Exploring Florida’s IT Industry Growth and What It Means for Hiring Managers
by Ed Daugherty
November 5, 2018
Florida is known for its sunshine and beaches, but it’s not just the weather that’s hot here. This state is a technology hub producing a great deal of activity and innovation. Florida’s IT industry growth is thrilling to be a part of, but it also presents challenges for hiring managers seeking tech pros. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the region and what it means for your business.
A Hotbed of Innovation and Investment
The current amount of activity in the Florida IT industry is staggering, but that didn’t happen by accident or overnight. Nonprofit organizations like the Institute for Commercialization of Florida Technology have worked diligently to grow tech here, creating a $1.4 billion economic impact on their own. It’s one reason Florida is a technology leader, breaking ground on new initiatives like deploying one of the country’s first ultra-broadband fiber internet services.
Further helping technological growth in the state are a number of grants, tax credits, and other incentives for businesses. These have propelled the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region to #1 on the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity and have encouraged a number of businesses to move to or grow within the state. Even a brief snapshot of this activity is impressive:
- Mobile aviation solutions provider Hilton Software of Coral Springs landed a $17 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.
- Electronic components maker KEMET Corp., with revenue of over three quarters of a billion dollars, relocated corporate offices from South Carolina to Fort Lauderdale.
- Local cloud-based software company Ultimate Software boasts nearly a billion dollars in revenue and appears in the top three on Fortune’s 2018 Best Companies to Work For list.
- Florida pet supplies retailer Chewy was acquired by PetSmart for over $3 billion in cash.
- Wireless communications software company SR Technology picked Sunrise, FL for their new headquarters, chosen because it would better support their planned growth over areas such as Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland.
- Harris Corporation merged with L3 Technologies to become Florida’s 8th largest company with expected revenue of over $16 billion.
- Huge corporations like Motorola and Citrix have built and continue to maintain strong foundations here.
IT Advancements in Florida’s Healthcare industry
In addition to IT industry growth, technological innovation in Florida is making positive waves in a number of other industries across the state. The healthcare sector is a chief example of this, as it relies heavily on technology for accurate diagnoses and safe procedures. IT activity is behind several big wins here:
- Florida has become an innovator in telehealth, an innovative area quickly becoming the future of healthcare.
- A breast health center in Zephyrhills, outside of Tampa, has introduced new mammography technology that puts the patient in control of the examination.
- The award-winning and cutting-edge Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center has been named one of the top oncology programs in the country.
- Ophthalmology giant American Vision Partners is utilizing Florida-based Ultimate Software to boost their hiring.
- Gainesville is ranked as one of the top 10 cities in America leading the way in healthcare.
Tech Innovations in the Boating Industry
Another sector boosted by Florida’s IT growth is tourism. Just take a look at what’s happening in the popular boating industry here, which has an economic impact valued in the billions. Fort Lauderdale-based Boatsetter is being referred to as the Airbnb of boats and already has 200,000 registered users. Miami-based GPDock created an app that allows for slip reservations 24/7, something that proved vital during Hurricane Florence. Whether it’s Google street view for waterways or an app that helps boaters find fueling stations, the list of technological advancements goes on.
Hiring Tech Talent in Florida
There might be tremendous technological activity across Florida cities and industries, but what does that mean for you as a hiring manager? While all the excitement brings tech pros to the area, they are drastically outweighed by the number of IT openings here. With a national IT unemployment rate of 2%, there simply aren’t enough professionals to fill the roles opened by the companies flocking to and growing in Florida.
This makes hiring tech pros more competitive, but not impossible. There’s no single strategy that can solve talent acquisition headaches; it takes the combination of several recruiting initiatives:
- Focus on building an exciting culture to draw people in.
- Create a brand people want to be a part of and an environment they’d like to walk into every day.
- Become a champion of work-life balance and flexibility within positions.
- Offer attractive compensation in line with applicable market rates.
- Own the concept of corporate transparency by communicating clearly and directly with talent so they always know what to expect.
What Florida’s IT Industry Growth Means for Hiring Managers
It’s fun to be part of a vibrant industry that continuously grows and innovates, but it’s not always easy. With how much time and effort it can take to overhaul recruiting practices and reposition a company for today’s competitive market, many hiring managers desire a faster way of securing IT talent. Partnering with a staffing firm like IntellaPro can accomplish just that, cutting through the noise to deliver the Florida technology candidates you’ve been looking for.
We’re connected to the top tech pros in Florida and across the country. If you’re ready to simplify your hiring immediately, reach out and tell us your needs.