for the Boston .NET User Group Holiday Event you will receive a FREE copy of Visual Studio 2008!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Top Marketing Trends for 2008

More than 600 top-level marketing executives responded to a survey designed to identify the top marketing trends of 2008.

Marketing Trends -- 2008

The three main themes that marketing executives will focus on in 2008 are as follows:

  1. marketing basics (60%)
  2. search engine optimization (SEO) (42%)
  3. personalization (36%)

Marketing basics included the following:

  • customer satisfaction
  • customer retention
  • segmentation
  • brand loyalty
  • return on investment (ROI)

The high prevalence of SEO marketing techniques reveals how valuable the Web has become as a corporate marketing tool. In addition, Web developers who possess the programming and database skills to personalize the Web experience should continue to command a premium in the current marketplace.

Marketing Executives

The executives surveyed are members of The Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG). A summary (pdf) of the findings is available from Anderson Analytics. eMarketer provides an additional summary of the survey results.

Marketing Basics

Whether we are looking for a job, marketing our professionals services, or merely representing the organization we currently work for, we could all benefit from thinking more like a marketing executive and getting back to basics.

While 70% or the executives in the survey group have graduate degrees -- the majority of which are from top-20 business schools -- a six-figure education is not required to learn marketing basics.

The survey identified the business books most recently read by U.S. marketing executives:
How many of these books are on your reading list? Add one or more to your Holiday stocking wish list and get back to basics in 2008.

Business Books

Beantown Web will provide key highlights from these and other business books in the New Year. In the meantime, start with The World is Flat, a must read for anyone who wants to survive, if not thrive, in today's global economy.